The Chinese experience – Part I

China, a fascinating land full of new obstacles, opportunities and perspectives that has been a great experience so far. Around every corner there can be something new, disgusting, lovely, beautiful, touching, crazy, horrifying. It is a great test of sanity, of belonging, of becoming.

A little over one week ago I arrived in China, a fascinating land full of new obstacles, opportunities and perspectives that has been a great experience so far. Around every corner there can be something new, disgusting, lovely, beautiful, touching, crazy, horrifying. It is a great test of sanity, of belonging, of becoming. With only a few words of Chinese – and no hope of acquiring that language any time soon – I learn a new language of assertiveness, perseverance and humbleness.

Some impressions…

Little children saying “Hello” and the big smiles when you answer them with “Hello” and “Ni hao”. Signing documents that are Chinese-only. Eating kinds of fruit that are disgusting (durian) or extremely nice (different kinds of mango). Ordering a vegetable soup and getting a soup with whole shrimps looking at you. Shanghai-style dumplings filled with saused rice that are too filling, as you want to keep eating it as they are so nice. Vegetable with noodle dishes that have all the different flavours in them, some of which you have never experienced before. Little girls sitting on their parent’s shoulders shouting “more oil!” when looking at the annual dragon boat races. The grey sky above that is a constant reminder of the long road ahead for humanity. Birds I have never seen before, but also familiar ones that sing familiar but new songs. Bureaucracy in a country that could only have been conceived by Kafka himself. Streets being cleaned daily by an army of people with brooms made out of local twigs and branches. But also the spitting on the street, children relieving themselves. More types of sugar in the supermarket than I deemed possible. Walking walking walking everywhere. Great Fire Walls. One cup of coffee more expensive than a whole meal. 40 minute metro ride for 4 RMB, which equals around 50 eurocent. People sorting live seafood, some kind of crabs, on the street in front of a restaurant. Little parks with elderly people exercising in groups, or singing songs. Traffic that has rules that one can get used to. People that work on the roads, making new pavements, and actually working (in comparison to their co-workers in EU) – one sees the progress they make every day. Every things goes on and on, seven days a week. Food in restaurants is only served on specific times a day, so extremely crowded during a few hours, and no food to be found outside of these times. Coffee with sea salt and a cheese topping. Living in an apartment without curtains, so living on the rhythm of the sun. Starting to slowly feel at home, writing, working on a post-doc at Fudan University.

People waiting for dragon boat races, Shanghai
People waiting for dragon boat races, Shanghai

Author: Nobyeni

Freelance Philosopher (PhD). Writer. Thinker. Interested in radical change and human being. Playwright. Dutch World citizen. Lover of books, language, art and coffee.

1 thought on “The Chinese experience – Part I”

  1. Leuk!

    2016-06-10 2:20 GMT+02:00 Nobyeni – Nicole des Bouvrie :

    > Nobyeni posted: “A little over one week ago I arrived in China, a > fascinating land full of new obstacles, opportunities and perspectives that > has been a great experience so far. Around every corner there can be > something new, disgusting, lovely, beautiful, touching, crazy” >

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