Tomorrow we are leaving Chongqing and are on our way to Beijing. This will be our last city to visit before we head back to Atlanta on Saturday June 9th. This experience in China has been enriching and enlightening at the same time. Lot of my misperceptions have been cleared since my visit in China. I will talk about a couple.
I have studied in Toronto, Canada where there is a good bit of population from China. My past experience with Chinese people have not been that great in terms of the Chinese people’s interpersonal skills. Chinese people have always come across to me as blunt and to the point with not very many smiles. This time in China things were different. I met the sweetest, the most polite, friendly and generous people. Everywhere we went from shopping to company visits to restaurants we were greeted with smiles. Even it was obvious that there was a language barrier but those barriers were overcome by smiles and friendly greetings.
Another misperception I had about China was its underdeveloped country status. Whichever under developed country I have visited I have always experienced a special kind of treatment given to foreigners in terms of their bargaining power and the price quoted for items to purchase. What do I mean by that? If I want to buy something from a street vendor or a shop there is a local price and then there is a foreigner price. The foreigner price is much higher then the local price depending on demeanor of the foreigner. I thought in China I will be treated the same way.
In China I got a local price. Yeah! Everywhere I went from shopping to restaurants to any street vendors. I was pleasantly surprise with this behavior and that really got me thinking about the good value system practiced by the Chinese people. Once I enjoyed the street food so much I wanted to tip the cook. To my surprise he just took the money I owed him for the food.
So far I have seen a good balance maintained between capitalism and socialism. China has progressed. Cities are glamorous, glittering and rich. But more important then this was the enlightenment this trip has given me. The friendly greetings and the good value people.
China thank you for clearing my misperceptions, I am definitely coming back!