In 2013 I had the chance to study one semester in Shanghai and Beijing in China and got to know real chinese student life a little. It was a great experience eating in local eateres, staying in local accomodation and experiencing China with my professor and the Chinese students. Food in Shanghai and Beijing is quite diffent, which I never expercted. Food in Beijing seemed to be heavier, while Shanghai food seemed fairly light in comparison. Vegetarians do not seem to have an issue in Asia in general. There are always vegetable dishes. What really got me was the smog. It was crazy. One day we had 400% above risky air pollution. Something I could not deal with well. But maybe I was unlike and the air pollution was worse, while I was there. The only day we had sunshine was at the Great Wall of China which was beautiul to see. Also, being on a train going above 300km/h was an experience in itself. The contrast between high technology companies and cities and the vilage "factories" and local areas was great! China has everything to offer when it comes to this. What I loved the most, or at least seemed to most lovely and interesting to me, is that the Chinese do a lot of sports and social stuff in the city parks and I got the chance to dance with a bunch of chinese ladies early in the morning in a park. It was lovely and I was very welcomed... Memorable experience!
A bit awkward was going to a local market in Beijing and for those who are a bit facy about seeing a variety of animals that can be eaten over there and they are not always dead, this is maybe not the place to go. To me it was a bit shocking! Overall, China was a great experience too!
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