While I sometimes find it hard to live in a culture so different from my own, I have decided to try and embrace the Chinese culture, rather than trying to escape it or get annoyed by it. One of the things that annoys me the most is how people seem unable to wait in line or let other people through. The last few days I have simply decided to be just as rude myself, pushing my way into the subway before people can get out, cutting in line at the supermarket. Sure it is really rude and I would never do this at home, but if I keep waiting in line while everybody else is cutting I end up waiting for ages in most cases. It does feel rather liberating to cut in line somehow, even if it annoyes me to no end when others do it. Small victories like getting to the escalator before the largest crowd or getting a seat on the subway does matter at least a little bit, especially when I feel as if I have been waiting the longest.
Traffic in China also used to scare me a lot and sometimes it still does, but even if it seems as if all the bikes for example are heading straight toward me I have realised that hesitating or stopping can be more dangerous than simply following my intended path. This actually goes for cars sometimes even.A lot of my classmates are becoming really integrated after staying here for about 7 months. Quite a few of them ride their bikes to school in the Chinese traffic without it being a big deal to them at all. Some even bought scooters or e-bikes. This guy, Jens, even got the same kind of raincoat as many of the Chinese wear when riding their bikes on rainy days! 🙂
The Chinese way of life can actually be rather nice if you give it a real chance -and I intend to do just that from now on, rather than dwell on all the things that I miss about Norway and Europe in general. Doing this have made me feel a lot better about living here, and somehow the Chinese people I have met the last few days have seemed much nicer as well – I even had a few conversations with strangers in Chinese. All my homesickness and thinking of how much I miss people made me forget how lucky I am to be living in Shanghai, time to remember again 🙂