After my mother’s business trip to China it was impossible not to ask her a few things about her experience. I have prepared for you something really nice. You will know a few more things about Yiwu and Shanghai, Chinese people, food and habits. (I think it’s better if I call my mum with her name, at least for the interview) So, people enjoy it!
So, Leona, how did you travel to Shanghai?
I had a flight from Thessaloniki to Istanbul where I spent 10 hours. From Istanbul I had another flight to Shanghai that lasted almost 12 hours. Before buying my tickets I had to prepare a visa and my passport had to be valuable at least for the next 6 months. If not it would be impossible to travel.
"I travelled to Shanghai with my Chinese affiliates, so I they helped me with the language! Travelling 12 hours is not very easy but the Turkish airlines made the trip more comfortable by giving us a small bag with necessary things"
How would you describe the people?
My affiliates were translating everything to me but I could understand that Chinese people are polite and smiley most of the time. Some of them, usually people working in shops were speaking English.
"One day I was walking in a big street and it was full of hairdresser's. Apart from the haircut Chinese girls also had a new make up there. Although, I expected that they are not so tall, they are tall and very thin. Many of the girls I saw were wearing short skirts and shorts."
Tell me a few things about the food.
Chinese people eat a lot of sea food, eggs and of course rice. Sometimes I was asking my affiliate about the food, I needed more information and he had to ask for details. After many years in Greece although he is Chinese he didn’t know to tell me about all the dishes.
All the dishes had a spicy and sweet taste and it was impossible to find bread. Instead of bread Chinese were eating sugar cane.
In Chinese restaurants each customer could take a small box and put inside some ingredients and have his food prepared in 5 minutes, or they had prepared food for everyone.
They were eating even the soups with the chopsticks, first what their soup contained and then sucking the liquid part of the soup.What really impressed me, although I didn’t like it, was that there were alive animals, for example chicken, in the restaurants and the customer had the chance to choose which chicken he wanted to eat. So, they killed that chicken and prepared it for the customer. Also, I have seen people walking on the street with alive chicken in their bags. They were buying them and bringing them home.
In the bigger Chinese restaurants each group of friends could have a room only for them. In this room there was a big table with a circle machine. This machine was spinning and the customers could choose which food they want. In every room there was a waiter taking care of the people and putting wine every time it was necessary.
"The preparation of the tea was something I will remember for a long time. The waitress boiled water and put it in the teapot. She checked the temperature with her hands. When she understood that the temperature was the right one she put inside tea and after waiting a few minutes she put it in our small cups. The tea looked like water, almost no color but the taste was really strong and good! There were many tastes where you could choose from, I chose the green tea. It coasted more or less 12 euro the 100 gram. Expensive, but it was really nice to taste it!"
Did you use any means of transport in Yiwu and Shanghai?
I only used a car to travel from Yiwu to Shangai and it lasted 4 hours. I also used a taxi which coasted 8,5 yuan for 1 km, it is more or less one euro. There are 3 types of taxi, normal cars, which have a plastic wall between the driver and the other passengers, motorbike taxi and bicycle taxi.
"This is a shop with clothes. In Yiwu there were many shops with famous brands, the quality was really good and the prices lower than in Greece. Also, they had some Chinese brands very famous in China, also expensive. For cheaper clothes there was a big market every afternoon at 6 until 1:00 in the night. There, you have the possibility to “play” with the sellers and buy in lower prices!"
"The streets were very busy especially in Yiwu and the drivers were honking all the time. It’s dangerous to drive there because even the big trucks drive very fast."