It is so difficult to travel in China! Given that Chinese and English do not have a common alphabet, getting around is a challenge. While most signs here in Shanghai have the English version of the word underneath it, this translation does not always help. I can look at a map application on my phone, but I cannot type in an address that can be found by the application. Having the English name of the place I am trying to travel to does not work. Only by having the Chinese address will a taxi take me where I need to go. With the advent of Uber, transportation should be easier. Uber recently came to China, and the app is easy to navigate, but it does not work with a non-Chinese keyboard. I cannot point to a spot on a map in order to get there. Given these factors, transportation has been my biggest challenge. Navigating the metro is easier, since there seems to be English and Chinese writing for all stops. The metro is fairly simple to use, and is clean, but not the most convenient. It is not like New York City where there is a metro stop almost every block. Trying to meet with businesses is also challenging especially when trying to make it to an appointment on time. Having Chinese-speaking team members has helped, but with our large team, they are not always available to assist.
On the other hand, shopping and eating have been surprisingly easy. Most restaurants have pictures on their menus, and some even have English menus. Prices are labeled, and it is fairly easy to know what you are going to get. While I want to buy some souvenirs, nothing yet has jumped out at me as something cool I want to purchase. The marketplaces tend to have low quality knickknacks, but I am sure in the end that I will have a bronze dragon or something that is unique to China.
As the end of the first week in country approaches, I will continue to explore the cultural and business aspects of the country. Expanding my global competence will benefit me as I continue my education at Fisher and ultimately move into a multi-national enterprise.