When people ask me: “What is it like to live in China?” I never know what to answer. It is difficult, indeed almost impossible, to define this country in words. It is a bit like when you have to express feelings, you have them very clear within yourself, you live them and recognize them, but expressing them could trivialize or mislead them. The same is true for China. Before moving to China I had never been there, and my idea of the country turned out to be completely wrong.
The truth is that China is everything you expect but also everything you’ve never imagined.
It is innovation and tradition that find an almost controversial balance between them. A combination of the new and the old; it is wealth and poverty. Perfection and imperfection. It is the dictionary of synonyms and antonyms concretized in society. Shanghai above all Shanghai, which is also called Eastern New York, embodies what I have just said.
It is innovative, luxurious and full of lights and skyscrapers. But it is also quite the opposite of what described. It is old and full of popular houses. Hairdressers run their businesses inside worn-out garages, and bricklayers use bamboo as scaffolding, which is far from our idea of safety and stability. Finally, many restaurants in the neighborhood could give any health office employee a heart attack.
«If you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars».
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