Interesting Fact: People do not speak Mandarin or Cantonese in Shanghai. They speak Shanghainese. Shanghainese is a dialect of Wu, an ancient branch of Chinese that is a distinct language from Mandarin. In fact, Shanghainese is only about 50 percent intelligible to Mandarin speakers.
This made things relatively easy for us because even if we spoke Chinese, we would only be able to catch 50% of it. đź™‚
On a more serious note, when I say Shanghai: City of the future, I mean every word of it. This was evident from the time you get off at the sleek Pudong International Airport to the time you enter the high speed train, Maglev, which is better than most trains in any western country (at least the one’s I have seen). Â This thought was reinforced when you entered the downtown with futuristic looking building and multi-level highways with as many as 4 different levels on top of one another. Shanghai felt like a city of imagination.Â It was remarkable to see the quality of infrastructure and the speed of life. Moreover, the feeling of safety in the city even at 4 am was amazing, something that the local residents and alumni living in Shanghai also vouched for. You need to be traveling in the IE-GMBA Train to be able to cope with this city. Living in America and Germany I always had a different image of China. Shanghai proved me wrong.
It was more interesting to visit Shanghai while studying Economic Environment and Country Analysis class. We took classes at Chinaâ€™s largest college: Fudan University. Lectures were given by professors representing IE, local speakers and Fudan University’s professors discussed many important parts of Chinaâ€™s economy during this class and analysed deeper issues such as: Chinese currency pegged against the U.S dollar / overheating of the Chinese economy/ future plans of the government for China/ obstacles of doing business in China/ understanding the culture and etc. We also had a chance to visit one of the worlds six Nokia Siemens factory and Chint Electric ($2 billion group).
Yes, it was a hectic week with many sleepless nights after attending a whole day of classes, company visits, networking events, we had to come back and study for our online sessions and cases which were ongoing. It is impossible to tell you about all the experiences in one blog entry….. But the overall experience was brobdingnagian(yes, it’s a real word), the knowledge gained and understanding of a new culture will remain with us forever.
On that note, I wish you all a Happy Easter. Enjoy your vacation and come back ready to hear more experiences on the IE-GMBA train.