Wow, so much done, yet so much to go. China has been a blast so far, but hasn’t been without its trials. It feels like I’ve been in the country for well over a month but it’s only been two weeks. I’ve been to three large cities in each of their own unique quirks. The description as the land of contradiction is very well earned. It’s a common site to see super-cars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars driving alongside Soviet era rickshaws loaded with trash. I dined at the most dirty restaurant that I’ve ever seen and one of the nicest restaurants I’ve ever been to in the same day. These stark contrasts seem to be readily accepted, and provide a unique culture shock that I’m sure moved my peers as much if not more than me. Fortunately as this is not my first visit to China; these contradictions were not too foreign to me. It is nice being fairly familiar with your surroundings in such a different world.
Compared with past visits though, China is changing. Rental bikes line the streets, replacing years old rusty deathtraps, cash is going out of style in favor of apps, and I cant get a taxi for the life of me thanks to the widespread acceptance of ride sharing. While these changes and others are symptomatic of a rapidly modernizing country, I can’t help but feel that it isolates visitors. China’s complexity is constantly growing, and what seemed to be a idiosyncratic but straightforward experience is becoming more and more complicated. I intend to try to further inspect these trends to see if that isolation is just due to purely unintuitive design or if it is more intentional. In any event, it is nice to see China modernize in its own way. It both mirrors trends in America, but gives glimpses into the future at the same time. I hope to see how these trends impact the business environment through my internship, and see how some of my experiences and thoughts on the changes that are taking place might help tailor the business around a rapidly modernizing, and as a result, shifting environment.