Monday, February 4, 2008

Other things about Shanghai

I have picked up a few useful tit bits:
Business Cards: Apparently it is very bad manners to just hand a business card to someone in any old fashion. The card should be presented with two hands (one in each corner of the card); the card should be face up and the writing facing in the direction that makes it easy for the recipient to read it.
Body Contact: The Chinese are very easy going about body contact. It seems cool to get up very close and personal. Even in the street it is quite acceptable for someone to brush past you rather than give you a wide berth. When we bought a subway ticket for me it was fine for Yelin to lean over the person using the machine in front of us and assist her with her transaction (this would not go down so well in NYC!).
Ordering in Restaurants: It seems to be the custom that the host orders the food (foul luck for me).
Bartering: If the store is not government controlled, bartering is expected. When I went shopping with Pam, the lady I met from Boston, she often managed to get her price reduced by as much as 90%!! Most I managed was 50% I'm too soft.
Eye contact: Again this seems OK. I made the mistake of sitting at a window in Starbucks (I know I'm ashamed but I needed a Chai Latte). A group of men sat on a ledge outside of the window and began to openly discuss me - staring at me unashamedly and gesturing towards me as they spoke. Even the homeless in NY who've opted out of most of societies rules would find this type of behavior distasteful:) I found it kind of amusing and you could tell they were well intentioned.
Morning Exercise: On the way to work I would pass large groups of people taking their morning exercise:

People in our Shanghai office: Were very nice, Yelin, me and Annie:
This picture was taken on the last night when we went out for dinner in the revolving restaurant on top of my hotel. The views were pretty amazing:I also visited a Chinese Buddhist temple:

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