Discovering Shanghai

This article is about our first day of Summer Academy Sinnokick 2019 in Shanghai. It’ll describe our journey’s activities. 

We were welcomed by ShanghaiTech University in their facilities and meet our chinieses  groupe-mates and then assisted the lesson about design thinking, given by Professor Li. In the afternoon we received a list of activities to be done during the day in purpose of city discovery and team building.

Firstly, we needed to get to the metro station and buy a ticket. It was quite crowded but very well organised – no rush or problems inside. We also observed that the majority of Chinese people use their smartphones all the time and they don’t use cash as much as in Europe: everything can be paid in few seconds using the QR codes, even donation at the streets.

When arrived at the Yuyuan Garden station we found a local bakery shop and tried to speak with Chinese women. We learned few sentences in Shanghainese dialect (but quickly forgot it!) and teach them French ones. Women were very kind and ready to make fun. This exercise was not easy for us – pronunciation is hard! The bakery was not so bad, and some of it was very tasty.

We were surprised by tidiness of streets, metro stations and parks. Many garbages are accessible everywhere, and even for recycling purpose it is separated in two sections. Actually it is forbidden to through out things on the street, and can be amended.

Yu Garden

We were curious about local culinary and have tasted few plates, like dumplings, you tiao, steamed buns and spiced tofu. there was an addition challenge: to eat with chopsticks!

Eating dampling
Eating hot meals

Chinese people are curios and seem loving photos: we were kindly asked to make selfies with them for their souvenirs. Very nice experience because we could have a small talk about them and their life in China. We also asked some Chineses to make a selfie. Most of them were friendly and open-minded. But elder ones, very shy, didn’t wanted to be taken on the photo.

Taking selfies with foreigners

Another task – ask for a visit of flat in Shanghai – was possible to do only because our Chinese friends have helped us. This was done quickly – and we were on the way to the flat, situated around 500m from the real estate agency. Once inside the flat, we were surprised by its state: small, dirty, and badly maintained. The price was high for this: 700CHF per month.

On the way of visiting the flat
The kitchen of the apartment visited

After this amazing day we set a good relationship with our Chinese friends. Very shy at the beginning, they are feeling free and more open with us now. We loved the first impression of the city, culture and people. we were impressed by sizes of territory, buildings and good organisation of crowded places.

Group 5 : Arina, Damien, Philippe, Lionel