We are visiting five cities while we are in China. Our first city was Beijing. My first impressions of China were that it didn’t feel as different as the USA as I thought it would. Beijing reminded me of cities in the US that I have visited. There were, of course, some differences. One of the things that stood out to me the most was the driving. It seems as though drivers, whether they be in a car, a bus, on a scooter, or on a bicycle, do pretty much whatever they want. They get very close to other cars and honk at each other. Trying to cross the street is a challenge as well. The cars won’t stop for you, and you have to be very aware of what is going on around you. This was one of the biggest challenges to getting around the city.
I knew there were a lot of people in China, but I still was not prepared. When visiting the sites, such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China, the amount of people that were in one space was sometimes overwhelming. People would push past you or bump into you at all times. Something I noticed at these places was that almost everyone takes selfies! I had heard people talk about people in China liking to take selfies, but I have tried my best not to let stereotypes influence me. However, it is true that a large number of people have selfie sticks. Technology was very prevalent in many forms all over the city, which I will discuss in a later blog post.
My first impressions of China were overall very positive. Although the traffic is crazy and there are a lot of people everywhere, it was so far been extremely fun and informative. Stay tuned to find out how the rest of the trip goes.