This being my first trip to China, I came with a wary but open mind ready to start my journey. I have heard a lot of stories about China from friends back at home, some good, some bad and thus peaked my curiosity to explore it for myself.

Hana Blog 1 -Photo 1Our trip to Shanghai wasn’t as smooth as we had hoped, with our flight from Hong Kong to Shanghai being first cancelled then delayed; we arrived 3 hours after our intended arrival time. Arriving at the airport we had thought our Internships China pick up had left already as it was past the pick-up time, we were stressing about finding the address of the hotel; however, exiting the gates and seeing a Internships china representative, we were beyond relieved.

Having travelled around Asia quite a bit, there wasn’t much of a culture shock being in the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. Upon arrival, we were told that there was a typhoon coming and the first thing that came to mind was “great, I didn’t bring the right shoes for this weather”. This proved to be very true in the next few weeks of heavy rain and humid heat.

After the welcome banquet, all the interns decided to head out for a drink (or ten); a chance to get to know one another which turned into a messy night for all.

My internship at a small engineering and consulting firm started off well, I quickly made friends with all the friendly staff eager to practice their English. Coming to Shanghai with a mindset to learn, I was intent on doing just that, and so I was constantly asking for work or just watching the engineers do their thing.

Hana Blog 1 -Photo 2At 12 sharp, its “chi fan” time; my colleagues and I would head out to eat at one of the eateries around our office. Yolanda, my colleague/friend would help me order by asking a variety of questions that go along the lines of “rice or noodles”, “beef or pork”, etc. And so, my first week of interning ended and I was off on another night out with my fellow interns from Internships China. This time round was a bit messier with some waking up in unknown locations; most missing out on our planned Shanghai walking tour due being too hung over, etc.

Our second weekend consisted of, regretfully, only a day trip out to Hangzhou initially planned as a weekend trip, but we decided to come back so that we could go to a pool party at the Shangri-la Hotel (which was cancelled due to the rain). We thought it was best to rent bikes to ride around the lake; however we ended up getting lost and ended up weaving (albeit dangerously) through the streets of Hangzhou instead. Making it to the west lake at night, we took in what was described as China’s heaven on earth, a breathtaking view.

Our hectic first 2 weeks were full of bad choices, carefree fun and most importantly, wonderful memories. I can’t wait for what’s to come in the next few weeks.