The Great Trip

Michael Meilak
Entrepreneurship Major
Chinese Language and Culture, Summer II 2017

During my stay in China I’ve experienced many new things I thought I would never see in my lifetime. First of all I never thought I would be on an airplane for fourteen straight hours. That was an experience within itself. As my time here starts to end I would like to talk about a few things I thought were interesting and exciting. My major being entrepreneurship and my minor being Chinese, there are many things I can relate during my study abroad trip. My major focus in this paper is to discuss the Chinese culture and the service side of China, and how it relates to me. Overall China has treated me very well, other than the shrimp I ate on the plan. Which I think made me a little sick but I made a speedy recovery. The people in China tend to be very friendly to foreigners. As being an American I tend to notice sometimes we are not as friendly, and I think we could learn a thing or two from the Chinese culture.

First I will focus on the culture and give you a little background about myself. I come from a very small town in Michigan called Highland. Everyone knows everyone it seems like for the most part. Even attending Western Michigan University was a big step for me due to its size. On the other hand Beijing truly opened my eyes to see how big this world is. I have never experienced the amount of traffic or people all in one city. China offered me many new things to try and experience. For example, I would have never eaten duck at home. It just doesn’t sound to appealing to me, but they say in China you have to try everything because you just don’t know what you’ll like. Surprisingly I really enjoyed it too, the flavor was very dominant and it left a lasting taste in your mouth. I can probably truthfully say I’ve tried more new things in my two-week stay in China, than I have in my entire life. I have never experienced a lifestyle like I had in China. It forced me outside of my comfort zone and pushed me to new limits. I will be forever grateful I had the opportunity to attend such a great event. This trip will be something I will remember for the rest of my life. China is a complete culture shock, and I can honestly say you haven’t lived until you visit China.

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When arriving to China your body doesn’t really know what is going on, it’s thinking sleep but it’s the middle of the day. It took me a few days to adjust to such a different time zone. It’s jus really weird thinking that while I am awake in China the US is fast asleep. To be honest I don’t know if my body ever truly adjusted to such a change. Coming from a very small town it was shocking to see the amount of people throughout the streets. I have never experienced anything remotely close to it. Everywhere we went there were thousands of people going about their everyday life. My first few days were fairly rough for me. It was hard for me to adjust to such a different way of living. Back in Michigan I rarely had Chinese food, it just wasn’t something I ate a lot. The second night here I went to pizza hut, which was very different from any pizza hut in the US. No one spoke English and I was forced to use the Chinese I knew. I eventually was seated and ordered a lemonade and Hawaiian pizza, which was very good. The pizza had its own Chinese twist on it, which made it exciting to try. After eating here I tended to notice how impeccable the service was. Coming from the food industry sometimes good service is hard to come by.

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One of the most prominent things I noticed that was different was the service. The service in China is spectacular. Everywhere we went there were probably more workers than customers. Since I’ve been working in the restaurant/ food industry my whole life this was very prominent to me. One day I will be running my family’s Irish pub and can use the things I’ve learned in China to be a better boss. I could strongly relate to how hard these people worked to represent their country. Even the grocery store almost had someone working every aisle. In the US your lucky if you can find a worker other than behind the desk. I think the US needs to adapt the service ways of China.  I could not get over how well the people treated me when I went out. The servers made sure everything was perfect and I was happy. Eating out almost every night I had a first hand experience of the service. Nowhere in the world does the level of gratitude compare than it does like in China. The amount of effort some of these people put in to make sure their costumers were satisfied with their stay was impeccable. If anything I paid the most attention to the service side of China because it relates to my future. Who knows maybe one day I could open a restaurant in China. Due to my knowledge in the food industry and learning the Chinese culture. The US could truly adapt to how the Chinese people act and conduct themselves, it was very professional.

Overall my stay in China has been wonderful. I have learned many new things I plan to use for the rest of my life. I hope one day I can live up to the standards of a Chinese man. The Chinese people have great respect for everyone human being it seems like. I think the US could really learn from the Chinese way of life . The way of life here brings peace and tranquility to all. Many useless things today consume our world. China has taught me the understanding of respect and love by visiting all the temples. I truly have a great respect for China now and look at their culture completely different. I want to thank you Professor Wang for allowing me to share this great opportunity with you and the class. I will truly remember these moments for the rest of my life thank you.

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