After a few days here in Beijing, I can truly say that I am incredibly surprised so far by my experience. From the United States media, and just overall opinions that I’ve heard, China is a very different place than the United States–and this is true. I was told by so many before going to “be careful” and told so many stories about things that would happen to me as soon as I got off the plane. NONE OF IT WAS TRUE! In fact, much of it was the opposite. So far, I have seen so many friendly people. Everyone has been incredibly helpful. I have not received any “dirty looks” or seen anything like I had been told to expect. From the minute I got off the plane, the people have been very helpful and friendly.
Upon going to Communication University of China on the first day, I was struck with how incredibly built up the entire city and subway system was. The subway seriously amazed me. I was warned that it would be crowded, that it would be dirty and very insane. In fact, it was the complete opposite. I have never in my life had a more organized and clean subway system. Not in America, not in Europe. What took me for shock even more was the incredible mall that we were taken to, called the “APM” center. THIS IS A MALL! There are brands from all over the world (many from the USA) and an incredible amount of restaurants from all cultures. It was incredible.
I can’t say I was lied to about China, because I don’t think people know any better. Most of the people I told that I was going on this trip had never been to China before. The stories they were telling me were things that they had heard on the media. They want to talk about the controlled media of China, but we certainly have controlled media too in the USA. The only difference is we don’t admit it. We are fed a very different story when it comes to other countries, and I am seeing that firsthand. It is quite incredible to see this beautiful city, and I am simply stunned at how different it is than what I was told.