First travel in China

I'm on my way to the Guangxi area in the south of China for a week!
Guilin, Yangshuo, Longsheng.... it's supposed to be one of the most beautiful areas in the country! Can't wait!
Luckily I finally found the camera I wanted so now I just hope the weather will be nice :)


Wish Good Luck and Good Fortune

Next week China will be celebrating the New Year!
In the meantime, families are gathering and preparing for the feast. Supermarkets are packed with people and (what looks like) special holiday treats. Red lanterns are hanging all over. When I got home from school today, a cute little bunny picture was taped to our door! They're all over!
The color red is supposed to bring good luck and happiness!

The only problem in all this is that we're a french school (in China) so everyone is else is on vacation and we aren't (until friday.) And as we live in a University District, let's just say it feels like we're the only ones here! Stores and restaurants are closing. The streets are empty. The construction sites aren't as noisy.... it's kinda weird!

For lunch, a few friends and I went to one of the only places that is still open... I wouldn't really call the place a restaurant though. It's more like a small room with people cooking in the back where people walk in, shout out what they want and leave a few minutes later with a take away bag of food.
Well... needless to say shouting out in Chinese isn't something I'm good at. We pointed, made sounds, pointed again... waved to get attention... made some more sounds... eventually paid... waited... waited... waited... wondered... waited... oh and 40 minutes later, after about 15 chinese people had come and gone with their food, our order was ready. This is China. I think I had what I ordered. Then again, who know's what that was! All I know is that there was rice and other unidentified ingredients, no meat... and it was good! I've learned to just accept things how they are without understanding WHY or HOW they are. They just are and that's good enough!

... my fortune wish: to be able to order food without pointing!

Are you a Peach or a Coconut ?

Soft skin
Easy to eat
Hard stone inside


Outside is rough
Hard to crack open
Challenging to eat
Dry flesh
Very versatile

(Women selling her art in a small shop in the Old Town of Suzhou.)

No I haven't gone crazy... at least I don't think so !

One of the reasons I'm in China is actually to study... Professors are flown in from Europe for a few weeks to teach their class here in Suzhou. One of the classes I have is Multicultural Management which is taught by a native German - raised in London -worked in the US - teaches in France - flown to China teacher. I like this class alot.

Somehow it puts words and labels on things I've always felt but have never really been able to decribe... such as "Cultural Differences" !

(Older Woman walking amongst the crowd in Shanghai.)

One of the aspects we studied was communication... And the question is, in terms of communicators are you a Peach or a Coconut ?

Peaches can start conversations quickly. They are easy to get through to and it seems like they are letting you "in"... Coconuts are hard to crack! Getting a conversation started takes a lot more time and energy!

A Peache's private sphere is inside, once you hit the center you realize you only know one or two aspects of the person and the rest is off limits... Whereas a Coconut, once you're "in", you're "in"! Passed the rough merky brown skin and the layers of flesh, out poors the milky center!

(People Walking in the Old District of Shanghai.)

Anyway.. this is all very general and beyond cultural backgrounds our Personality also makes a huge difference on where we stand as communicators. But knowing more or less where a culture stands on the line that goes from being a Peach to a Coconut helps to understand relationships and expectations in a professional or personal context.

(I'll post the chart that shows where different countries are situated when I get it from the our Professor.)