Talking with local workers
In addition to meeting with major companies, I was able to learn about Chinese businesses from locals. Every city that we visited had a rich background and many street markets to explore. With my limited Chinese, I was able to converse with the local market workers. When we visited the Great Wall there was one woman whom I talked with while she made me a chocolate pancake. She was excited to learn about my culture and why I was visiting China. I learned that she has a son in his 30’s working for a computer company in Beijing. She wishes that he was married so she could have a grandchild. When I tried to swap contact information she politely rejected and informed me that she didn’t have a cellphone. She was such a pleasant woman and because I brought her my friends to order from her vendor she gave me a free pancake to go! By talking with someone and actually learning about them, it helps create a better world. In business, it is important to understand coworkers and your business partners to strengthen business interactions and relationships.
One night when I was walking around Wangfujing, a worker called me over and asked if I am Chinese. After I explained to him that I am from America, he insists on seeing a dollar bill. After inspecting the dollar for a few minutes and asking some questions what it is like to live in America, he requests if he could keep it in exchange for a few dumplings he was selling. I obliged and was able to take a photo of him holding my US dollar for a memento. It was fun to talk to someone who was so interested in the American culture.
When we were in Shanghai I visited a bracelet shop in YuYuan. While she was making me a bracelet she told me a little about her life. She taught herself through online videos how to create different types of jade bracelets. She has a daughter in elementary school, her mother works in a baozi shop. She is an inspiration for her level of dedication to her craft. She is proof that if you are diligent and want to do something with your life it is possible to pick up a new talent and capitalize on it. By being able to talk to local workers, I was able to enhance my knowledge of Chinese culture deeply.