By Andrea D. Wilson
To this day, my 9-day visit to China is still my favorite international trip. In 2010, my MBA program offered a special cohort class on International Business that would travel to China for 9 days. The purpose of the trip was to learn and examine China’s international business customs and foreign trade practices etc. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to join the cohort.
Drum and Bell Tower in Beijing
We traveled to Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai. It’s been nine years, so I’ll try to recap my most vivid memories of the trip. First, I’ll never forget how thick the air was in Beijing. So thick, you could actually feel it in your chest. They warned us about this before the trip and recommended we wear a mask. I was one of the smart ones who didn’t choose to wear one. Next, bikes were everywhere! There were always way more bikes on the rode than cars. Also, they absolutely LOVE karaoke there. We couldn't find a bar or club that didn't have several people lined up to show out and perform karaoke. And I clearly remember Duck being very popular. Duck, Duck. Duck. Duck was on the menu everywhere we went to eat (even McDonald’s). I also recall visiting Beijing University and seeing a bathroom that was in the floor. You read that correctly. Imagine a toilet that’s literally embedded in the floor and forces you to stand-up and...you get the rest. Needless to say, all of us waited until after the visit to Beijing U. to use the restroom. Lastly, Shanghai was AMAZING. I’ll never forget how brightly the city light up at night time. I personally call it the “NY of China” because it felt so upbeat and energized. When I think of Shanghai, I always recall the building we walked past that looked like a Louis Vuitton bag.
Terra-cotta Warriors Museum in Xi'an
Squat Toilet in China
I look forward to visiting Asia again. I'm crossing my fingers that my next visit there will be a trip to Japan. :-)