Well, I've been back in the U.S. since Sunday and just finished my first day back at my summer job, which is at a harbor on Lake Michigan. It basically feels like I never left America but I know that I was in Shanghai since I can see the pictures I have from the friends I met there, see their updates on Facebook, and unfortunately see my partially finished assignment leftover from the internship (I really need to finish that up). On the one hand, it's great to be back - I get to be with my family again, relax for the rest of my summer, and speak in a language I am completely fluent in. I suppose avoiding the typhoon that apparently hit yesterday is another bonus. I actually received an email from my boss stating that all Wisoners can leave work at 3 pm today and vehicles will be provided for people living nearby or to the subway station. On the other hand though it's hard to come home. I was having an amazing time in Shanghai. I had met so many different people from all over the world and was also gaining useful experience at the same time. I have a passion for learning Mandarin Chinese, and I was able to see steady progress and practice my language on a daily basis. It will be bittersweet to see the pictures of the remaining interns show up online since it will be wonderful to see them having fun although I obviously wish I could be with them as well. Going back and working today at my old summer job really made my experience in Shanghai seem like someone else's dream.
However, despite the dream-like feeling, the skills, friends, and knowledge are things I truly gained. Sure. Summer flew by. I have to be back at school on August 30 which means I have a few weeks yet, but it still feels incredibly short. I wouldn't trade the experiences I had for anything though. I could essentially travel through Europe and know I have a friend in each of those countries. I feel like I have some knowledge of Chinese business that is only best learned through experience. I would say that trust is the most important thing for the Chinese though it is an interesting paradox when you examine their current culture that is based on trusting relationships and yet has seemingly no respect for patents and produces some of the world's greatest "fake" products. Regardless, when trying to do business with the Chinese, I would still say it's the most important thing.
Finally, I think this brings my blog to a close. Thanks to all those who have been reading and hope you enjoyed the posts or at least learned something along the way!