By day three of Shanghai, pretty much everyone was feeling the fatigue caused by almost two weeks of going nonstop (especially since many of us had had a very long, but very fun, night the previous evening). So we boarded the bus for the two and half hour ride out to the Yang Shan Port and were greeted by Sarah, a Pitt alumnus who has lived and worked in China for almost ten years now. As we drove, she gave us a background on her history in the country and answered some questions about what it’s like to live there. She told us that at first, as expected, she felt overwhelmed after moving since she was on her own with a somewhat limited knowledge of the language. But as she developed relationships and deepened her knowledge of both the language and culture, her experiences have been greatly rewarding. Even though she plans on returning to the states someday, for the foreseeable future, she would like to remain in Shanghai simply because she loves it so much. One of the more interesting points that she made was when I asked her about the differences in the work environment between America and China. Sarah remarked that coworkers there have much in common with a family unit. Relating back to Confucian values, the boss is seen as more of a father figure and encourages close bonds between the employees. She said it was just a weird adjustment to make, but rewarding when she accepted it. Pretty much immediately after the conversation with Sarah winded down, I passed out in my seat and didn’t wake up until we arrived at the port. We had left the cloudy dreariness of Shanghai behind and emerged from the bus into the steamy air of the coast. I have to say, for a port, it was really cool. We climbed up to a rock overlook from which we could see shipping containers stretch out forever.
Here we pretty much just admired the view for a while before returning to the bus and driving back across the 20-mile-or-so-long bridge that I had completely missed the first time around due to my nap. We finally made it our company visit for the day: the Lingang Group. The company is a state-owned logistics firm that offers a range of services. I was really disappointed by this visit, actually because it could have been really cool especially because it would relate so much to my supply chain management major. Unfortunately, our presenters (due to a combination of the language barrier and a seemingly poor knowledge of the company) weren’t able to offer a very engaging or informative discussion.
After a weird lunch which included turtle, we returned to the hotel for the day. That evening, a lot of the guys and I went out to a brew pub called the Boxing Cat which had a really cool vibe and served very good mac and cheese (of which I am a bit of a connoisseur). A few of us even bought T-shirts.