While I’m totally over the moon about my upcoming trip to Shanghai, I’m also frightened. I hung out with someone who lived in Japan for a while and she said not to worry, that of course, there are people who speak English, they’ll just pretend that they don’t. Ummm, I really don’t think so. Those people don’t know a lick of English! Also, it doesn’t matter whether or not you try to speak Mandarin, they ain’t gonna understand what the hell you’re saying.
I’ve also read in two guide books that the Chinese will discriminate against you if you look Chinese and you do not speak their language. You may laugh and think that no one is going to mistake me for being Chinese. But I disagree because for one, it doesn’t matter where I am in the world, I DO get mistaken for being local. I’ve been in Thailand, Brazil, Ecuador…you name it…and locals will speak to me in their native tongue. “I’m so sorry, but I don’t speak Portuguese!” Secondly, I’m Asian. Yeah, I’m not Chinese, but depending on how I put my makeup on that day and how I dress, I could very well pass for someone from Shanghai!
I’m excited, but scared about roaming the jam-packed streets alone during the day. One week and counting. Wish me luck!