Regarding food and beverage, the food is NOT like your local Chinese Restaurant. The food is Cantonese so no egg rolls or crab rangoon. We primarily ate Cantonese with the exception of some Japanese. We went from beginner chopstick users to expert users in a week! Most places we went were chopstick only but you could ask for silverware if you knew how. The napkins were more like beverage napkins or moistened towels. I love the moistened towels though but I can’t imagine all the laundry.
As for beverages, we drank a lot of hot green tea which was wonderful. The water actually came hot as well. We only received cool water if we bought bottled water and only saw soda in vending machines. They will sanitize their bowls, chopsticks and spoons in their hot tea. Their popular beer was really good and I unfortunately forgot the name of it. We learned at our first lunch with our team that they love to do “Cheers” and they did it about every 10 minutes, lol.
We loved the food and drinks but when we got to Hong Kong, we spent $100 on 2 Angus Burgers and 3 Ice Teas!! We were craving them after a week.
Last blog I talked about the language barrier we encountered. There was other things we had to get used to as well. First thing was definitely the bathrooms. In some of the factories and office buildings, there was no high rise toilets with the bowl and seat. Their toilets are in the ground but still made of porcelain. You had to squat to go to the bathroom; that was a new experience to me. Also, at some of the locations there was no toilet paper or soap. If travelling there, make sure to bring toilet paper and/or wet wipes, hand sanitizer and soap. We fortunately had been advised.
A really cool or chilly thing was in our hotel room to activate power you had to insert your hotel key into an outlet on the wall. Great energy saving technology; however, every time we left the heater kicked off so it was freezing when we got back. Winter is short in Shenzhen and only really gets to the low 50s so there is NO heat in most locations. Most buildings were freezing inside and we left our coats and gloves on.
What an amazing, wonderful experience! Kyle and I headed to our Trading Company in Shenzhen, China in early January. Our action items included product redesign and improvement, product development and to meet our team.
Our team escorted us all week and treated us like a King and Queen. We should have learned more Chinese. Only about 1% of the 14 million residents of Shenzhen speak English. We had quite the language barrier challenge. What saved us numerous times was my iPhone App, Worldnomads.com-WN Mandarin.
The people of Shenzhen are so kind, intelligent and welcoming. We always felt save and welcome. If you travel there, make sure you ask about their culture and listen to their stories. You will learn so much and show them so much respect. Also, you will want to brush up on their language and know more than the basics. In future journey blogs, I will speak of our experiences from no toilet bowls/seats like in the US to the food and beverages.