Dear Granny- Aupair-Team,
Many greetings once again from the Far East!
Shanghai is one of the most extraordinary and fascinating stay of all in my life as an aupair. This is why I have flown here for a fourth time and will be staying with Sophia up to the summer holidays.
From Frankfurt the flight takes 12 hours. The luggage holds everything I was asked for even simple things like baking yeast, vanilla sugar, pudding, clear broth, salad mix and tins of sausages. Up to today I do not know if this kind of import is allowed.
I was always fascinated by the oriental with its abundance of colurs. In my former dreams I already saw myself running after s flag waving guide inmidst a hord of tourists. Unfortunately that kind of holiday would not have been my thing at all. I am all the more happy to have been able to get to know this piece of Earth in a very unusual way aided by the family on site.
This way you can experience things, you would never have experienced otherwise but also very emotional things.
You discover Shanghai from quite another side. And sometimes you have to be quite "hard-boiled".
For instance regarding the cuisine:
It takes some getting used to for a European. You see animals boiling in a steaming pot, which you would prefer not to see there and suddenly a duck's head looks at you from the soup. In another bowl you see cooked or cold breaded chicken feet to gnaw.
There are always at least 8 dishes to choose from standing on a turning disc on the table, even if only three people are sitting at table. Some are totally delicious. The small bowl of rice is just a side issue in this case.
Or the many homeless dogs on the street, which touch my heart every day. There are supposed to be one million of these furry friends in Shanghai alone. Thus I always have some dog food in my bag next to my personal things.
The Chinese families have very high expectations of their children. Sophia was born in Germany during her mother’s university studies and when she was 4 years old they returned to her Chinese family to Shanghai
Here she is learning English and Chinese in addition to German in the third form of the German School. Moreover she visits a Chinese School every Friday afternoon, when she is fetched by her parents, to learn more Chinese characters. The Saturday is filled with ballet and painting lessons before I can welcome her for another week on Sunday evenings. To crown everything there is a piano in the flat, where she has to practise for at least half an hour daily to meet the expectations of the external piano lessons in the school. Before they go to bed tired out in the evening, the children mostly have a ten hour learning day behind them.
This was another small glimpse into the life of a Shanghai family, which normally remains hidden to a tourist.
With its variety of symbols, with its lucky and unlucky numbers, the color symbols, traditional teachings (Feng Shui), acupuncture and so on, China enjoys a high reputation.
A proverb says: "When Chinese culture flew as a bird in the sky, other cultures were just learning to move their wings".
And I think this proverb is by no means based on arrogance.
Many warm greetings from Evelyn and Sophia