Tales of a Traveling Marketer 3rd edition
One of the great experiences of Shanghai is the local transportation, it is so fantastic that I feel that I have undergone a metamorphosis. In particular the Metro is a unique experience, apart from being a highly efficient method of transport, I feel as though I undergo several transformations every day.
This daily routine starts by entering the station, this process includes saying “Ni Hao” to the security guard and sometimes getting my bags scanned. After waiting about 45 seconds the first train to arrives. The moment that I enter the train, is the moment I feel I am instantly transformed into a tuna fish. let me explain;
The school of tuna is extremely organised and orderly but when the right current arrives all of the fish try to ride the wave at the same time. The sensation of entering the metro in rush hour, is what I imagine it would feel like for a tuna fish, if it could feel when being packed into a can, by an enthusiastic tuna packer, who wants to get as much tuna into the can as possible. This sensation that you cannot resist and it is simple, you have to live by the fish rule “go with the flow”. This process is repeated at every stop during rush hour every space that can be filled will be filled, so I am constantly referring back to the fish rule. I stay a tuna fish until the second transformation.
The second transformation occurs when you leave the train and progress to the escalator, it is at this point that I have a distinct feeling that I have transformed into a penguin.
I know at this point a few people are saying what is this writer on, right?
But stay with me for a moment, I would like you to imagine a David Attenborough
documentary on penguins, I know everybody has seen it at least once int their lives. You know the one where they climb the massive ice hill to jump into the ocean. Do you remember how they keep banging into each other as they waddle up to the apex. Imagine this, but now imagine that one of the penguins is 25% taller than the rest. The extra height and the lack of space to stride out means the tall penguin sways more and bumps into the other penguins more frequently. Bump, bump, bump, bump that tall penguin, yeah that is me and happens every day, bumping into everyone as I dolly step my way to the apex. The lesson here is, everyone is bumping everyone, so the penguin rule is “you will bump and be bumped, don’t worry, just keep moving”.
At each stop there is two escalators to transfer to another line and the process repeats moving from transforming from a tuna fish to a penguin until I reach my destination, as the GPS would say. At the end of it all I return to being a man again ready for work.
Really the Chinese Metro system is brilliant for transportation but I feel that it is a unique experience that is an “only in China experience”. Here is the only place I know that I can transform from a person to a tuna fish to a penguin and back to a man all in 30 minute Metro ride.
One thing I would like to mention at this point is how calm everyone is in lines, everyone slowly moves and doesn’t worry about getting ahead or people cutting in. The elderly are respected highly and every one will offer a seat to them rather than seeing them stand for the trip, this is the real magic of the Shanghai Metro and I find it brilliant. So here is a unique experience and if you come to Shanghai remember the fish and penguin rule and you will be fine.
Thank you for reading, at this point I would like to thank my sponsor New England Business enterprise centre for allowing me to accept this experience, I am traveling and looking for work if you are interested please see my Linkedin profile and if you have a question for me please use the #InternChuck on twitter. If you like my blog please subscribe