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Monday, 12 December 2016

IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TO CHINA, THESE ARE THE FIVE THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT CHINESE

If you create a sort of identity among your friends, it becomes hard to keep away from it. Your friends will always be expecting you to follow through with the routine. It hasn’t been any different since I came back from my recent trip to China. My friends have been ‘demanding’ for a blog about the trip and here we are.

If you are in my social media circle, you probably already know that I travelled to China early last month. In case you aren’t and you don’t know, I will bring you up-to speed.

I travelled to Nanjing, China on the invitation of China Pharmaceutical University to attend the 2016 International Forum for Pharmacy Students on the occasion of the Global Conference on Pharmacy Education and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

There are so many angles to the trip that I could write about; from the hustle of getting a visa to missing flights and to the extreme weather in Nanjing or the Chinese girls I crushed on.  For this particular blog, I will tell you about the five things that amazed me most about the Chinese.

1.      Most Chinese wear eye glasses: In schools in Uganda, wearing glasses is associated with being a bookworm, brightness in class and overall superior intelligence. In China though, it is the order of the day. Could it be because of the anatomical nature of their eyes? According to my guide Moselle, “Chinese children watch TV a lot growing and it affects their eyes.” 
Meet my guide, Moselle. She made sure I felt as comfortable as possible during my stay. Behind her are the class room blocks at China Pharmaceutical University.

2.      Humility and Courtesy: Chinese are the most humble and courteous people I have ever met thus far. From the old to the young, male or female, they will welcome you with a smile and bow down as a sign a respect. In our last night in Nanjing, we went to a karaoke show, and the “bouncers” weren’t any different in their humility. Compared to the night clubs back home in Uganda, this was refreshing.
After the Karaoke show.
3.      Chinese are very organised and obsessed with attention to detail. During the award ceremony, we were invited to the stage to receive our certificates. Guess what? The stage was marked with spots where each one of us had to stand to pose for camera. Who would have thought such a thing existed! Who in Uganda?
Awards ceremony. Can you identify me?
4.      Chinese really try hard to speak English. They do. They are the most enthusiastic people I have met when it comes to trying out a different language. It is fascinating. Well, Chinese-the language-is really complicated but I was able to pick up a word. Thank you is xièxiè.

5.      Innovation: During my four days’ stay, the key word on the lips of every pharmacy student and pharmaceutical company that presented at the forum was INNOVATION. Every research project of the students had an innovation component in it. Unlike in Uganda where universities don’t provide any significant support to student research projects, in China, the government and universities support students wholeheartedly. I think in a few years, Chinese will become the innovative people on earth (that’s if they are already not).
Poster presentation.
As a tradition in my travel blog stories, I always thank the organisations and persons who make the trips happen. I would like to thank International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), China Pharmaceutical University (CPU), International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF) and my ever supportive dad.

A street in Nanjing.


Bird eye view of Nanjing from my hotel room.