This morning I woke up and suddenly it popped up into my mind: it is actually exactly 3 years ago since I first walked into the InternChina office and met Frank and Yifan. Since then, a lot of things have changed. Not only in our company, but also in Qingdao. the rapid growth of China also makes a difference in Qingdao and even though people are pretty laid back here, they are always eager to reach things as quickly as possible. These are the changes, I have realized so far:1. in 2009 I was happy when I saw at least one person a week riding a bicycle. As everyone just likes these big fat cars, nobody was thinking about biking, that was considered as “backwards” for Chinese, something from another century, not modern enough. Nowadays, I can see more and more people on old and new bicycles- simply because the streets are blocked by all these big fat expensive cars. There’s traffic jam in the morning on distances, which you are even faster with walking than going by car. therefore, a lot of people actually remember that bicycles are much quicker than taking the jeep to work.
2. When I came here the first time, there were not a lot of foreigners in Qingdao. Nightlife was very simple (basically Jazz Corner and LeBang). Now, as there are more and more foreigners coming to China and more and more Chinese reaching a certain level of wealth, cultural life in Qingdao is improving daily. New restaurants and bars open every month, which is leading to a great variety of opprtunities of going out in the night and just having fun. Prices of course, increased a little bit. However, Qingdao is still so much cheaper than Shanghai.
3. Living areas: The first time I went to Qingdao airport to pick someone up, I was quickly out of the city and then the airport bus just crossed fields for almost one hour before we reached to the airport. Meanwhile, during the whole way to the airport houses, houses, houses. Really Big. Really new. Chinas construction boom seems to be unstoppable. However, it is a pity that at the same time no one really seems to care about all the old architectural heritage from the 19th century when Germans colonialized “Tsingtau”.
4. The good thing is: when I go to the InternChina office, every morning I enjoy this really beautiful view out of my window: The wide blue sea and the memorial of the 4th-May-movement blinking red and excited in the sunshine. On the other hand the Olympic sailing center with all these nice-looking white sailing boats.
Some things hopefully never change.
Thank you, InternChina for three beautiful years with you!
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