In-depth today was amazing. I can say that #teamvuvu learnt a lot more about Chinese people than we thought we already knew. A whole day out of the newsroom did me good. I did not feel the pressure as much as I would if I was stuck behind my computer researching the history. I feel that it is true to personally speak to someone and have them tell you their experience rather than researching it. It just becomes a more personal and memorable interaction.
My day started off early. I decided to go to the new China Mart in Hillfox today to meet one of my sources who agreed to meet me this morning. Our meeting was at nine, however, because he owns his own shop he has a lot of admin to attend to, therefore we started at nine thirty. The language barrier was very much present in our conversation. What was funny though is that the minute I greeted him in Mandarin, he automatically thought I could speak the language fluently and he carried on speaking to him in Mandarin. Once I started to speak English he realised that I was being polite.
The meeting went okay. The little I understood told me that he was a little bit withdrawn maybe because he did not entirely grasp the concept of what I was doing because I could not communicate it effectively due to out language differences. He told me a bit about his family and how they came to South Africa in the 1900’s but he did not want me to take photos, which I can understand. It was a good conversation however I decided that I would find an alternative source to speak to.
Later, I went to Cyrildene again. I went to go take shots of the place and shoot some video which is included above and just to speak to more people if possible. It was nice and not as tough as I thought it would be.
After Cyrildene, we went to Crown Plaza to the China Mall. It was the best time. Being exposed the work and business of the Chinese people was so fascinating. It is true that retail Chinese businesses in South Africa is a booming market and now I see why.
People go to China Mall for bargains, and bargains is just what you get, in everything. You can find Duvets set to dishes to clothing and toys to electricals and appliances. All of this at half and sometimes quarter the price you would pay at other malls.
Even on a Wednesday afternoon the mall is buzzing and people were shopping up a storm. The reality hit when we could not find parking, then we knew this was the place to be. We saw the old part of the mall which has been there for many years and the new part called block D which recently came up. Just by looking around it is evident that the Chinese people in Johannesburg do not sit around and wait for things to happen, they work hard. There was still steps being made and parts of the mall was still in the process of being developed.
It was an eye-opening experience because going this time I did not go as a shopper but rather an academic and the whole experience was different. I also managed to find another family to speak to me, as my plan B which was my main goal for today. Things should come together soon, I hope.
- Chinese action plan one (prelene.wordpress.com)
- Day 1: On your marks, get set, ready, fire, GO! (zinezikababa.wordpress.com)
- In the deep end (thejourneytoadream.wordpress.com)