Expats come to Shanghai for different reasons. Some arrive to conduct business, some come to study, some come for a vacation, others come with their wives or husbands. Many come with a dream, to discover, and to experience what it means to live in a totally different land. People are always coming and going, blending in with the rest of the crowd during the morning rush hours. When scrambling through the ocean of people en route to the next destination, wherever that may be, it can be difficult to step back and enjoy the precious time that we have.
We don't always have time to get to know one another; we don't always have time to call home; we don't always have time to go out with friends; and we certainly don't always have time to watch the wind blow by.
Part of the reason that we don't always have time for things like this is because most people understand that life is short. There are too many things to do; 25 hours worth of things in a 24-hour day, so people tend to be prudent when it comes to their time. But some people are different. Some people give more time than they take for themselves. An hour for someone else, here and there.
As expats, we've relied on the advice and experience of fellow expats to help cope with daily life in Shanghai. Regardless of the reason you are here, there was surely a time when you had more questions than answers, and needed someone to help. There is also a good chance that you found answers through Guytais, as this has been a valuable resource for a number of individuals who have come and gone.
The idea of bringing together a community is what has made Guytais successful. It also took a lot of time, hard work, and kindness from people who spent their time on our site giving advice to people they've never met. People learn about fun things to do in Shanghai, find out about where to find support, and find friends who are like them because they are in this together. As a result of this community, many people have come to Shanghai and left with great memories. Without a doubt, there is no greater virtue than kindness towards others.
In a city as big as Shanghai, it can be difficult to appreciate the subtle things that make life special. But even more difficult is to remember that these subtleties are all around us – we bump into them on the way to work, we sit next to them on the subway. Although it's hard to notice during life's hustle and bustle, the truth is that people are what make life sweet.