Our trip to Shanghai: Football and Taxi drivers

Football and taxis are a great way to practice speaking in chinese in Shanghai.

The day we arrived in Shanghai Spain was playing the final of the Euro 2012 against Italy. By then, I was already over France's defeat to Spain 2-0 in quarter finals. Spain won, and Shanghai sport apparel stores were displaying prominently the Spanish team's colors.

Spain's victory turned out to be also a great way to break the ice and practice our Chinese with taxi drivers in Shanghai. Taxis are affordable in Shanghai, it was our main way around the city. Shanghai taxi drivers are polite, patient and helpful, especially when we gave them directions making mistakes in the pronunciation and tones.

As soon as taxi drivers heard that Cristina was from Spain, a big smile lit up their face to congratulate the Spanish team on their perfomance. We were able to talk about Spanish players, the local soccer team Shanghai Shenhua, the poor state of the French team, etc.

We all know that football is really a global sport, and helps you connect with people around the world, wether they work in a factory or are CEO. What we learned in Shanghai is that football is also a great way to practice speaking chinese with taxi drivers.