Here are Pros and Cons of living in china from my perspective as in any country you are none native After a One-year break from living in China,
I returned to UK via a short stay in Kyiv, an important family reunion also followed this in USA. Then onward to the UK, it was my final destination. I came to an agreement with myself to re-calibrate plans and set a new direction with specific life goals!
This turned out more of a surprise to me, as I had not envisaged a return to China in the foreseeable future. So bidding farewell to friends and business acquaintances in Shenzhen and Closing My we-chat group, I boarded a plane and headed to first visit a good friend in Kyiv before traveling to meet the family in the US a little later.
My long awaited and promised to family was good and reconnected all i hadn’t seen in over 10 years, so this three-month stay on an [ESTA electronically issued Visa] for the USA and finally returning to UK to complete my long-term plans and goals were going as planned?
Weeks later I began to settle into the calm and sedate lifestyle, talking to new friends visiting some apartments and reconnecting with acquaintances. However, in the back of my mind i felt restlessness rising and gave it no real thought, then daily routines kicked in, i was seeing a familiar pattern looming, not satisfied or even intrigued, an unusual sense of not belonging appeared and distracting my thoughts, it was clear nothing fresh was there, even the Brexit mess was affecting people in conversations i held, UK was not for me now! now crucial assessment is needed
I listed PROS AND CONS on a sheet of paper, helping me to realize the reality of choices, anticipation of travel, Asia came up trumps, my interest and passion once again Peaked, this is what I wanted and needed to do. The constant changes and multifaceted interaction was like a drug, new faces and situations, opportunities, cuisine and culture drew me like a magnet and I couldn’t remain in UK
The uncertainties and unknown was always an attraction to my character, Making it a clear decision China has better aspirations and benefits to my long-term plan, UK and USA did not!. So… Decisions made to sell off my Car, move out of the apartment, complete everything in UK.
Arriving in Hong Kong at midnight did nothing to dampen the excitement or spirits, even taking a Three shared limo to cross the Mainland border was smooth and without a hitch it was a very pleasant trip, better than I had experienced in the past. I was now back and looking forward to getting ”stuck-in” and all it entailed.
The season of selective foods for the Dragon Boat Festival, Zongzi (glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves and stuffed with different fillings) is filled with a variety of fillings for northern and southern China people. In the north, it is filled mostly with the date, whereas in the south it’s bean – paste, meat, egg yolk or ham. The Zongzi from Jiaxing of Zhejiang is the most famous one in China.
This significant holiday period had completely slipped my mind, when almost everyone is relaxing at home and businesses were in the majority closed, other than the banks and telephone services shops, I found opened at least for half days. On arrival, I found my Chinese mobile card suddenly ceased to work, [though strangely enough was working receiving texts in the US and UK ]
My Bank Of China Debit card AKA [Zhong guo ying hang] also stopped working, humm, welcome to china I thought with a smile. Expecting an elongated process for remedying these issues with passport and documents, I set myself the whole day aside to resolve them.
Bank of China is one of the four biggest state-owned commercial banks in China. Bank of China is legally separate from its subsidiary Bank of China
The Bank was my first port of call and what a great surprise to find English-speaking customer service ready to assist as I walked in the door; I explained my problem and taken immediately to a new service machine I never seen before, this was an authenticating and id checking computer that worked like a dream, all in Chinese [which I can’t read] but shown every step on what to do. after a 10min I was up and running card usable and could use my we-chat again to pay and transfer as normal. yippieeee!! Mobile shop CHINA UNICOM
Chinese State-Owned Telecommunications Operator
China United Network Communications Group Co., Ltd. or China Unicom is a Chinese state-owned telecommunications operator of China.
Located everywhere in big and small shops, so selecting one was easy, I approach guys as they are more tech savvy.
After explaining the problem, I couldn’t receive calls or text and having an error displayed on my we-chat and internet settings, The shop assistant was happy to jump to the task and even converse in English, though I was trying to do the same in Chinese, however I decided it was best to let him engage and practice his English skill.
After a few minutes, the conclusion was I was out of the country too long; the contract had expired and even though I was receiving texts abroad; it was in fact dormant; he showed me the computer as he explained; I needed a new sim card and number [one I can select from hundreds]
The minimum cost for a card and credit was 200 yuan [rmb] total, approximately £22, I made a joke saying it was expensive; he laughed and continued, preparing the phone and card, So you have an idea and a matter of interest, the credit of 100 rmb would last me well over 2 months if used conservatively, not downloading videos and so forth. So with all this resolved I was a happy man and operational to continue with my other more important daily plans. The holiday was a holiday for me too, settling down with a coffee and some ice cream, perfect!
CONS LIVING IN CHINA
- LEARN CHINESE: Don’t allow yourself to live in the foreigner bubble areas, so it’s important to get your head around some basic ground level Chinese. Many Chinese you meet daily may speak very little English or shy to expose their weakness in communication, only the younger generation show the capacity and interest to interact with foreigners, I have friends that lived 10 years + and still cant speak more than a few simple sentences.
2. Dealing With Visas: A stressful period for renewing visas. Some countries are providing 10 year business visa’s yet travel and other types are constantly on the change with updates to the immigration policy, a “ranking” of foreigner quality in China, creating more fear and unknown future for expats and longer term visitor living and traveling to China
3. Internet Access to International Sites: The Chinese government are rigid and applying new technologies to keep things contained so VPN’s are constantly on the run to stay ahead of the GREAT WALL security firewall, as we are aware sites like blocked Facebook, Twitter, you-tube, and others are being impeded, and restricted by constant monitoring vigorously
The rationale I can make from returning to China earlier than I ever imagined is primarily then possibilities, the culture and varied people, a language I appreciate better, the proximity to other pan Asia countries like Philippine, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and more.
I also found I miss the range of cuisine, hot, sweet, soups. To travel around this huge country, and see cultural marvels from Ming, Tong, Qing, Han and other dynasty is Marvelous and can take years! Values differ from western life and standards, but what exactly is that, and is it safe or worth what they did before? Perhaps we have already made sacrifices in our countries but don’t see options?
- What did you think of this Post?
- Was it of particular interest to you?
- Would you consider learning Mandarin?
- Is China worth a visit?
It would also be great to hear from you on ideas or questions you have
Drop me a short line below don’t be a stranger