Don’t get me wrong China is a great place to live. It isn’t anything like you’d imagine. In fact, it’s like living in any other big city besides everything being in Chinese. I really like living in China. Of course, I have those days where “I hate China” but truthfully I like life in China. China is a communist country and they monitor the internet, so I have to use a VPN to use Facebook and gmail. I work for the government, teaching Flight Attendants or Cabin Crew. I love my students and I love Jared, my fellow CIEE. We were lucky enough to be placed together. I like my salary. I get paid well for what I actually do. I like how cheap everything is. So I don’t have to spend a lot of my monthly paycheck because it is so cheap here. Food is super cheap, taxi’s are cheap, and my work pays for my apartment and my lunch every day so I have it pretty good. I don’t need much money to survive here so I’m saving as much as I can. I've saved a good amount of money too. Hope this help describe life in China and things to be prepared for. I wish I'd had something to help me when I came because I had no idea what to expect. I half expected to be living in the slums. CIEE takes care of us and honestly our jobs take care of us too. There may be issues but at the end of the day they want you to be happy here in China and you are valuable to them.
1. Everything is so cheap. Seriously, especially food. If I don't travel anywhere I can save most of my paycheck each month.
2. Life is like anything other city, besides the Chinese. True fact. You can get by with no Chinese but you should learn AS MUCH AS YOU CAN before coming. It helps trust me.
3. There are so many places to travel to... Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guilin, Chengdu, Xi'an, Zhangjiajie, Jiuzhaigou, Tibet, the list goes on.
4. Chinese people are so friendly and welcoming to foreigners... be prepared to get a lot of gifts and to have people pay for a lot of things. But make sure to bring gifts when you come and you can always treat them to a movie or dinner for being so nice.
5. Learning Chinese... It is so helpful in today's world and it actually isn't that hard to learn. Once you know the sounds and pronunciation, all you need is the tones and grammar. The grammar is pretty simple, nothing like English.
6. Cutest little kids on the planet... Where did these kids come from? So cute.
7. My students.. They are awesome! They are my friends really. Many of them are older than me and they can all speak Englsih fluently.
8. All the friends I’ve made… Jared especially, idk what I’d do without you man. But also my orientation roomie Jenny, my gym buddy Kristin, crazy Derrick, Eric in the countryside, Marilyn and Trisha too!
9. There are Wal-marts, Metro’s, Ole's and Carrefours to buy all kinds of foreign foods like cereal, coffee, cheese, peanut butter, bacon, hamburger, etc
10. I’m lovin the veggies and the spicy food... The food here is spicy but now it just means flavor and nothing is super spicy anymore. I don't know what I'm gonna do without the spice in my life!
1. Summer is H-O-T with a double T and HUMID to the double D... Try not to be here for it. 120F and humid. It's quite awful but they have AC every where and it does cool off some at night. Sooo it is bearable even though you maynot want to.
2. Chinese tones are hard to learn and it's hard to learn Chinese when you teach English for a living, because everyone expects you not to be able to speak Chinese and they want to practice their English.
3. People spitting everywhere… all day every day. It is a daily oocurance by all types of people. It's gross but whatcha gonna do, some people go with the motto "do as the Chinese do"
4. Seeing little kids butts all the time/ seeing them go to the bathroom on the street. This is kind of funny now but it is really strange. Never sit on the street, see my owling post. There is a reason people owl here folks.
5. Everything is last minute AKA work Chinese people just don't give you a heads up, they tell you when its happening or about to happen.
6. Ehhh work... Didn't I come here to travel? Well, yes but I need money so Hooray for a job that gives me money and isn't all that hard.
7. The smog… where is the sun? It's bad on some days but a lot of the time its not that bad. It isn't normally clear skies and sunny but being summer, you DO NOT WANT THAT!
8. Was that a cockroach? Crapppppp! Yess this is a hot and humid climate so of course there are many types of bugs. Try to keep everything clean and maybe go to Wal-Mart and grab some containers to put your dry goods in.
9. China is hugeee….Not enough time to go everywhere. That is a fact. And do not travel in summer. It is more expensive and its hot. Save travel for the rest of the year. Trains are not that bad and are pretty cheap!
10. Why is everything an organ or body part when you go out to eat with Chinese people? If you are adventurous this is not a problem but for me, I cant eat a pig face or intenstines.
11. I have to boil all my water, or I just buy the giant jugs so I can drink cold water.