How is life in China?

How is life in China? Part 1 of 3.

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How is life in China? Ehh, that’s a loaded question. Whenever someone asks me this question, I am not sure how to respond. China as a country is one of the largest in terms of mass and land space. lol, so with that perspective being out there you still want to know the answer to that question right?

For this blog entry, I will describe three aspects about living in China that I like. In part 2, I will share 3 aspects of Chinese culture I dislike. And in part 3, I’ll describe 2 random unique features of Chinese culture/ mentality that many foreigners do not know unless you know actual Chinese people/ have traveled to China. There are obviously way more than 3 aspects to all of these however for brevity 3 is okay. I’ll create more posts about China, don’t worry!

Let’s get to it folks! Part 1 of “How is life in China“?

Being a tourist

3 aspects of Chinese culture I like:

  1. The first aspect of Chinese culture I appreciate and respect is how much love and respect many Chinese people have for obtaining education and for taking care of their family.

Being raised in the US and having friends from various cultures has allowed me to compare and contrast a vast array of different societal norms, familial norms and so on. I am grateful for having this broad perspective to incorporate into my life. It’s a huge privilege!

For me, living life should be a simple process, where you have supportive people around you such as a loving family, some good mentors, faith/ a belief in a higher power to keep you focused as you navigate and try to survive the game of life. It’s unfortunate though that many people have never experienced love or support from people within their families and or they also do not find being educated important for themselves or for their children. Let’s be clear, we cannot control where we come from or the families/ circumstances we are born into however, WE ARE in control of what we do with the circumstances we choose to take in life.

To expand on this, I’ve seen 3-5 year old children sit with the sternness and focus of a 40 year old adult so they could learn to comprehend the English language! I’ve never seen this is in the US! A loving family is the first social group for most people, that’s where they are supposed to learn morals, love, respect, how to communicate, proper behaviors and beliefs…it’s sad that some folks come from dysfunctional families so they might not learn any of those vital life survival skills.

I’ve been able to make a descent living, to save, to invest, and to travel throughout South Asia (i.e. South Korea & Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan) and to the Benin (West Africa) without breaking my bank by teaching English in China. The cost of living in Beijing is significantly lower than most major cities throughout the US, Canada, and other developed economies however, the fees to live in Beijing has steadily been increasing.

Random strangers approached me to take a pic

2. The second aspect of Chinese culture I appreciate and respect is how convenient life is in Beijing. I cannot speak on the behalf of every city or rural town across China, and I will not attempt to do so! I am a city girl and usually reside in major cities because of the accessibility and diversity many of them offer. What do I mean about life is convenient in Beijing? It’s convenient in the sense that if you come from a developed country like Canada and you have common sense you shouldn’t struggle too much if and when you relocate to Beijing because you would have hopefully learned how to adapt and sustain yourself independently.

Everything here is super affordable because China is still considered a “developing economy”.

Check this out: “China: Family of four estimated monthly costs are 2,316$ (15,147¥) without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 632$ (4,134¥) without rent.”- Numbeo statistics from March 2021.

How much money do I spend daily? Hmm, 0-$5, but I am quiet frugal, I am naturally a saver. But still that $5 worth of Renminbi can buy you everything from paying your cellphone bill for a month including data & WiFi, it could also get you a Subway foot long meal, it could buy you a couple bags of snacks, or several liters of gasoline…

Let’s look at the common sense part right quick! I’ve unfortunately have come across foreigners who lack common sense/experience/maturity and they wind up struggling to live in China. -___- These people are in debt, they cannot adequately manage their spending, they have addictions (i.e. alcohol) or are weak willed. You name it, I’m certain I’ve seen a stereotypical privileged American, British, French expat who lacks basic common sense and is living in China. Enough about that though.

3. The third aspect of Chinese culture I appreciate and respect is how efficient their infrastructure and transportation systems are.

I’ve been living in China for a little over 3 years and I have only experienced a delayed train once! In contrast to the dozens of times a train was delayed or didn’t arrive at all when I lived in New York! -__-

China has been making great strides developmentally for over 40 years, they’ve been making more international allies, obtaining more power through the passing and collaboration for vital international trade policies amongst the use of other tactics. Their government has also invested and actively invest into their economy to help alleviate poverty, improve the standards of living, improvements to Health & education while also reigning as a Chinese economic super power.

On the daily, I ride the subway to and from work for the equivalent of $1 each way. The subways are clean, comfortable, safe and are usually quiet because the riders are playing on their phones and tending to their own affairs.

I can’t emphasize how critical those points are for me lol! There is nothing more annoying then to be attempting to meditate/reading a book on the subway ride and a homeless / beggar boards and begins demanding people to give them money as is the case in New York- no shade- I’ve experienced this too many counts too when I lived there. It is always uncomfortable and anxiety inducing.

And there you have it, 3 aspects of Chinese culture I like.

What are your thoughts?

Have you visited China?

Beijing travels!