Every country I have ever lived in is different. Some I like more some I like less. But China I just loved therefore I decided to come back. So what made me fall in love with this country and come back? Today I will talk about things you’ll love about living in China (Beijing, mostly).
This I don’t even have to mention because I guess everyone has more or less similar feeling about Chinese food. It is great!
For me, what is important is not only Chinese food selection but also availability of other cuisines. Beijing / Shanghai can be both seen as foodie paradise. Chinese, Italian, French, Indonesian, Russian etc – you can find it all here for a decent price.
I am not a person who parties much or drinks, but I am addicted to food. I need food discoveries, and Beijing is a place where I can do it.
China has a great history and heritage, therefore, it has plenty of places and areas to show. Even if you just take one city of Beijing, each weekend there is somewhere to go. When I was based in the UAE, I was always upset as I did not have many places to go to apart from malls.
Beijing has a long list of sightseeing – starting from the Great Wall to the Forbidden City, the Lama Temple to the Temple of Heaven. You can do full two weeks of only sightseeing and still not see entire Beijing.
Apart from that you can easily travel to Tianjin, Shanghai, Chengdu etc and see it all. One of the thing on bucket list is to save up a bit to do a month long travel around China, visiting places I want to see (I will share the list one of the coming days). This is currently my dream.
Simplicity of life.
When I am in Moscow (or many other places), I feel like I really need to look good all time. Meaning, to have makeup done, dress up, hills etc. When you live in China, it is considered absolutely normal to rock up to a restaurant wearing jeans for dinner.
Makeup for me now is only part of my uniform for work. When I am off, I don’t have the urge to put it on as here to be natural is normal.
As I work in a luxury hotel, I get to see extremely rich people from China, but by their looks you will never guess. In China as a foreigner the more simple you are the better it is for you.
For everyone who already read my blog before, it is pretty clear that I looooove Mobike. I think so far it is one of the best things that China has. Friendly to use, convenient, cheap and simply entertaining.
I will not write a lot about Mobike in this post as I already have one, which is entire about my experience.
I have never and no where felt as safe as I feel in Beijing. I can go outside in the middle of the night in some sketchy place and not feel frightened at all.
In my previous experiences in Indonesia, Russia, the UAE and even Switzerland you never feel like this. Here in Beijing I can walk at 4am by myself and no one would approach me and no one would even think about doing something bad to me.
Alright, there is still theft, also locals cheat on tourist sometimes, but they will not really hurt you.
Four years ago, we went to visit Sanya. Just before leaving, we have lost a bag, which had passports, wallet, laptop, Ipad, Iphone and other stuff inside. We thought it was gone forever. However, 3 hours later the bag was found. Nothing inside went missing. Not a single kuai (short for RMB/CNY)! Imagine that….
Another great thing for me as a Westerner is massage. It is so accessible and affordable that you can easily do it every week or two weeks.
The massage parlors you can find everywhere. Even if the place does not seem to be trustworthy, it still most likely is good. We usually go to a place, which is just down in the basement of our building and we get incredible massages.
It is not just pleasant but also pretty good for your health and well being. After exercising on a Mobile and sitting in the office, massage during the weekend is a great thing to do to get your body toned for a new week.
Variety of goods.
In Chinese, China is called Zhongguo, which means the Middle Kingdom (Middle Country). If you look at the location of China it is really pretty much in the middle. Many countries surround China – Russia, Korea, Japan, countries of South East Asia. Being located as conveniently as China, the benefit of it is that products come from the neighbors. Groceries, electronics, furniture come from everywhere. You can find anything you want or need, most likely it will not even require that many efforts.
Honestly speaking, I can’t say that Chinese is the most harmonic sounding language but at the same time it is very unusual. When you are in China, even if you don’t really want to learn the language, you don’t have much choice – you will still have to learn a bit to just get around.
The language itself is a huge part of culture, by learning and understanding Chinese you might understand a bit of Chinese logic, which can be useful for working in China or with people from this country.
Additional benefit! If you learn up to around 10 characters, imagine how impressed everyone is going to be, when you show it. I learnt Chinese before focusing a lot on characters. This year, I as it takes a lot of time, I decided to focus on speaking and listening, but learning writing by myself to still be able to read.
Every time I manage to read something or write everyone in my office or around me goes “Wow”. So I believe that Chinese is something really cool to do when you are in China.
Willingness to help.
People in China are still quite friendly towards foreigners. If you are trying to say couple of words in Chinese and ask for help, they will really try to do the best that they can.
I had to register in a police station and no one told me I needed to bring copies of passport and visa. I did not know where to do it fast. So I just went around looking for a place. I just randomly walked in into a real estate agency and asked. They were so charmed by the fact that a foreigner showed up in their office asking them for help that they did it and did not charge me (unlike many other countries).
When you ask for a direction, they will also try to help. When you get sick, they will give everything that might help to you to make you feel better.
It is impressive how special you feel here.
Lifestyle and Family Culture.
Family in China is very important, just like in my culture. I like seeing the respect that people here give to older generations. Visiting them, bringing them out to eat is a huge part of leisure. Fin my opinion, it is a much better way to spend your time rather than drinking.
Food cult is also quite large in China, it is very common to just introduce something and a really fast response. Therefore, there is much to learn in China in terms of food trends. For me as a person who closely works with food and restaurants, it is a great knowledge development.
These were my reasons to come back to China in a search of a better life. I love this characteristics and details in China as they make my life here enjoyable. How do you see China? And what do you like about this place?