Almost all the Industrial production centers have been moved to China in the past decade. China has taken quite a large chunk of world’s job market. Being strong economically day by day, many people are packing their bags to the Communist society led by the Communist Party. There has been a larger group of foreigners heading to China for studies and work especially teaching English which is a big problem to the population. Unlike the Kungfu and the Chinese dishes we watch in the movies, life in China is quite different.
Life in China as a Foreigner
There has been a misconception on how the Chinese people live. Many people never been to China still believe the Chinese are the kind of people who still have Kungfu prowess and eat snails but this has changed over the years with the millennial living normal lives. However, there are some aspects of life that the foreigners need to understand before going to China.Some of these include;
Taking photos of the foreigners
Chinese have a funny way of taking photos of the foreigners especially black folks. They don’t think it is an offense to take photo of you without consent but will do that any time in subways, public buses or when you are just having a walk. Most of them have the excuse of not seeing foreigners before so want to have a kind of archived memory. Having lived in China for sometime now I get this very annoying. For the people ready to move here should be ready for the Chinese locals to want a selfie or just taking your photo without asking. It is pride to take a photo with a foreigner who is reffered to as a “laowai”.
China is well known world wide for being the largest counterfeit market. I have lived in Tianjin Norther City for a long time and have seen the best share of both counterfeit and authentic goods. It is not a big deal having a knock off sold to you half or a dime of the original. Steph Curry himself was taken aback after being given a knockoff to sign by a fan.
My friends could not have meat from a restaurant without carcasses on hanged outside for fear of eating what should not be eaten. There have been cases of eating meat from other sources other than the traditional beef or mutton. Skewers and barbecues are worst affected with this.
Chinese White Man Syndrome
Majority of the Chinese have what I call the White Man Syndrome where any White person is seen to be superior and treated with respect. All jobs especially teaching jobs are always given to the white irregardless of nationality. English native speakers in China means a white man. There are a lot of Black Americans and English people who are denied this opportunity and is given to Russians or Eastern Europeans in the context that they have the color parents want. I have seen companies employing white men to stand in the doors or give speeches posing as huge investors just to attract the Chinese clients in the rural towns. Being white in China means being a demigod.
Black man’s survival
Black people are all perceived to come from Africa a hot and poor place ravaged with war and diseases. Most of the Chinese think that Africa is one country with a lot of wildlife and desert and so is hotter than any other place. Black people are coldly received in many places. It is not unusual to be called, “heiren” which translates to black person. There are times when someone will touch your hair and face to check whether the color is because of dirt or just your normal color. Anyhow major cities do not get this more often with the opening up policy which allowed for a number of black people heading for Guangzhou mostly to do business. Anyhow, it is awkward for the black people in China whatsoever.Black people are however perceived to be great dancers and rappers no matter where you come from and this is always a bigger challenge for the folks with a pair of left limbs. They would expect any black guy to spit some rhymes or come up with some crazy dancing styles. The experience for a black man in China is therefore bitter sweet.
Free drinks in Chinese Clubs
Life in China for a foreigner is usually very enjoyable when it comes to partying in clubs where foreigners are allowed into clubs and given free drinks all night just to bring in the ambience of freshness and partying. You just sit pretty or dance and the drinks will flow all night long. These drinks though come at a price of terrible hangover. The drinks in most cases are diluted by other chemicals. They are popularly known as “jia jiu” or fake liquor.
Anyway life in China might be tough for the foreigners who have just moved there. This is because of certain issues which don’t seem normal for them. Anyway every society has it’s own way of doing things and what seem abnormal to you is very normal for the locals and therefore it is important for everybody planning to move and have some time in China to be ready and respect the way of living of the locals.