Whats it Like Living in China

It appears that you've finally made up your mind to relocate to the Middle Kingdom. Living in China as an expat can be a life-changing experience, whether you're there for work or school. You can make your own experiences in China. It has both advantages and disadvantages. We've put together a list of things you might want to know before you move to a new place.

Also, keep in mind that my observations are not always those of all foreigners in China.

Expat Life in China: The Food

Eating out is quite inexpensive in China, at least compared to most Western nations. When it comes to consuming local cuisine, this is especially true.

During my time in China, I've come across a few notable chain restaurants. Fujian province's Shaxian snacks (shaxian xiaochi) sells cheap Chinese staples including fried rice, fried noodles, and dumplings for as low as 8 RMB (1.10 USD) (4.30 USD). Hand-pulled noodle meals abound in Lanzhou lamian (Lanzhou lamian) in China's western Gansu region. There are usually no more than 30 to 35 RMB for a dish (4.30-5 USD). If you're on a tight budget, either of these restaurants is a great bet.

You'll be able to locate Western cuisine in most first, second, and even third-tier cities. You'll be able to find burger establishments, pizza parlors, salad bars, and more, where you'll likely run across other expats. It's important to keep in mind that these locations will cost a bit extra money. If you're on a tight budget, this may be a fun indulgence every now and again.

Expat Culture in China: How to Act Properly

All the Chinese clichés you've ever heard about are going to be unleashed upon you! When it comes to proper social behavior, China is no different from any other country. Some individuals have a good sense of etiquette. Some people are downright nasty. Some social customs are completely comprehensible. Others may take some time to adapt to. During my time in China, I've observed a few things.

When there is a specific location where people are expected to wait in line, such as at the railway station ticket counter, I've seen that this is the case. In other situations, such as when you're waiting in line at the grocery store to get your food weighed, it's a free for all. You'll need a lot of it on certain days.

removing your shoes in a private residence: When you enter the building, you may be required to put on a pair of slippers. You can't imagine walking around the home in your socks!

Chopsticks in rice is a unique Chinese culinary tradition. Make sure you don't stick your chopsticks vertically into the rice as you're eating it. People in China pay homage to their ancestors this way. It's a grim reminder of the end of life. It's not a good subject to bring up during dinner.

Offering to pay for meals: Rather than dividing the cost as many Westerners would, group eaters in China prefer to have a single individual offer to cover the full price. So, as an expat, don't be shocked if someone offers to pay for your meal.

When it comes to social etiquette, it's all about trial and error. In order to adapt to China's multiplicity of unwritten norms, all you have to do is be patient and open-minded!

Working in China as an Expat: A Different Workplace Culture If you're an expat working in China, you'll notice that the workplace is very different from the one back home.

Let us begin with something good. You may be able to receive a greater income and other perks as an expat. In order to entice international talent to China, companies are using financial incentives to do so. Because you're from another country, your coworkers may be more accepting of you.

Then there's the flipside. Employees in certain businesses may be required to work long hours on a regular basis with little or no time off for vacation. Many Chinese individuals now use the phrase "9-9-6" on a regular basis. Six days a week, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., is considered standard business hours.

As an expat, your schedule will probably not be as hectic as it would be if you were a local. However, you should still be prepared to work a little extra from time to time. Here, I'd like to offer two bits of advise. Verify with your employer that the terms of your contract regarding overtime are understood. Be courteous but straightforward if you are unexpectedly instructed to work overtime after you have made arrangements and are not working extra on the day you were informed.

It's possible that your supervisor wants to get to know you better outside of the workplace. Guanxi is the Chinese word for "friendship," and this will help them form one with you. If your employer wants to take you out to dinner, don't be startled. Even if there is alcohol involved, don't be shocked!

Working in China as an expat has been one of the most challenging aspects of my experience here. After almost five years, I'm still surprised by certain things. Workplace culture in China, like many other aspects of Chinese life, may take some time to grasp, but perseverance and an open mind will get you there.

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