Do you want to move for work or studies to China and want to know what living in China feels like?
I will tell you in a minute.
But prior please sit back and think about your prejudices about China and what you guess it might be living there.
Done? Please let me know what you came up with in the comment section!
And now let’s start with the article:
Living in China for me always feels like a rush. I constantly feel there is something I can do, something I should see, somewhere I have to travel, foods I should try, people I should meet and work that has to be done. China is fast, innovative and never sleeps.
Prior coming to China in 2014 I never made any thoughts about China. I knew there is the Great Wall and I knew the Chinese restaurants I visited occasionally (not knowing they don’t serve real Chinese food). But I never thought about some thousand kilometers east from Germany is a whole different world just waiting to spread all over the world. My first 2 weeks at XiHua University in Chengdu Sichuan completely blew me away. I came back to Germany and felt I have to orientate myself to China. Then in 2017 I lived and worked in Beijing at the Chinese branch of my corporation. Everyday I took the MRT to work for 90 minutes and in the evening back for 90 minutes. But not a single train ride felt long or boring. In the evening I usually walked around my neighborhood and ate some street food or inside small restaurants and drank a beer. I tried to chat with people as much as I could to improve my Chinese as soon as I could.
On my weekends I tend to travel within China and visit friends I knew from earlier trips or went to cities by myself and made new contacts and friends doing so. From my home base in Beijing I went to Dalian, Shanghai, Xi’An and Tianjin. On my earlier trips I visited Sanya, Chengdu, Zhangjiajie, Leshan, Xichang and many more. Every Chinese city I been to has its own vibe and feels different. They sound of mandarin varies all the time and even if you can find a lot of dishes everywhere, the smells and visuals of the food slightly vary everywhere as well. But what always stays the same: The rush! The feeling that you have to go out and explore as much as you can. It motivates me so much to learn everyday a lot of new things such as signs, words, cultural aspects, neighborhoods, foods, people and so on that I usually leave the house around 07:30 and come back between 21:00-23:00 in the evening.
To be clear: For me working does everywhere feel the same, and I imagine a lot of people feel the same. It is not a big difference if the desk is located in Germany, France, USA, South Africa, Beijing or Shanghai. You have to contribute your skills and knowledge to your employer or customers and manage deadlines. It’s everywhere the same. But if you enjoy working, you can enjoy it everywhere as well. In China for me the work environment at office felt very concentrated and dutiful. Work started a 09:00 and until the one hour break at 12:00 everyone work without a time-out or chatting with coworker. At 13:00 until 18:00 back to strict work. This impressed me a lot. Because when you think most of offices are run like these you can imagine how much work all these people can handle in a single day, week, month and year.
To answer your question short: Living in China is awesome!
As already mentioned there is always something to do and you can learn and grow everyday. If you like to explore: go to China! But make sure to check out China prior committing yourself to relocate asap. Because living in China is the ones dream and the other ones nightmare.