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I went to live in China... ask me anything!

Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.

Moderators: jamesbond, fschmidt

Postby xiongmao » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:48 pm

Yeah, you're welcome!

Anyone else who is undecided about coming to China, well maybe this glorious sight will make up your mind:

Image

The weather was great today - not too hot, and the sun came out.

I walked down Guangzhou's second most popular fashion street, through the pet markets, the Chinese medicine market and down to Shamian Island.

Not a single foreigner was sighted till I got to Shamian. So I had all the weird sights to myself. Today there were such delights as bizarre feral cat being beaten by a China man, another crazy Chinese guy trying to show me something in a tree, bizarre guy on metro giving me his business card, clever goldfish in the pet market who could jump from bowl to bowl and of course the general chaos that is China.

I saw 2 Chinese brides getting their photos taken. They were two of the most beautiful girls I've ever seen in my life.

Oh, and I saw a white woman with a Chinese bf. That's a very unusual sight, and worth 1000 points in my spotter's guide.

No news about my date last night, but there's no shortage of women here!

I'm trying to grow my social network a bit. The Uni opens for real on Monday, so it will be easier then.

Come here, guys, this place is incredible!
In February 2013 I quit my boring job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
Do YOU want to date beautiful foreign women? Find out which country's women are best for you, and which dating site to look for them on!
Plus, if you like Asian girls, then check out my free Asian dating site.
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Postby Jester » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:34 pm

xiongmao wrote:
Come here, guys, this place is incredible!


Now THIS is what we come to HA for!
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Postby xiongmao » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:44 pm

Well today was truly weird - we had an earthquake! Only 4.8, so not big, but 3 houses fell over apparently. It rattled its way all the way to Hong Kong.

The metro was heaving tonight. Don't come to China if you don't like crowds.

I've started to touch base with the expat population. There are loads here, but foreigners are still a very rare sight out on the streets. Apparently it is very hard to get a work visa for China, unless you want to teach English.
In February 2013 I quit my boring job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
Do YOU want to date beautiful foreign women? Find out which country's women are best for you, and which dating site to look for them on!
Plus, if you like Asian girls, then check out my free Asian dating site.
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Postby Jacaré » Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:56 am

Awesome stuff XM! Indeed Guangzhou is a great place to come, not only for the women but also for the lifestyle, as things are so much cheaper compared to say North America or Europe but also for opportunities. I was blown away when I was there in September and my mind has been made to return there in the fall and live there. As China is the place to be and Guangzhou is the place in China to be. So don't be shy guys, come take a look and you will find a totally new world, the wild wild east. You will feel the same that the people in the New World must have felt at the turn of the 19th century.

Jester wrote:
xiongmao wrote:Getting a legal job here is nearly impossible unless you have a skill that the locals don't, or you have good connections. Hence native English speakers can get work permits to teach English. However, you can start your own business.
I heard that the authorities were now approaching entrepreneurs in China, previously unregistered, and requiring them to pay a $13,000 fee. True?


Where did you hear that Jester? That'd be crazy! XM? What are you hearing from the ground on this?

Magnum, get your ass to Guangzhou asap man! That's where it's at!
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Postby magnum » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:50 am

If japan is a bust, I'll take my remaining funds with me back to china and you bet your ass I"m hitting guangzhou!


More homework will need to be done, but I want to go to a city where the females out number the males, so not only will I have the benefit from being a in shape white guy, I'll be one of the few men running around.
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Postby xiongmao » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:46 am

OK I found an apartment today. Basic cost is 1200RMB a month excluding bills (internet, water, garbage disposal). The bills are basically loose change for a Western guy.

It's in a student apartment. The apartments are quite basic, but they are nice and clean. I guess you'd call them studio flats in the UK. Mine is quite big (others were just 700) but to give you an idea of size there are currently 3 students from Laos sharing it!

Apartments are very hard to find if you don't speak Chinese. I'm glad I have a Chinese assistant (one of my ex's), and today it is Lantern Festival day so I gave her a red envelope of cash for her troubles. Also I took her to lunch in a restaurant that served her native Hunan Province cooking. That stuff is the hottest stuff ever! Nice though.

And I'm a heap of trouble here without being able to read much. Why I couldn't even buy shampoo (the stuff I bought was some sort of conditioner for dyed hair!).

More successfully, I did buy some red envelopes by myself!

What else? Well it got hot today and there are some smoking hot girls walking around.

The word I heard from expats is that it's hard to come here and get an everyday type of job (e.g. do the same as what you do back home). Like it's probably hard for me to find an IT job. Actually it's easy to find the job, but the paperwork to get the visa is the hard part.

So unless you can find a company to sponsor you, better choices are studying or teaching English.

My University is expensive (17200 RMB/year) and you have to pay for a medical (500) and wifi (~280/year). However, food is very cheap on campus. It appears a plate of sandwiches is 4.5RMB, I forget the other prices.

Oh, and if you're a younger guy, most of the students here are female. This ratio depends what the Uni teaches. Just bear in mind that they study really hard here, I don't know if they have time for boyfriends lol.

As for location, I'm about 15 minutes walk from the nearest metro station. The line here goes to Guangzhou's main station, Gongyuanqian (main shopping streets), Haizu Square (good places to see import/export stuff). Plus if I backtrack up to the junction with the airport line then I am 20 mins from the World's 19th busiest airport, and it's another 20 mins into Tianhe. Now I made 15 metro/bus journeys a month each journey is 40% cheaper than the standard price (so I'm paying like 2RMB a go - loose change in the UK).
In February 2013 I quit my boring job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
Do YOU want to date beautiful foreign women? Find out which country's women are best for you, and which dating site to look for them on!
Plus, if you like Asian girls, then check out my free Asian dating site.
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Postby Jester » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:40 am

Jacaré wrote:
Jester wrote:I heard that the authorities were now approaching entrepreneurs in China, previously unregistered, and requiring them to pay a $13,000 fee. True?


Where did you hear that Jester? That'd be crazy! XM? What are you hearing from the ground on this?



Excusez-moi pour ma faute, mon ami, mais je ne me souviens. I don't remember where I heard it, but I believe it was a relatively reliable source, most likely a mainstream expat forum (not a dating or alternative politics site etc.). I feel certain the poster was truthful insofar as he knew. The questions I have are:

(1) Does this apply to online warriors and/or to local freelancers, or just to local brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs with a visible, physical, commercial presence?

(2) Is this being enforced everywhere in China or is it perhaps some official edict which does not permeate the entire country?

Perhaps XiongMai will leave off the college girls long enough to inquire and enlighten us.
;)
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Postby xiongmao » Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:41 pm

I never heard this before. But just bear in mind there's no visa for "making a bit of money online" - maybe they're confused with the new types of visa for rich dudes who want to come and live here. Like other countries, China will fast track residency permits for rich people and highly sought after people (e.g. academics at associate professorship level).

One possibility is that this fee is for forming a company in China. The fee you quote sounds about right. Maybe some authority wants them to incorporate so it can tax them appropriately?

I'm not worried about this because my status is "student". I'm wary of doing business here, because if you have a business dispute in China the authorities can confiscate your passport. Risky!

Anyone who is of retirement age can just show their pension income, although it's not really possible to get residency here unless you have a Chinese wife or have some Chinese roots.

In all honesty it's easier to live in Thailand or the Phillies. Only come here if you think Chinese women are the hottest imaginable.

As for the college girls, yeah, they seem to be mostly girls! Maybe no boys study here. Well it is a language University, and the boys are probably at other places studying engineering or something. Guangzhou has a whole island just for Universities.

Well the students are a bit young for me, but I've seen one or two moms in the supermarket buying essentials for their kids - Chinese moms are the best!
In February 2013 I quit my boring job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
Do YOU want to date beautiful foreign women? Find out which country's women are best for you, and which dating site to look for them on!
Plus, if you like Asian girls, then check out my free Asian dating site.
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Postby xiongmao » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:34 am

OK my classes start tomorrow. I don't know my class yet, I only just paid the place :). It seems there are a maximum of 20 people per Chinese class.

I bought my textbooks. 206RMB. Expensive but I got 6 books and 4 CD's for that.

It's a little chaotic here but everything will come good. That's very much the Chinese way.

What I have established is that there are 8 levels of Chinese class here, so I can pretty much stay here and move up the levels at my own pace. Also there are a few optional classes like calligraphy, Cantonese etc. etc.

As far as ladies go, I don't think my date last week liked me. Again, Chinese ladies like really confident guys. Well it's hard to appear confident when you get handed a restaurant food menu and you don't want to eat a single darned thing on the menu. I'm really not a fan of Cantonese food.

However, she was pretty hot and also I was stretching the age limit to the max. Also I didn't like her enough and that's always pretty obvious to a girl. I'll gladly introduce her to other guys though.

Chinese people are very community minded. A good way of meeting nice ladies is probably to live in the same neighborhood and get to know the locals. Well I'm in the right place for this - this neighborhood is great and I'm getting to know a few of the store owners.

I took a couple more photos around the working class neighborhood that's between my hotel and McDonalds. This place really is a photographer's paradise, but you need a bit of confidence to walk around some rough looking areas.
In February 2013 I quit my boring job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
Do YOU want to date beautiful foreign women? Find out which country's women are best for you, and which dating site to look for them on!
Plus, if you like Asian girls, then check out my free Asian dating site.
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Postby Jester » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:08 am

xiongmao wrote:
One possibility is that this fee is for forming a company in China. The fee you quote sounds about right.
Maybe some authority wants them to incorporate so it can tax them appropriately?

I'm not worried about this because my status is "student". I'm wary of doing business here, because if you have a business dispute in China the authorities can confiscate your passport. Risky!

Anyone who is of retirement age can just show their pension income, although it's not really possible to get residency here unless you have a Chinese wife or have some Chinese roots.

In all honesty it's easier to live in Thailand or the Phillies. Only come here if you think Chinese women are the hottest imaginable.




It must have been the company formation fee.
Good info, thanks.
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Postby odbo » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:13 am

I need to go to China and start cock-blocking like crazy, preventing scumbags from the west from perverting Chinese women. Most of the males on this forum are pathetic and make me sick to my stomach, especially when I realize they are 30-60 years old and have the thought patterns of some douchebags in high school. Real men are an endangered species.

http://www.chinasmack.com/2013/stories/ ... n-men.html
The laowai who come to fool around in China can all be described with one word, “shrewdâ€￾. But the laowai who come to China, some are losers, which is to say they have no job, no house, not even a car, or even in debt in their own countries.

http://www.chinasmack.com/2013/stories/ ... n-men.html
http://www.chinasmack.com/2013/stories/ ... marry.html
http://www.chinasmack.com/2010/stories/ ... gners.html
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Postby xiongmao » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:47 pm

Lol. I read that "differences" article, some of it was true, most of it was way wide of the mark.

However, on the whole, Western people ARE streetwise, and they're much less NAIVE than Chinese. And it's also gigantically hard to do stuff here if you don't understand Chinese. You need to be pretty darned smart to live in a place where it's difficult to even go shopping for a bottle of shampoo.

The majority of Western foreigners here are white collar guys or students. Whatever, they make up such an insignificant percentage of the population that it's hard to know why Chinese guys get worried about them. I've just been on the metro, down Beijing Lu, along the river, back up on the metro. Number of Western men seen: 3. Number of Asians, I guess 30,000 odd.

How can Chinese people write much about foreigners anyway - most of them have never spoken to one.

But guys - come here and see the place for yourselves.

Anyway, I got some good information today. While it's not too hard to get an education visa here, don't think it's an easy option. Attendance is monitored strictly - 3 strikes and you're out. Also they don't permit you to go on vacation during term time. So don't think about enrolling at University then spent the term travelling around other cities.

So if you come here to study, you're pretty much stuck in the city you choose. So choose wisely.

The good news is that it seems I'll have free Friday afternoons and Monday mornings, so I might be able to fit in a few long weekends elsewhere. Maybe I'll get a cheap flight to Manila and go see Winston!

I've signed up to do an extra course - intercultural communication. If they run it then it'll be really useful.

The foreigners here are from a wide range of countries. I guess they're divided into exchange students (often young Americans), fortune seekers (mainly from the Middle East), Asians seeking affordable education (mainly Thais and Koreans), and oddballs (like me!).

A couple of students caught my eye. There was a very pretty Vietnamese girl. If you want an Asian wife and you want her to be a 10, then that's the country to go to.

There was also a girl with a very short skirt and the whitest legs imaginable. Winston would have been in his element but I prefer the darker girls.

There don't seem to be that many native English speakers. Most of the new students in the English part of the induction afternoon seemed to be Thai. I couldn't quite make out their language - maybe it was posh Thai. Maybe their families sent them here to improve their Mandarin.

I went downtown this evening. There was a martial arts demonstration outside the metro station - a guy breaking bamboo poles with his muscles. The copy watch hustlers are still in Beijing Lu. I kept getting hassled with pimps by the river - that was a new thing.

It's hotting up here but white legs are still quite a rare sight. Incredibly I even saw a girl wearing a bobble hat, when it's 24C outside but it feels like 30.
In February 2013 I quit my boring job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
Do YOU want to date beautiful foreign women? Find out which country's women are best for you, and which dating site to look for them on!
Plus, if you like Asian girls, then check out my free Asian dating site.
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Postby magnum » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:23 pm

Vietnamese girls.

it's interesting you mention that, I have a "friend" who got married to a vietnamese girl, she's for sure at least a 7.5 to a 8, the guy she's with not only is ugly as hell, but treats her like trash....even gets annoyed when she calls him on the phone, I'm disgusted that a creature of that grace bound her self to such a asshole, because I'd treat her like a queen.

Korean girls are my type for sure too, though personality wise... not so sure, my experience says stay away from koreans...


I admit i know next to nothing about vietnamese girls other than they're attractive as hell, and from what I've read make good wives, but how they would react to westerners and age gaps I'd love to know even more.


your city is sounded better and better every day..... I'm tempted to drop japan and just head right to your city in a couple of months, maybe I'll cut my japan trip in half, and spend the other half of my funds in your city.


How affordable are classes, my major hold back has always been the price of education, but who knows, the idea interests me enough, any online listings of the classes they offer, would someone who speaks and reads only english be able to attend?
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Postby xiongmao » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:39 pm

Yeah, to be honest if you're wanting to date ladies then I'd skip Japan altogether and just come here. Save your money because you'll need all of it here. Actually there are Korean and Japanese ladies here anyway, as well as Chinese girls learning Japanese.

What am I doing here? Well I'm doing a Mandarin Chinese course. Most Universities in China run them. They're mainly intended for students who want to get their Mandarin up to speed before doing a Chinese taught degree here, or for exchange students to come here as part of their studies in the US or any other country.

My course is around 15 hours a week but you can do extras like Cantonese, kung-fu, calligraphy and I've signed up for an intercultural communications module. Also they do a few trips out to visit factories and generally make the most of your being here.

A year's tuition costs 17200RMB but there are a few extras like visas, medicals, insurance, books etc. However, you can eat VERY cheaply on campus.

Also you can get a room from 1000RMB a month if you don't mind sharing a room or living somewhere basic.

How much more you spend depends on how much you get lured by the bright lights of downtown's clubs and bars etc. etc. Stay away from anywhere the expats go and you'll be able to live cheaply though.

My course runs indefinitely. They run 8 levels of class here though (beginner to advanced). I'll also see if I can do the HSK exams.

Go here for an overview of courses in China:

http://www.cucas.edu.cn/

My classes start tomorrow, so no word on how good the teachers are etc. etc. Also for purists then Cantonese speaking Guangzhou isn't the best place to study - Wuhan or Beijing would be better.

Bear in mind that these courses are taught IN CHINESE - there could be students from 20+ countries in your class, and the only common language you might be able to speak will be Chinese! What better way to learn?

It's possible to learn Chinese. The hardest part is pronunciation. Grammar is very easy, with no tenses, plurals or masculine/feminine forms like in French. Reading can be mastered as well - learn just 150 characters and you can figure out many street signs, menus etc.

Note that courses rarely teach writing - it's exceedingly hard to learn that later in life although typing it is very easy if you can read characters and remember the pinyin for them.

As to University life, well if you're a younger guy you'll fit in really well here. You'll make friends for life here. I'm a little old to be a regular student (and too unfit to join the sports teams), but my last job was in a University, and I'm putting some seriously impressive meat on my resume by experiencing life in a Chinese University. I'm also looking forward to drinking Chinese guys under the table - that's one sport us Western guys can win here.

As for other Asian countries, well Japan is dazzling but you'd need 2+ years to make it with Japanese women - and many foreigners go there and never find a girlfriend.

Vietnamese women are really beautiful but hardly any of them speak English. Also this is frontier country, and I imagine it's like the rough bits of this city, but with more motorcycles.

As for China, well it's noisy, chaotic and an amazing place to experience.
In February 2013 I quit my boring job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
Do YOU want to date beautiful foreign women? Find out which country's women are best for you, and which dating site to look for them on!
Plus, if you like Asian girls, then check out my free Asian dating site.
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Postby xiongmao » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:54 am

OK I had my first 2 Chinese classes. I'm done for today.

First impressions - the teachers here are very good indeed! Both are Chinese women.

Both teachers speak English, but they'll not use it in class, especially after the first week!

I imagine that if I stay for 1 semester then my Chinese will be pretty decent.

An English teacher learning Chinese in my class bought me lunch. Buying lunch was not easy - well nothing's easy here! He likes teaching English, but remember that it can be hard work, especially at University level. I think I would be totally drained after teaching for an hour and 20 mins. Still, you could make a good living here by only teaching a few hours a week. If you don't have a teaching qualification - get one.

As for the students in my class group - there's about 20 students from 15 different countries. The class mix is exchange student, student doing language as part of another course here, and there a few expats who have lived here a while.

It rained today. It rains here. A lot.
In February 2013 I quit my boring job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
Do YOU want to date beautiful foreign women? Find out which country's women are best for you, and which dating site to look for them on!
Plus, if you like Asian girls, then check out my free Asian dating site.
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