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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.
12 posts • Page 1 of 1
For the last six years I lived in Beijing as a "repatriated expat". Now I am back in Vancouver, Canada for my university studies which started a week ago. Since this forum is called Happier Abroad it is very difficult for me to post anything meaningful when I am not actually abroad. However, being inspired by zboy's trip report after his return to the US of A, I will post my own experiences in Vancouver so far.
1. The city-Vancouver is obviously much smaller than Beijing. However, there are many more small roads, streets, and avenues that can be much more confusing. I have never seen "Drive" in Beijing. Although the city is much smaller in size, places are much more spread apart from each other than back in China making the automobile a necessity. As someone who's used to walking and taking the taxi or the subway, I do not plan on learning to drive any time soon. The Chinese concept of "??" applies to driving in my case. I simply do not have "??" with automobiles.
People in Vancouver and the rest of the Anglosphere depend on automobiles in their daily lives. For a distance that can be covered in under 30 minutes by foot, people here still choose to drive! In Beijing I would regularly walk from Liangmaqiao back to Wangjing (where I lived) which took about an hour and a half and I enjoyed it. Automobile dependency us one of the reasons why so many people in the Anglosphere are severely overweight to obese.
Many people here find it strange that I do not drive because most kids here get their license at 16 or 17 and start driving soon after they pass their road test which is one year after the completion and success of the knowledge test which is given by ICBC (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia).
It is possible to take the bus and the sky train / metro but I feel that there is a stigma attached to people who use public transit
I am basically living the lifestyle of a bum who sits in front of his computer all day here in Vancouver due to the lack of places that hold my interest (and accessible by foot or public transit). Back in Beijing I would regularly go to Solana which had beautiful architecture and many restaurants. It was also interesting to watch people there (many beautiful women). Another place I liked was the Lido area which has a peaceful park and a bar beside it that I sometimes visited. There are no places like those in Vancouver.
I currently live in a suburb called Richmond which contains the majority of the Chinese / HK / Taiwanese population. Richmond is comparatively easier to get around plus it has authentic Asian food, which makes it the only part of Greater Vancouver that I am willing to stay in while here.
Vancouver's only advantage over Beijing is better air quality, but I got used to Beijing's air anyways. I can state the obvious fact that the Internet is much faster but no one goes to live abroad in another country just to access high speed wifi and a couple of blocked sites.
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Nice thread, Baoning.
We have people like Yohan, Halwick and Ladislav on the forum who like to bash China, but honestly, I'd rather be in China than the USA (as strange as it may sound to some Americans).
The ones who always express shock at my views seem to be White people, in general. I think many Blacks express similar dissatisfaction of the Anglo World, so I don't get as much as blowback or criticism when I discuss these issues with them.
Most Whites (though not all) seem happier in Anglo or European countries, anyway. Only a few seem happy living in Asia (Rock, Taco, Outwest) There are some Asians who love the West (mostly Asian women and some Asian men like Momopi), but I'm not one of them...
The Asians who seem to really love living in White countries seem to mostly Asian women and Filipinos; after all, Asian women benefit most from all the 'attention' they receive and, due to their hypergamous behavior, would think of nothing of trashing their 'own' race to get 'ahead' in White societies.
With Filipinos, since they generally are the most 'Westernized' out of all Asian people, it's not a surprise they prefer living abroad than at home. Also, career-driven, materialistic blue-pill Asians also thrive abroad (at the cost of their soul and social life).
One of the things I really loved living in China was that I didn't have to drive. In the U.S., it doesn't matter where you live - you HAVE to drive. And I hate it. It's a waste of time, money, and resources. I prefer that time read a book or something, if it's a half hour trip or longer.
Sigh, I really am missing a life in China. A few tweaks and a change of location and I could have had it made.
The "??" are Chinese characters for "yuan fen", a Chinese concept roughly translated as karmic fate. I simply do not have "yuan fen" with driving.
China's average IQ in the world is on the high side, the regions of Hong Kong and Taiwan have even higher average IQs than the mainland. However, I have noticed that once Chinese people come to Vancouver they become dumber and dumber over time. Back in China I could hold stimulating conversations with waiters and waittresses in cafes. They had a high school education at most but were capable of discussing various topics. The average person in Vancouver has a very linear brain with little or no intellect. This is not a big surprise to me as the Anglosphere is driven by mindless consumerism. People do not think of cultivating themselves, nor do they need to.
Vancouver is a soulless place without direction. I miss Beijing's vitality, energy, and variety. When I navigated through the organized chaos of Beijing's streets I felt awake and alert. Walking down the street in Vancouver, I feel a sense of losing myself, a somewhat unusual thing to say in a place with a much smaller population. Perhaps it is the fact that I simply do not belong here or anywhere in the Anglosphere, as I had similar feelings in the past when visiting the USA.
I felt safer out at night in Beijing than here in Vancouver. In Beijing there were always people around me. In comparison, Vancouver at night is half deserted. Someone may jump out of a dark alley and who knows what they might do to me.
North America has too many rules and regulations. You need a piece of ID to do almost everything. You are fined if you do not put on a seat belt. I never wore a seat belt back in China and Beijing's traffic is notoriously messy and I am still alive (but not well in many ways).
Canada has very high taxes. The "multiculturalism" it promotes is just a scheme for grabbing money. Yes, we welcome people from all over the world to live in our wonderful country which is "free" and "tolerant" as long as you can afford to live here and be enslaved to our taxation system. The Canadian government hides the fact that many immigrants struggle financially.
Racism in Canada is still very much an issue although the government claims that Canada is "tolerant", "accepting", "where everyone is equal." Bullshit. Racism in Canada is less explicit than in the United States but almost as bad if not just as bad, especially towards Asians. Have you seen Alexandra Wallace on YouTube? It appears that she has a Canadian equivalent. Look up "Bramladesh". People in Canada are unlikely to directly express their racist views which can be worse because you may never know.
Canada's legalization of homosexual marriage is totally sinful. As a Christian I totally despise homosexuality as it is a perversion of God's plan. Even before I became a Christian I had always rejected homosexuality. Every year in downtown Vancouver there are gay pride parades. The state of being homosexual is already disturbing. Flaunting it is just repulsive.
Canada does not have the death penalty. If one really thinks about it, life imprisonment is even more tortuous than a death sentence because the person is alive but permanently kept at a lower capacity. I would pick a more humane death.
Yes, it is that video. There is also another racist video on YouTube called "Why I'd Hate to be Asian" made by a guy from Indiana. Out of all three videos (Bramladesh, Alexandra Wallace, Indians guy) I find that one to be the most ignorant.
One of the reasons that it's difficult to meet people in Vancouver is that most live apart from each other in houses, while most people in Beijing live in apartment neighborhoods. In the West you can be next door neighbors with someone for ten years and not say a single word to them, or a "hi, how are you" at most.
Here in Vancouver, movies in cinemas do not start on time. If it says 7PM, it means the ads and previews start at that time. They go on for 20 to 25 minutes. In China, all of those are shown in the time BEFORE the movie's supposed to start.
Last month when I was watching "Let's Be Cops" there were two local born and raised Asian girls that were gossiping loudly throughout the entire film. When one of them got up to go to the toilet and passed by my seat I really wanted to teach her a lesson.
I was a lot leaner when I was living in Guangzhou and Hong Kong. The public transportation was so good and efficient that I never missed having my car.
The one thing that deterred me from Beijing was the air quality, although the Guangzhou air quality wasn't that great either.
Begin with the end in mind
Since I've been in Shanghai, the air quality hasn't been so bad either (crossing my fingers...). I found that out of all the big cities in China, Shenzhen had one of the cleanest air quality around.
You found Guangzhou's air quality bad? I didn't notice too much of it when I was there. Maybe because I was only there during the summer period?
The Guangzhou air quality was not good when I was there. I remember right from when I first landed in the airport that the air was thick. There was smog, the sky wasn't clear and there was always construction going on everywhere which I'm sure contributed.
Also, if you check the Guangzhou real time air quality index it's almost always in the red (unhealthy)
Begin with the end in mind