Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
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So I'm going to Shanghai in two weeks. I'll be there eight weeks, but it's for school, so I'll probably be pretty busy. I've only been studying Mandarin for six weeks. It's my first time abroad as an adult, but surely not my last.
Anyone have advice of any kind?
There should be some good tourist attractions in Shanghai.
I might be in classes, but if not, sure, why not? It depends on my schedule though.
Thanks Tsar; I wish I had time to see all of them.
Advice eh? You could pretend you are not a Westerner to avoid the dual pricing, should that be necessary. If you have time, you should see the former Western colonial buildings and museums. Shanghaiens are seemingly proud of being where Western culture (back when it was about technology and organization rather than degeneracy) was introduced to China. Drink only water that is boiled, not just heated.
Zboy's personal advice:
--Create a WeChat and QQ account once you land in China.
--Bring as many pairs of shoes as you can--if you have big feet like I know some people have. If you have small feet, then disregard my advice.
--If you're really tall (over 6'1 tall), make sure to bring as much clothes to China as possible, because they won't be many places for you to find clothes that match your size. Jeans for tall men are difficult to find in China.
--Bring as many Western pharmaceutical drugs and medications as possible, because they can be difficult to find in China.
--Always, Always, ALWAYS, boil your tap water before drinking it!
--Never, EVER, drink water in restaurants if it's not boiled or if it's not tea! Or, ask them if their water is from bottled water, because if it is, then you can be sure that it won't make you sick.
--Even when brushing your teeth, don't use tap water unless you're just washing your toothbrush clean. Use bottled water or use tap water that has been boiled and put into a container or bottle to use for drinking and washing.
--Only go to restaurants with many people in it! Otherwise, if it's always empty, that means the restaurant is rubbish and you shouldn't eat there.
---Becareful of some of the meat that you eat, because...sometimes...it might turn-out to be dog meat if you're not careful...(This happened to one of my roommates at his school!)
-- The Chinese are very money-oriented and greedy, sometimes. So, becareful as a Laowai when dealing with local Chinese mainlanders: they can be very deceiving and dishonest when dealing with foreigners...
--Make sure to be with a local Chinese when using a taxi, because those bastards will want to cheat and rip you off as a foreigner, any chance they get...
--Always bargain for a lower-price when buying from a local vendor or store. Learn the word "guile" which means expensive in Chinese.
--Beware of Chinese females looking strictly for foreign men: many of them are certifiable 'gold-diggers' or 'prostitutes,' so becareful, AbcDavid!
--Don't get involved when you see a fight happening in China, because otherwise, you'll end-up facing the 'wrong-end-of-the-stick' in terms of justice and retribution.
--Chinese drive like madmen, so be very careful when crossing the street--even in an seemingly empty place--because you'll never know when a car might decide to appear out of nowhere and blindside you while you're preoccupied with something else.
--Don't say that you adore the Japanese to Chinese people, but you can say that you like Korea--because most Chinese people have a weird fascination with the country.
--Chinese people are very sensitive about their culture, so don't say anything that will be interpreted as a 'diss' on Chinese people and their country.
--Cold approaching won't work, for the most part, in China. The reason being that most Chinese girls meet men through their jobs, friends, acquaintances, parties and gatherings. You can use QQ and WeChat, though, to find females in China. Also, I recommend using ChineseLoveLinks and WorldFriends for finding dates.
--At least learn to speak some Chinese, because that will help you to endear yourself to Chinese people you meet during your time in China.
The first few words you should learn in Chinese: Ni Hao (Hello), Ni hao ma (How are you?), Xie Xie (Thank you), Zaijen (Good bye).
--As a White male, abdDavid, I've seen that White men in China, seem to react with hostility to other White males encroaching on their territory, i.e. Chinese females. For some reason, White males really seem to get hostile with each other here in China.
--Don't act all brash and outspoken, the way most Aussies, Brits and American's act in China: i.e. like imbeciles; be yourself, and since you're half-Asian, that reserved side of you, will help you quite a bit here in China.
--There's some Russian and Eastern European ladies here in China, so if you're not into Asian women, then you should go after them. Also, some attractive African, Filipina, Korean and Indian ladies in Shanghai, too.
--Don't use escorts; they're overpriced. Use message places, spas and KTV spots--if you're really that desperate! You can get females way cheaper that way, but I don't suggest using P4P in China, since I know you're not a monger (and I'm not either).
--Chinese culture is very complicated and strange to pick-up, even for someone who is Asian like me. So, don't fret if you make a faux-pass or make a mistake, because it's happened to me many times, too.
--Money is very important to Chinese--maybe too much!--and that is one aspect I really dislike about the country and the people.
--Chinese females view monetary gains during the dating process even more so than some American women, unfortunately. So don't say I didn't warn you about that! AbcDavid...
--Get a VPN set-up before you come to China, because Google, Facebook and YouTube are all blocked in China. Also, the Internet is painfully slow in China compared to the United States, and especially compared to First World Asian nations such as Korea or Hong Kong.
--Buy a laptop, if you don't already have one, and download Skype on it! You don't want to end-up like my roommate, who had to buy a crappy Chinese laptop when he needed one to teach in his school.
--Wash your hands as much as possible, because China is a very dirty place sometimes. Use a hand-sanitizer as much as possible.
--You will need to bring a small packet of tissues with you, because in most bathrooms in China, they will not have any toilet paper for you to use. And, you can't put the tissue in the toilet, because the pipes cannot handle any toilet paper going into it. So, you will have to put it into a wastebasket after cleaning your behind--as disgusting as that sounds!
--Chinese food has many variations: Sichuan Chinese food is spicy and hot. It's cuisine is mostly made-up of hot-pots and spicy dishes. Cantonese cuisine is made-up of Dim Sum, noodles, and cured meat dishes. Northern Chinese food (Shanghai) consists of Duck and noodle dishes.
--Do not criticize the government openly to other people out in the open. You could get in trouble for that...
I also recommend Kai1275 thread about Dating in Mainland China. You can look-it-up using the search function on HA.
Yes - Shanghai is rubbish for dating, but go and find the model of Shanghai in the government office (somewhere off Nanjing Road West). It's totally spectacular and if you hang round long enough it's even cooler when they make it night.
Also the maglev is amazing but shame they only built it half the way into town!!!
Finally the tower with the hotel in it is amazing - go to the top and take some photos, also look down 70 odd storeys to see the rich people in the hotel lobby.
Oh man, that's right! It's so hard for me to find pants that fit in America! Actually, I should follow the opposite advice zboy. I probably should look for jeans in my size. I'm 5'7" so no worries on that front.
Also, I read somewhere they don't actually use "ni hao ma?" but "ni chi fan le ma?" All the Chinese lessons start with ni hao, but I'm interested in how people actually speak.
I wish I had more time to study language, but I'm already taking four other summer classes. Still, I try to practice at least an hour a day and I probably know 100+ words. I haven't been studying characters though, only speaking. I'm mostly concerned with getting tones right and grammar. It doesn't help to know a lot if words if I can't figure out how to use them.
I should have a Chinese roommate and since it's summer and it's for the school I'm pretty sure he's someone who signed up to live with a Westerner. So hopefully I can get him to go out with me and help me out. I'm not really interested in dating right now, but that doesn't mean I intend to close myself off to women.
Thanks for the help everyone.
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