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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.
Hey HappierAbroader's, how's it going? I'm here in Hangzhou China--getting my papers and documents ready at my recruiter's office--in order to be sent to my school in Jinhua City (about a 2 hour drive outside of Hangzhou).
Here are my first initial observations of China:
Outside of Beijing and Shanghai, the Chinese still aren't used to seeing a lot of foreigners including Blacks and Whites (and even non-Chinese Asians!) so you will be STARED AT a lot. Keep that in mind--especially if you're really the sensitive type!
Most of the English teachers I've met along the way (including in the airport, hotel, and recruiter's office) seem to be really cool. They come in all colors and nationalities. But they're not you're typical Westerners in that they seem much more interested in foreign cultures and languages, than your average Westerner/American/Canadian...
Your average American/Anglo types typically look-down on foreigners, hate foreign cultures, and are usually xenophobic and racist. They are also very cliquish and close-minded...
Now, I'm not saying all English teachers in Asia are great and well-behaved, but that is the impression I got from speaking to some of them during my time here...
I hope that while I'm in China, I do not meet-up with a lot of the "Ugly American/Westerner types that I typically loathe back in the States and Europe, but I'm sure I'll come face-to-face with some of them, eventually...
I have already been 'sized-up' and 'stared-down' by some White boys I've seen on the streets of China and in Beijing airport, probably because they see 'me' as 'competition' for Chinese females or they're just being jerks and racists like usual...but whatever...
I was actually cock-blocked by a group of White males for having a conversation with a Chinese female on the airplane--what a joke that was! Why is it that White males always want to dominate other races and always have the entitled, White supremacist attitude wherever they go...?
Anyway, enough of that! Let me tell you about how the Chinese see me, as it were...It's funny because I look Chinese, the people always speak to me in Chinese and then have a wild-look in their eyes when I speak to them in English and tell them "I do not speak Chinese, LOL."
They always follow-up with a nervous giggle or confusion because the concept of a "Korean American," "Asian American," or whatever...is a completely foreign concept to them. As Ladislav has mentioned many times before in this forum, Asians in Asia do not have a pan-Asian identity like Asian Americans do in the United States.
The Chinese hate the Japanese fiercely as Kai has mentioned before on HappierAbroad, but he is wrong to say the Chinese hate Koreans; in fact, I was told by a Black female ESL teacher in China that the Chinese love Korean dramas, K-pop, and Korean actors, actresses, and models. I was also hit-on by a female at my school recruiter who said 안녕하세요 (An nyoung ha seh yo) and gave me her telephone number.
That's not to say all Chinese are open to foreigners: as I have mentioned before, the Chinese are somewhat xenophobic and uncomfortable around foreigners; I'm even stared at somewhat (even though I look Chinese) by the Chinese because they can tell I'm not 'one of them.' It's painful for me to have to speak English to Chinese people, especially when ordering food or shopping in a department store. It's very embarrassing and humiliating for me.
A Black female ESL teacher I've met here in China, has said she gets stared at a lot, and that Chinese people keep asking about her braided hair
and her skin, which makes her uncomfortable. My White ESL teacher friend told me he still doesn't feel very comfortable walking around town alone, due to the whispers and stares and giggles.
But I still get the feeling, unfortunately, that the Chinese still have a inferiority complex in regards to White people--and treat them better than most foreigners--including other Asians. But...that's a common problem throughout Asia, again, unfortunately...
Now having said all this...the racism here is still nothing like the racism back home, in my opinion. None of the foreigners I talked to feel 'racially oppressed' the way many minorities--and even White people--feel at times, in Western countries. No one is going to go beat you up because you're a foreigner, and there isn't anywhere near the kind of visceral racial hatred between the races like in the States.
Of course, I realize the Chinese have problems with the Tibetans, the Muslims in Xinjiang, the Korean minority population in China and the Japanese, but I'm referring only to foreigners in this case. And since I've only been here for a week, I may change my mind about the issue of race in China in the future...
Now, I would like to talk about how HUGE China really is in comparison to the United States. Amazingly...China seems even bigger than the U.S.--both in terms of population, size and scale of their cities and towns. Holy moly, is China huge! Hangzhou, which is in Zhejiang province, looks equivalent to New York City in many ways!
The air pollution in China is pretty bad; I've never seen a bright, clear sky since I've been in China. But, to be honest, I'm used to that living in New York City most of my life. So, it really hasn't affected me too much, but I can see how it could affect someone sensitive to the pollution like Xiongmao--who complained bitterly about it during his time in China.
I've avoided eating at most of the street food vendors and restaurants while in China, unless it's coming from a well-known Western chain or Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese chain. There's a Paris Baguette (famous Korean bakery) outside of my hotel, so that's certainly a relief...
I did have a tasty fired chicken/shrimp/fries combo at this fast-food Taiwanese chicken place near my hotel, so I may become a little more adventurous in my culinary experiences here in the future...LOL!
I would suggest NEVER, EVER drinking the tap water in China, unless you're really asking for it! I even brush my teeth with bottled water and close my mouth tightly whenever I take a shower. I wash my hands with only hot water because I fear for the sanity and cleanliness of the water supply.
I read on the Internet somewhere on an expat forum, where an American person got sick with tapeworm for brushing his teeth with tap water, and a Canadian couple supposedly got sick from the bacteria found in the water during showering. Maybe those stories were fabricated, but I'm not taking any CHANCES while in China.
Supposedly, I kept hearing that the Chinese are midgets and most Asians are short-in-stature, but I really didn't see that here...In Korea, I kept seeing guys my height (5'11) and taller often, and even in China, I see guys my height and a few taller than me. Of course, the average Chinese is much shorter than me, but not by much...surprisingly. Am I exaggerating or just seeing things? Or, are some regions of China taller than others?
The women in China are pretty and petite. It's nice to see both men and women not completely obese, dressed appropriately and not looking like a complete slag like whenever you step-into a Walmart in the Sates! No men wearing pants all the way down to their knees and showing their underwear and acting like a thug, or women in sandals and gym pants. None of that here, thank goodness! It's also nice to see very pretty Chinese girls with Chinese/Asian men, unlike in the West where attractive Asian women shun and 'look down' on their own men and race.
No Esther Ku's and other self-hating Asian females here--hallelujah for that! As Kai has mentioned before, there are Chinese women looking for 'foreign men' here in China. There's plenty of Chinese females for everyone, except maybe for Chinese men, LOL.
America's foreign policy is retarded and is looked-at with complete disdain by most Chinese here... It looks like the West is looking for a war in Syria and for another long, prolonged campaign throughout the Middle East. The Globalists will love the mayhem that will follow, smh...
Korean culture is really popular throughout Asia! I had no idea...The Black ESL teacher I met loves Korean culture, dramas and likes Korea better than China. She criticized the Chinese as being 'culturally and economically' behind Korea. She says the Chinese are much more racist than Koreans, whatever that means...
The whole Asian region is booming, and looks to be attracting so many foreigners to China and all throughout Asia. The economic turmoil in the West has really ruined-it for young people throughout the world. It's kinda sad to be honest...
I've met many foreigners at the airport and in the hotel (where I'm staying at) who traveled to China and other parts of Asia for better economic opportunities. Either that or they're unhappy with the social/political/cultural situation in their home countries. For others it's about traveling and seeing the world. And for some people, it's to party and have some fun.
Chinese people rarely smile a lot and always seem to have some kind of semi-scowl on their faces. It kinda reminds of many New Yorkers to be honest, LOL. I expected the Chinese people to be more upbeat like Thai's or Filipinos, but I see that isn't the case sadly...
Chinese people aren't as friendly as Koreans are either. That's one thing that has disappointed me about the Chinese people, unfortunately...
I'm guessing the Chinese are like that because of the difficult lifestyle many of them face in their daily lives. The Chinese are also very argumentative and combative. As Kai has mentioned before, do not interfere in fights or act like a "White knight in shining armor" routine or you're going to get your ass kicked as evidenced by what some foreigner told me happened to his friend in China.
Long term...I see myself living in Asia permanently in the future. I love the atmosphere in all of the Asian countries I've visited whether that be in Thailand, S. Korea and even China. I don't see myself living in China, though, because of the language barrier and because I feel like an 'outsider' in comparison to when I was in Thailand or S. Korea. I don't particularly like the strange looks and giggles I get from some of the people here. But we'll see...
If anything, the economic activity I'm seeing here confirms to me that Asia is the future...although there are worrying signs of a huge property bubble in China...
Traveling by bus throughout China, I've seen many empty buildings and huge, unfinished skyscrapers throughout the country. That screams: "massive property bubble" to me. And it's not a good sign of the economy either, to be honest.
From across Asia, America looks to be in a steep decline, unfortunately. All those news stories about gun-violence, hate crimes, and political incompetence from both Congress and the Presidency makes me somewhat embarrassed to be an American at times. But, if there was one thing that makes me proud to be an American, is knowing how diverse and unique the notion of being an "American" is in so many ways.
As I said before, Chinese have a hard time accepting the fact that anybody can be an "American." They only think White people and some Blacks equal being an American. The notion of diversity is a foreign concept to them. The homogeneity of China also works against them...and is one factor that may dissuade me from permanently living in the country one day.
The cost of living in China is cheap, but maybe not as much as I expected. It's still pretty comfortable on a English teachers salary...
I hope to get a Chinese girlfriend here eventually. But they seem difficult to get-to-know and get close to for a foreigner, especially for an Asian American. I know the guys on RooshV like to brag about sleeping with women, but I'm not talking about getting with some hooker or loose-whore. I'm talking about a quality, kind, family oriented, non-feminist Chinese female that Kai has for a wife, not the kind of women the idiots on RooshV desire and brag about.
Anyway, I'll continue to update everyone on my time in China. I'll also post some pictures, too, eventually.
Hey zboy, u finally did it!
One thing you figure out after stepping foot in China, the world will not have a shortage of Chinese people for some time to come, one child policy or not, lol. There seems to be enough of them to go around for the whole planet.
An anecdote: A few years ago, I visited a Kenyan (black) English teacher friend of mind for a couple of days in Xingtai, Hebei. It's a smallish city (3rd tier) located not too far from Shijiazhuang. Now she was the only black in the town and so I would have expected it to be rough for her, especially since her Chinese was not very good. But wherever we went, people seemed to know her and treated us very nicely and welcoming, presumably because they knew and liked her. We got stares here and there but they were kind and smiling curious types of stares, suggesting he, we would like to know you better, etc. I'm sure it helped a lot that she was a pretty cute and young black girl. But I'm guessing she was a good teacher plus nice person and it made her popular over time.
Anyway, I'm suggesting, don't obsess too much about race. Majority of people should like you over time if you do good things there and remainder will be considered stupid by most others. I think Chinese are still pretty practical. You personality, attitude, and behavior is key.
Keep those field reports coming!
Thanks Rock for you encouragement! I feel free and liberated now that I'm finally abroad.
Get this, Winston is right when he says foreign women are easy to talk to. Just tonight in China, I approached this girl in the hotel who is the sister of the person working the front desk. I strike-up a conversation with her easily--and she responded back to me in a surprisingly easy way. None of that glare or hard-to-get personality, none of that diva attitude or snotty behavior. Just purely feminine and flirty response from her. Amazing!
And during the course of the conversation, I tell her I'm here to teach English. So I ask her if she wants to learn some English. She speaks very little English so she used a translator app on her I-phone in order to communicate with me. She asks me how I am able to communicate with Chinese people that I meet. I tell her I can't speak Chinese and that I want to learn to be fluent, eventually.
Well after a while, she begins to teach me some Chinese words, and I begin to teach her some English words. Over the course of that time, she really begins to improve her English rather quickly after only a few times of her practicing it with me. I tell her that English is one of the easiest languages to learn--and I'm proven right with her! On the other hand, Chinese Mandarin is an absolute beast to learn, and I've forgotten all the words and phrases she taught me during the half hour or so of her teaching me.
Near the end of the conversation, I tell her I will give her my email address. I do so, and in turn, she does the same. I tell her that I was born in South Korea but moved to the United States when I was very young. She tells me that she is really impressed by my English speaking abilities because according to her, she has never met an Asian American before. Her concept of an Asian American is literally non-existent. Anyway...I tell her I would like to go on a date with her tonight, but she tells me that she has to work the next day. I tell her I would like to meet up one day. She agrees...By coincidence, she was born near the school that I will be teaching at. What luck, I guess...right?
I give her my room number just-in-case she decides to meet me Sunday night in the hotel. (And no, she is not the type to sleep around or act like some kind of whore.) I hope to take her out to dinner that day. She tells me that she wants to get married and start a family one day...but get this, she is only in her early twenties in comparison to me (I'm in my mid-thirties).
She asks me if my wife is living in the United States. I tell her that I'm single and have been for a couple of years. She doesn't believe me because she tells me that I'm handsome and that I would be an incredible catch anywhere in the world. I write on her I-pad translation that women reject me left-and-right in the States, and even Asian American girls do. She is utterly shocked...(I'm not kidding about this!). She literally has a difficult time believing me...
Anyway...I hope to meet-up with her either Sunday night (China time) or the following week when I'm at the school. Everything I've written so far is the truth, and I'm stating this because I know there will be unbelievers out there poo-puing this story, but it's the truth. I'm thinking the people that have either been to China or living there right now, like Ghost, Falcon, Xiongmao, Rock and Kai, will verify the things I have just said in this post. There is definitely a different vibe here with the women in China--as it is with the women in Russia (according to Winston) or Brazil (according to djean and E_Irizzary) or countless other places in the world that people have mentioned in this forum and others.
The women overseas are definitely a different breed than their Anglo/American/Western counterparts...No question!
Note to zboy, Falcon, and others who get hit by the honeymoon phase of chatting-up girls in certain areas overseas: Stop telling them how badly you get trashed and rejected stateside and getting-off on it when they express their doubts since you are 'so tall and handsome' lol. USA women are NOT a reasonable benchmark, full-stop. In time foreign women often get contaminated by Anglo thought and change their behavior accordingly. Internet, smartphones, and visiting foreigners/expats help this process along. Don't contribute to it. Good thing about China is there are still some barriers to frequent outside contact - tendency to do things own way (no FB and IPhone not popular), language, size and relative difficulty of going to 3rd and 4th tier for non Chinese speaking foreigners especially.
If girls compliment you, take it in stride. No need to go on and on about what a loser you are with the fairer sex back home. Chinese women can be difficult and elusive too, just different ways than Americans. They can have you thinking you got it made with them and then suddenly disappear for whatever reason.
Last edited by Rock on August 31st, 2013, 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Best wishes on your new journey zboy1 It's great to see more of us the good guys making it to the countries of their choosing to start a new life and find something meaningful. I must also give you credit for actually writing honestly and not promoting a place for sex tourism cause after all the purpose of this site is to help other men get out of this toxic dating scene and to seek better places to find that special one.
Has vuelto. Welcome back! How's Lithuania treating you????? How's your naturalization process going on over there??
It's time to expatriate to evade your fate; it's time to expatriate before the barn door permanently closes on "US" sheep.
- Follow me on Twitter @eirizarryRNB
Yeah, it would be better to tell them that Western females were all giant vermin now. That is an equally valid take on the situation and would tend to retard the spread of the feminist disease rather than increase it.
Still not in lithuania but the resident visa application is being processed now.
Yes, Rock is right definitely DO NOT talk about how your relationships go back home. Chinese women are pretty forgiving about stuff like this and give leeway to foreign men who wouldn't be considered prizes back home but trust me they will put this in the mental bank for future exploitation if you get to know them on an intimate personal level.
Here's a bit of advice, learn to separate worlds and social realities. The life you are living in China right now should be regarded as completely independent from your past. It's a zboy as it exists in China. Don't think of yourself as the same person who flew from America to China. Think of it as starting over from a clean slate. The friends you make in China and the experiences you have will be its own self contained reality. This will help you evolve and grow as a person uncontaminated by past negative experiences in the U.S. Learn to filter out the negative and leave it back in the country you left and keep the positive useful experiences.
Congrats on moving abroad. Hangzhou is a nice place to start since it's a more "classic" Chinese city. I will say that China does wear on a person big time though. I understand Chinese and I was annoyed by a lot of the mannerisms of your average Chinese person. Chinese people are so rude and crude due to the cultural revolution and general cultural and economic poverty which has stunted the intellectual and emotional growth of a lot of Chinese. If you understand that aspect of mainland China then things become easier to comprehend and deal with.
Also, I highly suggest you find some Chinese-Americans out there. Try and plug in socially through that method. If you're lucky you can network pretty high up on the economic/social food chain in China. Like hanging out with the kids of the party elite like my friend did but he had ivy league connections in China.
I don't think I need to tell you this but avoid the typical white expat circle jerk crowds with the exception being the members on here like Rock, etc... The typical white expat will just bring you down most of the time and a lot of those guys import their own racism and negative worldviews. Some of them are downright evil people. It might be good to drain them for info but don't form any kind of personal or financial connections with guys like this.