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Foreigners' 7 Tips to be Happy in China

Popularity 14Viewed 10599 times 2015-5-12 16:31 |System category:Life| people, dreams, nation, really, China

I have been in China for 4.5 years now. Soon I will be celebrating my 5th anniversary of my love with China and its people. I really love this nation and land. This exceptional love does not mean I am doing well or I have realized all of my dreams here. However, I respect the opportunity that they have given me. My ancestors or I have not fought battles for this nation. We have never even touched a bricks of these gigantic buildings, road networks or rail roads. However, suddenly I have come to this blooming nation and enjoying their system. Anyway, I have seen many foreigners are greatly unhappy in this country. Some foreigners are doing well here while some are not. Surprisingly, I have seen people from both of these groups are talking negative things about this wonderful nation and its people. Therefore, I thought to share some points that I learned from being so long on this land. I hope these tips will help all of us to be happy.


#1 You are in a very different country

Admit and be conscious about the fact that you are in a different, a very different country. The difference may be bigger than your previous experiences being abroad or your expectations.


#2 Learn their language

Learn the basics. Ask a road, buy a train tickets and such simple things. This is very important. Because most of unhappy foreigners I have seen can be categorized to this. They do not know language, and more importantly, they are not interested to learn it. They keep thinking the whole world should understand their language, English. They expected migrant sales women to understand their English with accents. They expect under paid old security guards to understand the importance of them and their urgencies to visit their bosses. This self-sufficient nation with billion likeminded people can survive even without knowing the word “Hello”. Admit that fact. This will bring energy to quickly figure out simple dialogs, which will lubricate your day-to-day life. And it will bring you happiness than you ever expected to pursuit.  


#3 Be patience with your Chinese

Learning this language and keep improving is difficult. Even some Chinese are struggling to distinguish some words, example 4 and 10. Therefore, do not worry when someone do not understand your communication. Sometime, even before we spit out the very first word they will come up with “women ting bu tong (We can not understand)”. This is heart breaking or even making us angry. However, we have to be tolerant towards the shyness of them. Please respect their unwillingness to talk with you. Try another person. It is not hard to find someone patience enough to listen your struggle with Chinese mandarin. Humorously admit the proverb of chinsese people “Tian bu pa, di bu pa. Jiu pa wai guo ren shuo putong hua” (I do not afraid heave or earth, but afraid foreigners speak mandarin)


#4 Respect their biases toward western world

Whenever a western guy come to our dormitory, I bet with my friends that how long it will take him to take a beautiful Chinese girl to his room. I always win as I bet it to be less than one week. They easily win the affection of the beauties of this nation. I really do not know from where they pick these girls, however they are beauties who may easily qualifying to be the main character of a film or a tele series. Whenever a western person comes to a table with lot of Chinese, we experienced that awkward movement. All of attentions are on him/her and suddenly we disappear from the cycle. In every aspects; love, sex, carrier, education or business they got the preference. I have seen this phenomena make many guys to be unhappy. Do not be. We cannot change a collective attitude of billions of people, which build up in centuries. Rather than complain and being angry, try to find exceptions. They are jewel of people in this country, who care the person and his attitude rather than discriminate you due to your color or race. Try to find that gem. It is hard. But for sure, there are many of them.


#5 Do not worry too much about the quality of food and beverage

Forget about the history. Go behind the best and popular brands of food and beverage. They are safe now. If you think too much about quality of food and beverage, your happiness will be gone. Period.


#6 Escape from your safe zone

I have seen many people here find their own people and then spend the whole of their time in China with their own people. Go out together, dine together, and play together. The build their little town right here in China. Like the China town in USA. This is to be avoiding if you want happiness. What is the point been in a different country if you spend all of your time with your own people? You can do it better back there in your motherland/fatherland. I admit this feel safe and comfortable at first. However, escape this safe zone to realize the nirvana of being in China.


#7 Chinese holidays are not ours

Specially the New Year time, May 1st and national day. If you go out for fun in these times, it is much about suffering among million of them rather than enjoying sceneries. Talk to your boss, get arranged different vacations for you.


There are a lot more to say. But lengthy blogs may not be read by our CD fans. I wish you will too add more tips to make our foreigners “Happy”.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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