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an investigation on the needs of foreigners in China [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 4

Post time 2007-1-26 15:54:06 |Display all floors
When foreigners arrive in China ,what kind of service do you think they need most?
Or if you are a foreigner in China, would you share with me what help do you need? Or what kind of embarrasing things that you have encountered that makes you feel you need help?

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Rank: 1

Post time 2007-1-27 09:22:46 |Display all floors
I am from Australia

To be honest if a foreigner arrives in China expecting it to be the same as their home country they should not really come here in the first place. After all the diversity of life and places is what makes life more interesting. I have observed the vast differences between Australia and China over the last 12 months and whilst many times its very humorous and also frustrating to me, its the way of life for the Chinese.

For a business type of person working and living in China we need.

Internet that works to Overseas websites and email services, even before the quake in Taiwan the ADSL we have here in Tianjin was very slow and not even working to USA on certain days or time of day.

Looking at this connection problem to the rest of the world, if tomorrow another cable break happens for any reason we are down again, I realize they are laying a new cable on a different route so it might alleviate future problems hopefully.

I have been able to learn a little of the language, but for a visitor a phone service in English would be helpful which gives information on a vast range of services in China and who to contact, I use the net a lot and have found much of what I need, but with the internet having problems for the last month that option was somewhat limited.

Otherwise I love living here in China, I never meant to stay so long, but the family I have been welcomed into makes me want to stay forever. The currency differences between Australia and USA are a big bonus, but I have noticed very irregular pricing on many products here, I guess anything that is not a necessity such as food and clothing is priced high.

From my view the greatest asset China has is the people.

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2007-1-31 14:13:43 |Display all floors
When I moved here the most difficult things (because I don't speak the language well yet) were:
-- getting my cell phone set up (in the US there are no SIM cards & recharging cards, I didn't know what those things even were, and I'd never have thought to do those things at a tiny little newstand!)
-- getting the apartment utilities set up; I had to go to some strange building to get my gas turned on
-- paying bills; in the US we get bills in the mail, but here I pay some at the bank, some to my apartment office, I still don't have it straight!
-- getting internet hooked up
-- getting a bank account & ATM card
-- shopping in the kind of stores where they give you a paper, you go bring it to the cashier to pay, then bring it back to the girl & she gives you your thing you bought. That was unexpected, I was like, huh? go where? Why aren't you giving my thing I want to buy? In the US we take the thing up to the cashier, pay, then leave with it, all one step.

All of those things would be easy if my chinese was better, but I am at the level of being able to handle food shopping, buses, cabs, things like that. In the US when I was starting to learn chinese I didn't yet get to learning all those money words - talking about bills, banks, gas, electric, phones.... I had help with all those things when I got here.

Also, a good map is a great help. I have two maps - a tourist one with pinyin names of places, and an all-hanzi bus map. They are my best friends! If you want to help a foreigner, get them these two things! (unless they're rich and don't take buses)

I can read some hanzi now, but when I need to find a new place, I find it first on the pinyin map, learn the hanzi that goes with it, then find it on the bus map & plan my route.
I am not rich.  :L

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2007-2-2 15:34:29 |Display all floors
atm's why is it that on the china bank atm's have the numbers upside down so people like me that have a twelve digit pin are stuffed striaght away because I remember my pin by patern recognition, my mobile phone is a CDMA I had international roaming enabled but do you think I could get the thing to work , no way no how , I had free internet connection in all my hotels and only had a few minor issues with that , nowhere could I find an information booth for foreigners, and people need to know that if they stay on wangfujing street then they need ear plugs to get to sleep as the street never seems to get quiet :) they also need to know that they will have the time of there life if they have an interpreter that learned to speak english off the tv :)
There are no Ugly women , only those with low self esteem .

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Rank: 4

Post time 2007-2-3 16:25:01 |Display all floors

What foreigners need ?

Good points all.
I suspect the thing most missing is preparation.
I have wandered round a little in Chinese cities. I like to go independent.
What I could have done with was better preparation about what would be difficult.
Absolutely, make things easier when you get there, but also find ways to better prepare foreigners for what they will find difficult.
Simple things like buying a train ticket, become virtually impossible when confronted with 10 tiny windows at Beijing railway station, unable to make eye-contact & (probably) people behind that have not interest in anything other than the correct & usual wording.
With knowledge of what is difficult & what is easy, people will plan to do what they can do & come, enjoy & leave satisfied, rather than telling holiday stories of what "doesn't work in China".

Yeah, I guess you should tell them to check their phone compatibility, but can you believe the salesman anyway?
We were told that as the last phone we bought was GSM it can work anywhere. (Sorry, no prize)

Yep, I also like maps.  You end up carrying at least two to get round.
Those big ones with the sites marked are also great.

Locations of foreign food outlets.

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Rank: 4

Post time 2007-2-10 18:55:32 |Display all floors
The most difficult things for me were the things i needed to do often, like ordering water, finding food I liked, telling taxi drivers where i wanted to go, etc.  I found simple solutions to most of these issues not long after I got here, but the first few weeks were difficult.

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2007-2-11 15:25:27 |Display all floors

That's OK

but who looks after the soul?
"We know it's weakness, but the weakness is so strong!"

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