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Have you searched this forum for particular topics you're interested in hearing about? I know I've asked lots of questions in the past, and so have lots of other people who've come to Beijing.|
I wish I was here for 4 yrs studying chinese medicine. Or art, actually I'd rather study calligraphy.
If I were you I'd start learning the language now, before you leave. Can you pronounce pinyin properly? At least that would be a big help, then at least you can look things up and say things easier.
expensive? Everyone says how cheap it is to live in china.. Well, Beijing's a big city, and things can be expensive here. It depends on how you want to live. I'm from the US, and if I were to buy all the same products here as I did there, it would cost me almost the same as in the US, because foreign products are expensive here. So is eating at places like TGI Friday's, KFC, even any small 'western' restaurants. You will pay western prices. The cheap stuff will be chinese restaurants, chinese brand toiletries, foods, etc. I'm spending more than I thought I would on food.
For example, a 1litre container of orange juice can be 8-9rmb if it's 100% real OJ. Or you can get a huge thing of fake orange drink for half that. I choose the real stuff, same with other juices, so I pay more. I don't care that it's a chinese brand or what, as long as it's real juice. If you were to add other western foods like cheese at 16-30rmb, butter, bread, a bunch of veggies and a little snack, that makes it easy to spend 100rmb on a small food shopping trip.
I've been here 4 months (oh my goodness! 4 months!!!ackk!!) and never once had the slightest stomach problem. My son has had several, though nothing requiring a doctor or lasting more than a few days. I don't know what caused his. I've eaten some street food but not a lot, I've eaten in small chinese restaurants that did not exactly look clean, I don't ingest tap water on purpose in large amounts, but I do use it to rinse my mouth after brushing my teeth, I wash food in it but then rinse briefly with filtered water if we'll eat it raw. If I wash out a cup, I might use it immediately even if it's stil wet with tap water. So, I'm not obsessive about it at all, I just don't do anything major with it, and I've been fine.