Happy Life in China

Happy Life in China
AmlanAparajit Mar 14, 2016 17:20

Embrace the differences and get behind the mindset of Chinese culture. I’m writing down some tips that would help newcomers and also the expats who have been here for a while feel happy and content.

I’ve been living in China for about two years now. Soon I will be celebrating 2nd anniversary of my love affair with China and its citizens. I really have a strong affinity for this country. My love for China doesn’t mean I’m doing well or I’ve realized all my dreams here. However, I respect the opportunity China has given me. My ancestors and I have not fought battles for this nation. I have never touched a brick of the gigantic monuments, buildings and road networks. But suddenly I came to this glowing nation and I’m enjoying everything in here.

Nonetheless, I’ve seen many foreigners who are very unhappy with this country. Some are doing well while some are not. Shockingly, I’ve seen people having negative views about this wonderful country and its people. Therefore, I thought of sharing some points that I learned from being in this country for so long. I hope they work out for all of us to lead a happy life in china.

  1. The fact that you are in a different country (away from home)
    Be conscious about the fact that you are in a different nation, in fact a very different nation. The difference may be bigger than your previous experiences being abroad. China is a country of contradictions.
  2. Discover the Culture
    This should be obvious to most foreigners but actually is not. All cultures have their quirks and if you are going to live in their country, either accept the good, the bad, and the ugly, or stay home. China has a wonderfully rich culture, and 5,000 years of it to learn about. Taichi, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Wushu, Kong Fu, Calligraphy, Beijing Opera are all part of that beautiful culture. Enjoy them, and accept the small annoyances that come from the parts of the culture that most ‘laowais’ shy away from.
  3. Learn the Language
    It’s not as hard as people make it out to be. It shows respect for the country you are living in or people you chose to live with. I’m not asking you to master the language. Not everyone could do that, including me. But learn the basics. Be able to ask the name of a road, buy train ticket and such simple things. This is important because most of the unhappy foreigners I’ve come across are unhappy because of this. They don’t know the language and most importantly not interested in learning it. They keep thinking the whole world should understand their language, which presumably is “English”.  Don’t expect migrant saleswomen to understand your English with your accent. Don't expect security guards, taxi drivers and municipality workers to understand your importance. This self-sufficient nation with a billion likeminded people can survive even without knowing the word “hello”. Face up to that fact. This will give you the motivation to quickly figure out simple dialogue, which will make your daily life easier and it will bring you more happiness than you ever imagined.
  4. Get Grounded
    Find an expat group to be a part of. There are some organizations that conduct weekend events for expats (like hellonanjing). Do not hesitate to be a part of it. There are baseball, football and even basketball leagues. Joining an expat group is critical if you want to stay longer than one year. There will be times when no matter how much you love China, you will need to hang out with fellow foreigners.
  5. Respect their biases towards white people (western world)
    Whenever I run into a western guy, there would be a debate among my friends how long will it take him to date a beautiful Chinese girl. Perhaps less than one week. They easily win the affection of beauties of this country. I really have no idea where they pick up these girls. However, this makes other foreigners, apparently with a different skin color, unhappy. DO NOT BE. We can’t change the collective attitude of the people, which build up over decades. Rather than complaining, fretting or being angry, we should try to find exceptions. Believe me there are jewels of people in this country, who care more about the person and his attitude/personality rather than the skin color or nationality. Try to find those gems. I found a lot after living in Nanjing, I’m loved by everyone. It is hard, but I’m sure there are many of them.
  6. Escape from your Comfort Zone (Country mates)
    I’ve seen many people here find their own country’s people and spend the whole of their days in China with their own people. They go out together, dine together and play together. They build their little town here in China (like the Chinatowns in US). This has to be avoided if you want happiness. What’s the point of being in a different country if you spend all of your life with your own people? You can do that back in your motherland. I agree this feels safe and comfortable at first. However, escape from this safe zone to realize the nirvana of being in China.
  7. Eat the Food
    But ask what it is first. I can't tell you how many stories I have involving Chinese food. Some of it surprisingly delicious, some of it disgusting, either way I have a story. Don’t think too much about the quality of food and beverages. Otherwise your happiness will be gone. Just don’t be scared to try new things. Some are amazing!!!


Well if I keep on telling, there would be plenty more to say. But these are some solutions to the common issues of foreigners. I hope it helps you during your stay in China. Trust me China is a mysterious but a magical country.

Tags:Lifestyle Expat Tales


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Yes traveling and taking a break are the most important

Nov 02, 2016 16:50 Report Abuse



I would include another point....travel throughout China. The diversity of China is truly amazing and if you love history-you should see as much of with your own eyes since it will open up your appreciation of the people who make it such an interesting place.

Jun 01, 2016 18:00 Report Abuse



true china is magical country for foreigners

May 18, 2016 00:55 Report Abuse



Your experience will be really useful for newcomers here in China. You have described your experience in a great way.

May 11, 2016 11:54 Report Abuse



Holy curry!

Apr 24, 2016 23:23 Report Abuse



Nice to read your blog!

Mar 26, 2016 03:44 Report Abuse



"Go full native and become a twat today!"

Mar 17, 2016 13:10 Report Abuse



So that's what happened to you and now you're pissed off with everyone else as you've turned into a local?

Mar 18, 2016 14:27 Report Abuse



calm down, wumao

Mar 21, 2016 09:04 Report Abuse