China: First Year Finished

China: First Year Finished
hadleyj09 Jul 03, 2014 19:05

Looks like I have survived just about a year in China, and life has been interesting. There have been many things I have learned about being an adult outside of my own country. The number one thing I have learned is that I am the foreigner. That may seem obvious, but if you are ever looking to live in another country, that is what you must realize. You are the foreigner. You are the weird one. You are the one who is different and strange. Not saying that these are bad things, but culture shock, can be intimidating and daunting. Going to a new place with an open mind is the best protection you can have. Learn to embrace the culture. Try new things, meet new people and……if you’re planning on being here for more than a year, at least try to learn the language.


Another thing I learned is, “don’t care what people think about you.” Do what you want and do what makes you happy. Many people may tell you what they think you should do, and it is wise to at least listen because they could give you some advice that may be useful. For instance, maybe someone will tell you what kind of school to teach in, public or private. Someone may tell what what city you should live in. The best thing to do is to take what you need from what they said. If you feel something is of interest, then use it. If nothing applies to you, then ignore it. Doing what others think simply because you have lack of confidence in yourself will only get you lost in the end. Do what you love and love what you do.


Something else that I feel is very important, and I stated this in a previous blog, is that we as foreign teachers must respect the fact that it is a privilege to live and work here. Our salaries are pretty high and we need to remember that if we weren’t born in one of the few countries that China chooses to pick teachers from, then we couldn’t be here. I know there will be plenty of people, and I have a few in mind, who will love to contradict this, but anyways, we must treat our Chinese teachers with respect. They are the ones who had to learn the ins and outs of English in order to get the job that they have. In my opinion, they are more qualified to be teachers than we are, in most instances. Oh well, that’s my opinion at least.


I guess the last thing I will talk about here is the fact that now, being able to look at the country I was born in from an outside view………..the government is really messed up. Now I know that many people may say, “hey, China isn’t perfect either.” You are right, but the name of the game is survival. Having a job that isn’t backbreaking, along with a salary that allows us to be able to basically buy everything we need and some of the things we want without fear of not having enough money. Having a lifestyle that isn’t hectic. Being able, in most cases, to live in a decent apartment that’s been paid for. Being in a country that isn’t directly messing with your personal life. Being able to be around people who are generally friendly and living in a place where you don’t hear about someone being shot everyday……..China, I think, is a good place to live. 


In my opinion, if you don’t like it here, you can go home, but you probably don’t want to, which is why you’re still here, complaining. But hey, I’m no one special, just a guy who is trying to live a good life, survive, and do the things I love to do. 

Tags:General Teaching & Learning Travel Language & Culture Expat Rants & Advice Expat Tales Lifestyle


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I love that the Chinese are so loyal to their family and if you have something to keep you here its worth it to stay. China has a lot to over. I'm just trying to get into Australia and looking forward to settling down.

Aug 05, 2014 20:47 Report Abuse



Congrats! I believe it can only get easier and better from now on.

Jul 26, 2014 07:18 Report Abuse



Overall I found this blog interesting Hadley but there is one point that really sticks out to me. You mention that English teachers in China are privileged to work in China and that if we were not for certain counties we would not be able to do this job. Now while it is true that many English teachers in China did not go to university and study to become teachers nor do they have any prior teaching experience(not that this means they cannot become good teachers through practice) there are some teachers who come to China fully qualified and experienced to teach ESL. I myself spent four years in university studying specifically to teach ESL and also studied Chinese during the last two years before I left Australia because I knew I would be coming to China to teach. My point is that there is nothing really incorrect about what you said, and some might say I am being over-sensitive, but I feel it is too generalised and only adds to the myth that all English teachers are unqualified to do the job they are hired for. Perhaps if you blog about teaching English in China again in the future you could keep this in mind.

Jul 25, 2014 20:16 Report Abuse



Mhager, China is a stopover for me. I'm trying to get into Australia. If you don't mind me asking, why are you here if you can be in Australia?

Jul 31, 2014 22:05 Report Abuse



My wife is from Shanghai and she does not want to move to Australia until both her parents are retired. Also we like living here so we are not in a rush to leave.

Aug 05, 2014 18:15 Report Abuse



Maybe some of the negative experiences stem from where that person is located.. Yes the locals arent as friendly in places heavily with expats and tourists. They are tired of foreigners, especially the unhappy miserable ones who hate their country or disrepect their ways.

Jul 19, 2014 09:03 Report Abuse



Hadley: Nice one mate; good to see some people here who've learned how to GROW A PAIR. Me? I'm going out to see a friend's band and then tomorrow, I'm going jogging. My point to the haters? Why not open your eyes a bit and take a leaf out of Hadley's book and be more positive about WHEREVER you choose to live? I bet that if the complainers on here were still living in their countries of origin or other places, they'd STILL find plenty to complain about. Life's for living. You either gratefully and humbly rise to the occasion and get on with it, or spend your life with a victim mentality. "Life is like a Wild Tiger; you either lie down and let it lay its paw on you, or you get on its back and YOU RIDE IT." Happy Riding!

Jul 18, 2014 23:49 Report Abuse



I do plan on living here for a long time, many years actually. China has been great to me. The only stress I have has is the stress I put on myself by staying up too late and having to work early. That's it. I do see how people still stay tuned to read my posts so they have something to complain about. So, I will keep a positive outlook and make sure that no one and nothing makes my experience here bad, whatsoever. People are not positive in America, nor are they in China. I don't mean to call anyone out, but since so many people love to complain, it makes me want to be positive that much more. I like being happy, I like being able to practice my photography in China with so much support from Chinese people. I love the fact that I have absolutely no worries whatsoever. It's funny, having Chinese friends vs foreigner friends.....Chinese people help me out so much and always make sure I'm okay, while foreigners always find a reason to complain about something. Oh well, someone has to complain right? Anyways, I love living here. So keep up the negativity. It just makes me want to be that much more positive. Thanks for the comments. Keep posting,.....good or bad.....I wanna see them all. To the foreigners who support me and positivity in general, thank you.

Jul 14, 2014 20:08 Report Abuse



I am chinese and whenever I see a foreigner complaining about chinese people, in most cases it is because they don't understand us, and also because... well... white people love complaining. In my experience, most of the time white people complain about chinese people is because they used to be the ones with the money and they just get all cranky at being regular people. Chinese people is friendly and nice, but we can also recognize douchebags.

Jul 22, 2014 06:27 Report Abuse



Thanks for this comment, and I understand how you feel. I do understand how the color of skin does give you privilege or puts you on the back burner of society, which isn't fair at all. The only thing I have to comment on is the fact that including "race" in this is not always the best way to go about things, and trust me, I truly understand how you feel. Living in America and being African decent really lets you know how the American society feels about you. I also agree that if you are privileged in America, you may not like living like most people live. I think that China focuses on friendship and kindness. That's why I like living here. So many people have offered me so many nice things and I feel so honored to be here. I love China and I promise you that I will always continue to show nothing but positivity towards China. This is my promise to you and everyone here.

Jul 23, 2014 19:33 Report Abuse



It's generalization time! Let's play change the words! I am Canadian and whenever I see a Chinese complaining about Canadian people, in most cases it is because they don't understand us, and also because... well... yellow people love complaining. In my experience, most of the time yellow people complain about white/black people is because Asian women love dating them and sleeping with them and they just get all cranky at being insecure. Canadian people is friendly and nice, but we can also recognize douchebags. See how that works?

Aug 03, 2014 19:14 Report Abuse



Goodonyer Hadley. Keep yourself as positive as this for as long as you can. I've gotta admit to being a trifle on the negative side myself, from time to time. Oh well.

Jul 11, 2014 19:06 Report Abuse



I'm sorry but I can't take anyone seriously who includes smiley faces in their posts. If you think that an extended period of time in any one place somehow equates with wisdom then you are mistaken. Money does go farther here. I manage to save around 10,000 RMB a month without trying.

Jul 11, 2014 16:33 Report Abuse



What's your beef about smiley faces? Are you coming at it form some form of psychological viewpoint?

Jul 11, 2014 18:46 Report Abuse



Awww, saw an interesting post then realized it was Hadley again. =( Any posts that come in less than a year are really barely worth reading, just because it takes a bit of time to brush the fuzziness off and start seeing things more seriously. That being said at least he's actually got a year under his belt now. Yep, seems some reality is startin' to set in xD Apartments are decent? Hmm wouldn't go that far, but they are live-able if that's your definition of decent. Think money goes farther here? Only if you live a life like the locals who are legendary at saving money. No gym memberships , and eat a lot of chicken.

Jul 11, 2014 10:20 Report Abuse



Hadleys got the right attitude in my opinion. Funny to see the same old haterz talkin shit about his blogs, maybe a few could stop and think about how fortunate we are for being welcomed to China. And yes, most of.the Chinese do love the foreigners!

Jul 10, 2014 20:02 Report Abuse



Horseshit. Most of the Chinese tolerate us. No more.

Jul 13, 2014 11:24 Report Abuse



I like people who are positive. Hadley didn't really say anything too insightful but at least it was from the heart and relatively upbeat. Nobody really wants to listen when you cry about the terrible things that you must endure in life. People that do say they care are lying or probably just want to sleep with you. If you want to be a miserable sonofabitch then great, good for you - just don't expect anybody to care. You don't like China or Chinese people? Gee that's tough. Wait... I almost gave a shit. No, it's gone.

Jul 10, 2014 13:04 Report Abuse



So, you don't care about anybody but yourself, and believe in your core that everyone is the same as you in that regard. You've been assimilated into Chinese culture alright!

Jul 12, 2014 11:36 Report Abuse



Someone needs a hug.

Jul 19, 2014 15:22 Report Abuse



"Hadley didn't really say anything too insightful but at least it was from the heart and relatively upbeat. Nobody really wants to listen when you cry about the terrible things that you must endure in life." Do you have your copy?

Jul 24, 2014 22:28 Report Abuse



NZTEACHER, agreed! And thank you, I love laughing.

Jul 31, 2014 21:50 Report Abuse



To correct your assumptions: I don’t like it here, I can't go home (immigration), i definitely do want to, which is why I'm still here, complaining.

Jul 09, 2014 17:22 Report Abuse



I love that you have only been here ten months and already your posts have taken a more negative tone. We all called this. Give it another 6 months and the ranting will start. I look forward to it!

Jul 09, 2014 17:21 Report Abuse



I always like reading your posts, as you spout such rubbish!

Jul 09, 2014 14:27 Report Abuse