So….I am back…again…and yep….it’s been awhile…so what am I talking about today?
Still, being positive in China. However, over the past 3 months, I have been through the emotions of happiness, sadness, anger, and some depression. It’s part of being in another country and really being on your own, but it’s all good.
For everyone who has been waiting for me to talk about how I wanna leave China because I was being too naive before….forget about it. I still plan on living here for many many years to come.
Now, I am in Taiyuan, and when it comes to pollution, it’s gotta be near the top of the list for polluted cities in China, and it can get over 300 here on the pollution index at night pretty easily. That was where most of my depression came in. Not seeing blue skies, not being about to run outside and take a nap on the grass, or the lack thereof in Taiyuan, but it’s all about looking at the brighter side of things, which I still feel like many people have a hard time doing, and it’s not easy, but very possible.
Now, I don’t plan on living in northern China anymore after this year, due to the cold, pollution, lack of greenery, or a combination of the three, but it’s really because I feel like being down south is cleaner and being able to take long walks outside without a mask and seeing blue skies is what I really miss. For me personally, I love seeing grass, tress changing color in the fall, and not smelling ash in the air. Nature is very important for me. I feel like in many northern cities, the pollution actually takes a toll on the plant life and in some areas, the trees don't change color at all, just turn brown and die off. Many plants have dust and dirt on them from the air and construction. For me, it's not really what I want. If you are reading this, and if you are Chinese, I do apologize for those of you who love your cities and are living in northern China, or Taiyuan, more specifically. These are just my opinions. However, I need to be honest about the way I feel.
Like I said before though, I still will be living here for many years and I still feel like China is a great, safe, cool, and a very likable country. The people are very nice, helpful and so kind, more than most people in first-world countries. As someone of African decent, living in America is hard, especially now with all the police brutality going on, while in China, I can live a very happy and safe life where people are very open to accepting me for who I am. Even though Taiyuan is can get very polluted, the people here can really bring up your spirits. There are still great restaurants, decent transportation system, and on a clear day, the city looks gorgeous with mountains surrounding it.
I still have a very positive outlook on life in China, and thanks to my man Obama along with President Xi for extending the visas. That’s a great thing right there. Next stop is southern China, and I know I have a bright and fun-filled life ahead.
China, you are cool, and it’s all good. Every country has its problems, but the only things that really matter are the friends you make, the people you put yourself around, and trying to make the best out of every situation.
I guess that next post will be about being a vegetarian in China. Peace.
Tags:General Health & Environment Relationships Visa & Legalities Expat Rants & Advice Expat Tales Lifestyle
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Damn, and I got pretty down just from not hearing birds chirp for a several days straight with the air only getting to 200AQI... I guess I shouldn't complain! They got to have an indoor gym you can workout in! That's what I did, it was really starting to mess with my mind not being able to run outside on certain days, etc. If you can find an indoor gym and exercise a little, whew man! It will lift your spirits like no other. :). Good luck!
Dec 24, 2014 00:04 Report Abuse
I moved from Northern China to Southern China for the very reason you mentioned, but, ironically, the AQI is often higher down here than it is in the north. In fact, for the last few days, the AQI in Beijing has been better than the city I'm in (Fuzhou). On top of that, I have to deal with a tainted water supply and factories and refineries within a two mile radius of my school. There's no escape from the pollution unless you leave mainland China for Hainan or Macau.
Dec 04, 2014 09:39 Report Abuse
Nice blog post hadley. Taiyuan sounds like a pretty awful place on all fronts and you'll probably feel better elsewhere. For me, the pollution really sucks but what got me down about China after my initial year and a half honeymoon period was the people and culture. I began to realize how much of society was just a facade and how the only god in China is the almighty RMB. By learning to speak decent Mandarin I came to understand the culture a lot more and I don't like much of what I've seen... so much so that I've basically given up studying. I don't know how your Mandarin is but the more you understand the more you'll realize people are constantly making petty and ridiculous comments about you when you're in earshot and just treating you like a zoo animal (whether you're white or black though I'm guessing it's worse being black). Best of luck to you on your journey.
Dec 04, 2014 09:30 Report Abuse
Living here in Jinan sometimes gets me feeling the same. It's ridiculous cold, we're usually in the top 10 for PM 2.5 levels and there's not much green. Southern China is a tad bit more expensive than Northern from what I hear though, just be aware! I was previously vegan before going vegetarian this past year when I moved here, I'm curious to see your next blog.
Dec 03, 2014 14:41 Report Abuse
Yeah, southern China is more expensive, but more modern, cleaner and much more open than the north. I think it's okay for me. It's cool. Taiyuan is crazy in pollution and the locals here are mostly very very very traditional. So I wanna be south, even if its more expensive :)
Dec 03, 2014 15:40 Report Abuse
Oh man, Taiyuan is one of my top three worst places in China (possibly the world). I can see by your paragraphs that you are starting to crack a little. I am not saying you shouldn't stay positive but it is good you are starting to see beyond the facade that the Chinese try to pull over your eyes. For your own health (both mental and physical)... GET OUT OF TAIYUAN!
Dec 02, 2014 12:27 Report Abuse
-You'd most likely prefer Southern China. I hate the culture, as it is all about money, and less about drinking beer and screaming, but grey skies and long winters are pretty par for the course. Harbin had a few AQI 500 days already. -China is a big place and really differs from one region to another. I love Dongbei, but I lived in Korea and Russia so freezing myself and hitting the sauce is my hobby.
Dec 01, 2014 13:00 Report Abuse
I see, I'm not a big fan of closed thinking so much myself which is why I like southern China, and the cold, harsh, polluted winters of the north are a bit much for me as well. I do like China a lot, but as all things in life, there are some things that we all don't like. Pollution and cold weather are the things I don't enjoy being around.
Dec 01, 2014 22:16 Report Abuse