Here is a list that I composed about the yay (good) and nay (bad) about China. Of course these are my opinions so they will of course vary from person to person. Enjoy, and I hope, if you’re considering visiting China, this list will help you to learn more about it.
- Spitting- A lot of people spit in China. I don’t think you could ever get used to the sound of someone beside you hocking and doing a great big spit onto the ground. I miss everything that goes on around me because I’m constantly looking on the ground to avoid stepping on spit.
- Stares- You will get stared at A LOT. They will take pictures, videos, ask for pictures with you, so get ready to become the centre of attention to all Chinese people. If you’re shy at taking pictures, this is the PERFECT place to get over your shyness.
- Lack of creativity- From my teaching in college, I noticed a lot of students struggle to think creatively. Their mind is like a road. They stick to one route, not being able to veer left or right.
- Food- Some of the food is strange to say the least. You will get dishes where you have no idea what it is, so when possible, bring someone Chinese who can translate what the food is. Oh and chicken feet is extremely popular, and smelly tofu.
- Language barrier- With the older generation, English is hardly spoken, so be prepared to learn some basic phrases and do lots of miming. Although the younger generation know more English, don’t be surprised, if you are ever stuck communicating with someone older, some younger person comes over to help you.
- Traffic- I have witnessed about 10 car accident aftermaths since I’ve been to China. Traffic congestion is also bad during peak times.
- Pollution- Although I thought it would have been worse, pollution is always in China. Beijing is re-knowned for its smog, but thankfully Chengdu hasn’t been too bad with it. There is a constant haze and you will not see much blue sky about.
Although there are bad things about China, there are also some good.
- People- Chinese people are so so nice. They would go out of their way to help you with something. The older generation love when you answer ‘hello’ to them when they practise their English.
- Food-Although there is strange food, a lot of it is delicious. One of my favourites is Hot Pot, or in Mandarin huŏ guō.
- Inexpensive- a big bowl of noodles could cost you 12yuan, about €1.45. A restaurant outside our apartment, nicknamed ‘the rice place’, I would get a big bowl of rice, 2 sticks of meat and whatever veg I picked, this would cost me 15yuan, so €1.80.
- Lots to see- China is such a huge place so you won’t be stuck for things to do. In Chengdu itself, there are so many things to see and do.
- Transport- Transport is very accessible. Speaking about Beijing and Chengdu; they have the subway which is extremely cheap. For me, a bus to the subway takes about 25minutes, and costs 2yuan, so 25cent. From the subway to the city centre, it costs about 3 or 4yuan. There are also a lot of trains travelling all around China so it is easy to travel to somewhere else, just don’t forget your passport when buying train tickets.
- You Become Famous- It will be the closest feeling of being famous. Everyone wants to talk to you and be beside you. It is such a strange feeling at the beginning, but gradually you get used to it.
- You Become Healthier- Chinese people don’t eat much dairy, if any at all. From what I saw, they are not huge lovers of crisps or anything unhealthy. I’ve lost a little weight since I came back, and in my opinion, it was due to the fact that I didn’t eat any bread over there.
These are just a few things about my experiences in China, the good (yay) and the bad (nay)!