Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Few Suprising (To Me) Facts About China


Week one in China finished; no teaching yet, just a week of orientation and getting settled in. Some first impressions: 

1) Turns out they really do eat Kung Pao chicken in China -- One of the first things people I knew who had worked in China before me said was that the food would be completely different than the Chinese food I was used to. Full of bones, I was warned, and different spices, and putrid fish, and perhaps cat meat instead of chicken. 

Well maybe somewhere, but in the local Szechuan cafe near my apartment, I'm happy to say it's an exemplary version of the Chinese food I grew up with. (Although, I haven't seen egg rolls yet.) My school thoughtfully provided us with a translated menu to point at, and they have a picture menu as well. 

Having said that, though, I'm amazed at the number of people at the school I work at who say that can't or won't eat Chinese food. (Usual fucking brilliant English teachers.)

2) Beijing and the area around it is surprisingly green -- I was surprised how many parks and green areas there are in and around Beijing. I live about an hour from Beijing and it's positively fucking verdant out here. 

Now, you'd think that would go a long way towards mitigating the 800 ppm pollution, but apparently it doesn't. There is still a lot of construction in progress around where I live though, also, so it's full of dust. 

3) Cheap Chinese stuff costs less in other countries than it does in China -- So my new employers took us around to supermarkets and shops to get all the stuff we'd need for our apartments, and all that stuff that's made in China -- toilet brushes, mops, etc -- costs a little bit more here than it would in America or Saudi. (I mean, still not much, of course.)The same seems to go for all the electronics that are made in China. I paid $50 for a coffee maker that would cost $25 in America.

So there you go. The hard-hitting investigative journalism you've come to expect here at ETX. 

7 comments:

Jug Jugette said...

Riveting stuff, X. Now when do we get onto the mongering?

Nerman said...

It's really not that different from other countries in Asia. You can get your KTV whores, your average whore in a window, you can get them delivered on motorscooters, and what not.

shout out to ETX, your AMA in /r/tefl was an enjoyable experience. I'm glad I could get you to come hang out with us for a bit. Good luck here in China, I hope it works out well for you.

Barry O'Leary said...

What about chopsticks? Do they use them to eat, or pick their nose? Always wondered that one...

englishteacherx said...

And they actually eat rice with those things. who'd have thought it? Even the thais use spoons to eat rice.

Anonymous said...

In Tianjin perhaps? If so, I can recommend some good bars. I was there last year.

Anonymous said...

Oh and on it being green.. wait until later in the year when the pollution really sets in. It'll look like it's foggy all the time.. except that's not fog.

There's even a proposal to move the entire capital to another city that is less prone to being polluted (winds and stuff).

Deb Auchery said...

Glad you are working overseas again. Are you still with Russian GF or single?