The first foreigner that I would like to introduce is Isaac, he is a Mexican who has been living and working in China for over 2 years. Recently he has left China and has begun work in the United States! When I asked him to write 5-7 sentences about his likes and dislikes about China, he gave me way more than that! I don’t know what I was thinking asking for a simple answer when even myself would have provided a mouth full too.
“What I think about China? Well definitely the thing I like the most is the fact that it’s safer than other countries, I mean you can walk completely alone on the streets at 3am and you won’t get assaulted with violence. However, I still met tons of people including myself, who have all been pickpocketed before. My wallet and iPhone have all been stolen several times.
People are rude and selfish at first, because their idea of survival after the past history of starvation and the huge concentration of people made them act this way. Once you get to know them, they are warmer and closer to you and they will treat you really good. I’m not saying all, but the population in average is like that, of course you have a few people that like to work with foreigners.
It’s also a country for opportunities, being a foreigner means earning lots of money even without a degree, or even start modeling like I did, which would have never happened in America.
Food is different, and western food is so expensive, so you better adapt to either eating chinese food or spending thousands on imported food or restaurants.
My overall experience was satisfying enough, I might go back if I get the chance, but I would give priority to other countries that I’ve never been to.
At work and business, I worked in the IT field. While working there communication, concepts, terms, flows are completely different, and one of the things I disliked the most is the fact that they don’t really care how things work outside of China, and they want you to work just like them. Also contracts are not important, just a piece of paper to them. It’s all about just what they had promised by voice, and I learned that it doesn’t matter how kind they are, always expect them to cheat you when it comes to business.Other friends of mine were working as teachers, babysitters or startups, so their experience is way different. It really depends on what you go for and do in China.
One of the things I loved the most is that flights and trains are cheap, hostels the same, and there are so many things to see and learn, I really like their ancient traditions and buildings, their rituals, how everything is releated to nature for them, like when you get sick, a chinese doctor will give you herbs or teas, but if you go to an international english-speaking hospital, they will give you western pills or medicine. I also loved the spas and massage, I was really addicted to the point that I used to go every single week.
My chinese friends were also really helpful when it came to showing me around, teaching me the different types of eating and table manners, how to use chopsticks, how to find things on Taobao, Baidu, etc. They would even show me chinese restaurants and bars, where I would literally be the only foreigner.
Nightlife in China is also amazing though, the cities don’t sleep, and it’s incredible the huge amount of money that chinese spend on alcohol, and drunk or not, they will always try to give foreigners free shots. BUT be careful because they won’t stop until you are really really drunk.
Some other things I liked is the fact that you can wear whatever clothes you want, I could easily go to work in sandals, without shaving or combing my hair, while here in America I would have been sent back home right away to get proper clothing and to shave.
In brief, I feel as if China is the complete opposite of America. For example, in the USA everything is illegal, everything can get you in trouble, they stick to contracts and small letters, they are attention-seekers and outgoing, while in China nothing is illegal, you can do whatever you want, contracts are not important, people are shy and introvert.
With all of this being said, I really think China is a good country, but not everyone can stand it, and with so much freedom you really get to know yourself better, you learn new things everyday, and it can change you for the best or for the worse!”
Wow thank you so much Isaac for your personal insight into the life of living in Shenzhen, China! These are his own personal feelings and this is what he has experience while living in Shenzhen. People who have lived in China can relate to a lot of the stuff that he was saying, like myself. When he talked about the dress code in the work place, I instantly thought back to this past Monday, when I wore leggings and a hoodie to class. I was having such a bad day, that I didn’t even bother to take off my hoodie while teaching! THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN IN AMERICA!!! I used to dress up, but after I seen some of the Chinese teachers wearing sweats, short shorts, hoodies, and jeans then I decided to have a down day too, which turned into a dress down year haha! Isaac also touched upon an important factor in living in China, the ridiculous amount of opportunities for foreigners, especially in Shenzhen. Shenzhen is a growing city economically and right now everyone is just trying to get a piece of that money pie. Every foreigner that I have met is either a teacher or they are conducting business here.
Anyways, Hopefully Isaac’s personal statement gave you a better understanding about Chinese people and what to expect while living in Shenzhen. Check out the slideshow of to see pictures of his daily life in China.