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01-02-2020, 09:42   #31
Mars Bar
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I would say interest is on the rise, but not enough to actually make the Chinese team decent . The've built lot's academies in recent years and hired lots of coaches from abroad, so they're trying. Maybe in a few years. Interest can be quite regional too, for example Dalian is known as a football city, mainly because they used to have the best team. Whereas in other cities basketball would be the most popular sport.
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I'm a full time coach in the Middle East. China is where a lot of the jobs are and the packages look decent on paper but I have heard of a lot of exploitation and poor conditions.
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01-02-2020, 11:13   #32
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I read the sad news of Wu Huayan, a 24-year-old student, on the BBC website (which is banned in China). It was reported she died from malnutrition as she scrimped money to pay her younger brother's medical bills. However, it appears she actually had a rare genetic condition which causes advanced aging of the body. It must be really scary in China if you are poor and need medical intervention. Do you have medical insurance?
Yes I have medical insurance through work. It covers inpatient care, but thankfully have never had to use it.

Healthcare here can range from excellent to downright atrocious. The big difference here is that almost everyone goes to hospital when they are sick, no matter how minor. They don't really have GP's in a sense, just go the hospital. It's not expensive if you just need to go in and get checked out, but the cost starts to rack up if you need surgery and have to stay in hospital. As an example, I had to get an MRI on my knee last year. It cost about 80 euro, got it done pretty much on the spot. But obviously if you're poor that can be a lot of money. Also, everything needs to be paid upfront. You pay first, then get treated.

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What are the supermarkets like over there? Is there the same range and diversity of goods as over here?
The supermarkets are an experience when you first arrive, especially the seafood section. Live fish, frogs, crabs, turtles etc. Definitely nowhere close to the same range and diversity of goods, the majority of the stuff is Chinese. Most large supermarkets will have an import section, as well as some familiar brands/items. But for the most part it's all Chinese stuff.

Funnily enough the most popular large supermarkets are probably Walmart, Vanguard and Carrefour. But maybe that's just because I'm not Chinese Carrefour is generally better for western products. The you have Ole and Metro, which are probably the best for western products, but there's less of them around.

If I want something, let's say an ingredient to cook a particular dish, I just buy it online. Online shopping is huge here. I can buy literally anything online and get it delivered to my door in a couple of days. I have a whole kitchen full of herbs, spices, condiments etc.

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Do Chinese people know anything about Ireland.
Not a lot to the honest, but it depends on the person. Most of them know it's near (or part of ) the Britain. The most common response is that Ireland is beautiful. Those more travelled might know a bit more, but the above is usually the extent of it. I get asked if I'm American all the time. White person, must be American.
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01-02-2020, 11:20   #33
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I'm a full time coach in the Middle East. China is where a lot of the jobs are and the packages look decent on paper but I have heard of a lot of exploitation and poor conditions.
I knew quite a few coaches in the previous city I lived in, played football with them every week. They were mostly South American, but I know of a few Irish coaches as well. They had mostly positive experiences from what I remember. But it's like any job in China, there's an element of luck as to how good/bad your employer will be. You can mitigate that somewhat by doing your research on the company, and most importantly asking to speak to current employees. Any good employer will be happy to put you in touch with someone who is working there, or has worked there previously.
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01-02-2020, 15:59   #34
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Do you feel like you miss out because you can't speak the lingo and therefore are limited to hanging out with Chinese who speak English and other Westerners?
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01-02-2020, 16:06   #35
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Ever encounter people who pry too much into your personal affairs? Asking OTT questions and the like?
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01-02-2020, 20:54   #36
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Whats the nightlife like there, or the seedier side of things I mean. In general I have found the Chinese to be a relatively conservative people when dealing with them but assume there is a sex, drug, underworld section of society and is it all gang controlled? With government blessing/cooperation or what do you make of it?
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01-02-2020, 21:56   #37
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Has your time living in China increased your appreciation of the importance of maintaining a good environment e.g. access to good quality water, fresh air, open spaces, even personal space where you can 'get away from it all'?

I've visited China approx 5 or so times (Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing mainly as well as a few touristy spots) and really noticed these things where they were negative (so much so that I'm not really in any hurry to return, to be honest).
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02-02-2020, 09:07   #38
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Really interesting reading about your experiences in China, I would love to hear about some of the customs and traditions that are different to our own.

Are there great fears for the economy over there? Surely shutting down workplaces is going to have a significant impact on both the nations economy and on individuals, particularly after reading about your description of the hours some people work. Is salary protection a thing over there? will your poorly paid office cleaner get paid when he/she doesn't have an office to clean for two weeks?

My early Sunday morning head is also struggling to understand why you have to show your passport to use public transport etc during this virus outbreak, does your identity or nationality matter? the virus doesn't discriminate so what is the significance of a passport? probably a totally reasonable explanation that I don't have the brain power to come up with right now!
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02-02-2020, 09:36   #39
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Do you feel like you miss out because you can't speak the lingo and therefore are limited to hanging out with Chinese who speak English and other Westerners?
No not really. I have friends, and friends of friends, who don't speak English and it's not really an issue. Issues arise when you need to go the bank or hospital, or something online those lines. That requires a whole other level of Chinese which I certainly don't possess. When I hurt my knee, try to describe that was probably pretty funny for a spectator. But again, in those situations you have plenty of apps that translate voice to text.

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Ever encounter people who pry too much into your personal affairs? Asking OTT questions and the like?
From my experience this is more evident in smaller cities, for 2 reasons. First, smaller community that are less likely to see a foreigner so everyone wants to be friends with you. Second, in smaller cities you sometimes have no choice but to only hang out with only Chinese people. That's not to say you wouldn't do that in a bigger city, but certainly not as often. You still get in bigger cities, but not as much and it's more 'controllable'. It doesn't bother me though, I've lived in a small city and loved it. However, I can see how it would annoy some certain people.

I still get asked every now again if I'm married, how old I am, how much money I make etc. They're quite common questions if you meet Chinese people who have had little or no interaction with foreigners. I got asked how old I was in the elevator yesterday by some old dude. But again, not every Chinese person will ask such things.

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Whats the nightlife like there, or the seedier side of things I mean. In general I have found the Chinese to be a relatively conservative people when dealing with them but assume there is a sex, drug, underworld section of society and is it all gang controlled? With government blessing/cooperation or what do you make of it?
Nightlife is decent enough. I wouldn't be much into clubbing anymore, but there are plenty of bars that would fit whatever type of night you're looking for. Drinking at bars can be expensive, funnily enough. Especially if your tipple of choice is a foreign brand.

Regarding drugs, I'm probably not the right person to ask as to how available they are. I do know some people who have smoked weed from time to time. However in the past year or so there has been a big crackdown by the police. Bars have been raided in several cities and people drug tested. It's not worth it, the minimum you're looking at if you get caught is 2 weeks detention, after which you get deported. I know a couple of people that this has happened to, including a husband and wife.

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Originally Posted by namenotavailabl View Post
Has your time living in China increased your appreciation of the importance of maintaining a good environment e.g. access to good quality water, fresh air, open spaces, even personal space where you can 'get away from it all'?

I've visited China approx 5 or so times (Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing mainly as well as a few touristy spots) and really noticed these things where they were negative (so much so that I'm not really in any hurry to return, to be honest).
Probably the reason I could never live in Shanghai or Beijing to be honest. Of the above issues you mentioned, the only one that comes to mind as a bit of an issue on occasions is the fresh air. While not constant, pollution in northern China during winter can be terrible some days. Of course, if I had a choice I would prefer that wasn't the case but at the end of the day those are the choices you make.

While I do miss going to the kitchen sink to grab a glass of water, I do have a water dispenser that I can have refilled whenever I want. Even the outdoor and personal space, I can jump on the ebike and go for a walk in the park. Or jump on a train/bus and go out into the sticks If I want, that's always fun to do. I guess living here is just far different to visiting, everything becomes normal. You really notice that when you have people come visit. Now THAT is a fun experience.
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02-02-2020, 11:45   #40
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Really interesting reading about your experiences in China, I would love to hear about some of the customs and traditions that are different to our own.

Are there great fears for the economy over there? Surely shutting down workplaces is going to have a significant impact on both the nations economy and on individuals, particularly after reading about your description of the hours some people work. Is salary protection a thing over there? will your poorly paid office cleaner get paid when he/she doesn't have an office to clean for two weeks?

My early Sunday morning head is also struggling to understand why you have to show your passport to use public transport etc during this virus outbreak, does your identity or nationality matter? the virus doesn't discriminate so what is the significance of a passport? probably a totally reasonable explanation that I don't have the brain power to come up with right now!
Yeah there are measures in place for this. I have had a quick read of it but it depends on a a lot of things, including if you were infected, what type of job you have, if you're voluntarily not going to work or don't have a choice etc. This is obviously only coming into force as of the last few days, so I'm not entirely sure of what happens to to a cleaner for example. I can give you an example for my company if that helps. This is a breakdown of the official email if that helps, but beyong that I don't know about other people.

- Must fill in a online health check form every morning before 10am, in case someone starts to get symptoms.
- Official government holiday extension, 30th January to February 3rd, will be paid as normal.
- Those that are unable to work from Feb 3rd until Feb 9th, are encouraged to use their personal leave. Those who can work from home will do so from February 3rd until at least February 9th. This may be extended.
- Anyone who has been infected, or is suspected of being infected (medical supervision and quarantine), will be paid as normal.

Yeah everyone has to show their ID, obviously for foreigners that would be your passport. For Chinese people it would be their ID card. To be fair, it's quite common in China to have to show ID. It's just how things are here. Any (long distance) bus, train, many tourist attractions...must show your ID. Want to get a sim card, must show your ID. So while it might sound strange, I'm not really surprised. Though like you, don't quite understand it in case.
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02-02-2020, 19:35   #41
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ever try luckin coffee or hear about it?
what food delivery app do you use? is it from meituan dianping?
what app is the equivalent of netflix?

thanks
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03-02-2020, 01:50   #42
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What is the Chinese technology and internet service like? Do you have difficulty accessing many sites that you could have in a western country?

What aspects of the Chinese culture do you find best?
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03-02-2020, 06:23   #43
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Do you have any good weird expat stories? China in my experience has been a magnet for oddball expats who get into all sorts of scrapes.

(Not for a moment suggesting you're an odd expat! Just that my in-and-out again experience of the place is that is has become home to a lot of lost souls trying to reinvent themselves)
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03-02-2020, 08:30   #44
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ever try luckin coffee or hear about it?
what food delivery app do you use? is it from meituan dianping?
what app is the equivalent of netflix?

thanks
I buy Luckin coffee every morning, it's super convenient. I order ut on my phone while I'm on the the bus to work, and it's sitting there waiting for me when I get there. But 2 coffees, get one free Works out much cheaper than starbucks.

I use both Ele.me and Meituan. Meituan probably has a few more options than Ele.me though. Meituan is also great for restaurant deals, booking cinema tickets etc.

To be honest I don't use any Chinese sites or apps to watch stuff. I use QQ music for music, but that's about it. If I want to watch something I, ahem, torrent it. Piracy is not something you have to worry about here. Netflix is a bit hit and miss with a VPN.

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Originally Posted by JCX BXC View Post
What is the Chinese technology and internet service like? Do you have difficulty accessing many sites that you could have in a western country?

What aspects of the Chinese culture do you find best?
The internet here is pretty decent for the most part. Obviously, there are a lot f sites that are blocked (google, youtube, facebook, reddit etc), but all you need is a VPN to get around that. Internet in my apartment is 100 mbps. Sure, the VPN slows things down a bit, but not by a noticeable amount. So I have zero issues. On occasion the Chinese government will target VPN's when there is something important happening, try to slow them down. But again, ways around that.

Technology here is the same as any western country, though they just do certain things better. I'm sure people have heard about cashless payment in China, well they do it better than anyone else. I haven't been to an ATM in over a year. You don't even need a bank card, everything is done through your phone. The only time I couldn't use my phone in the past year (probably even 2 years) was at a 5 star hotel, they only accepted card for the deposit. It's one of my favourite things about living here.

Regarding the culture, I love eating out here. It's a much more social experience then at home. You order a bunch of different dishes and everyone shares, so you get to try many things instead of just having your own plate of food. I also love the people, for the most part they are extremely friendly, helpful and generous. There are exceptions of course, as with anywhere, but overall they're a great bunch of lads. Apart from that, it's just a really beautiful country, countless things to do see. So much so that after 4 years I still have a big list of places of I want to visit.
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03-02-2020, 08:55   #45
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Do you have any good weird expat stories? China in my experience has been a magnet for oddball expats who get into all sorts of scrapes.

(Not for a moment suggesting you're an odd expat! Just that my in-and-out again experience of the place is that is has become home to a lot of lost souls trying to reinvent themselves)
I don't really have any weird ones of my own, more so just the usual funny stories that happen when you live in a different country. I work in HR, so I deal with English teachers every day. So in a sense I get a front row seat to some of antics and oddballs that end up in China. I'll list some memorable ones, maybe not all weird but ones that definitely stand out. Most of them involve alcohol.

- American teacher who lived in a small city gets drunk on Baijiu and tries to walk home. Gets lost and climbs over a fence into a large field, then falls asleep on the grass. Gets woken up by a bunch of guys with rifles. Turns out he had managed to wander into a military base.

- 2 teachers get drunk and go back to their apartment. Can't open the front door so they decide to play with fire extinguishers. Eventually, in their drunken state, they proceed to try to kick the front door in. And yes, you guessed it, they were on the wrong floor. Chinese guy comes out with knife and they run away but get arrested down the road, one of them with no shoes.

- Dude meets a Chinese girlfriend in a bar and brings her back to his apartment. Goes to work to the next morning only to come home later in the evening to find she is still there, cooking and cleaning. Next day she is still there and is refusing to leave, saying that he has to marry her. This is another small city and he is working for a company that places teachers in public schools. Nobody at his school is willing to help. He tries to tell the police but they don't care. Eventually he has to call the boss who owns the placement company and tell him what's going on. The boss says he has seen this happen before and tells the guy to back his bags on leave immediately. So he leaves in the middle of the might and gets a train to a different city where he is placed in a different school.

- Friend of mine met some Chinese people at a restaurant, started drinking with them. They invite him to a party at one of their homes. No harm in that he thinks. Goes to the apartment only to find about 15 naked people performing all sorts of sex acts on each other. He had been invited to an orgy. Rather than trying to explain that this was not his thing, he just ran.
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