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From USA to CHina what to expect


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Hello Fellow ENAers.


I am going to China soon (around Shanghai) next year. I will be working at my cousins company and I am learning mandarin now and it feels like learning how to walk again. Has anybody been to China and stayed there for a long period of time. I need your feedback.




First question - are you Chinese?


That makes a world of difference.


Second question - If you are Chinese, how fluent are you in Chinese culture?


More questions:


1. Are you looking for a girl?

2. Do you intend to settle long-term?

3. Are you political?

4. How much family do you have in China?

5. What area is your question directed at: finance? romance? culture? politics?

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Thanks for your reply imprecision. Sorry for making this too vague lol


I am not Chinese. I am South Korean. Different language but common language roots like latin is to english and other languages using alphabets. I wouldnt be posting it here if I was chinese and had connection


I don't have family other than my cousin.


I just want to see the difference in cultures before i get a big culture shock.


I have lived in korea, peru, ghana, spain, and USA. 4,5,2,2,12 years.


How are the girls over there? I intend to settle long term 2 years or more.

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Lol, you know, all of a sudden, I don't quite know what to say in order to be helpful. There are a few cultural differences between China and the US, but you have to experience them to understand them.


I grew up in Vancouver, but I speak Chinese fluently, and I go back to China regularly. Just so you know.


Some tips:


1. Don't do drugs. The laws are strict. If you get caught with even a small amount of marijuana, you can sit in jail for years.


Plus, as soon as you mention drugs, people will start talking about the Opium Wars.


2. People aren't as used to foreigners in China as in the US. thereforee, you'll sometimes be singled out. However, since you're Asian, this won't happen to you as much as if you were white.


3. It's much easier to make friends in China than in the US. I speak from personal experience, but my western friends also confirm this.


For instance, in the West, it might take ten hang-outs to achieve a certain intimacy level with someone. In China, it might take three hang-outs. People take friendship and loyalty more seriously.


4. You have to make friends with Chinese people. Some westerners enjoy China very much. Many decide to settle permanently. I've observed that these people all have many Chinese friends, or even Chinese family members (through intermarriage).


It's easy to get burnt out if you don't have Chinese friends in China.


5. Chinese people are very nationalist on the surface. People feel the need to band together and present a united front in the presense of non-Chinese people. When Chinese people are by themselves, they hold diverse opinions.


6. Showing admiration for Chinese culture is a guaranteed way to impress your hosts. Dissing any aspect of China is a guaranteed way to alienate everyone.


It is very important to understand this - because the culture is not like the US where the norm is to be critical of your country. In private, most Chinese people are critical of at least some aspect of the government - but if a non-Chinese person criticises the government in public, then Chinese people will usually be defensive.


If you are amongst friends, however, then you can criticise the government.


Actually, a good tactic for you is to emphasise the deep connections between Korean and Chinese culture. This sets people at ease.


7. Chinese people are in general very hospitable. Far more hospitable than US people. Your friends will lavish you with gifts.


When you go to someone's house, you should bring a gift, e.g. fruits, candies, cakes, tea, etc.


8. It's probably a good idea to make friends with Overseas Chinese people who have returned to China. They will have more in common with you culturally.


9. While some westerners never get used to the mainland, all westerners uniformly love Hong Kong. If you feel burnt out at any point, try visiting HK for a bit.


10. The main trend in Chinese culture is universalist. In this way, it is similar to the US.


11. Don't give money to beggars! If you do, then you will be immediately surrounded by a throng of beggars.


12. The wealth gap is far greater than in the US. Some people are really poor, while others are really rich.


13. Expect to go to KTV a lot.


14. Don't visit prostitutes. And if you do, don't tell people about it.


15. Personally, I believe that Chinese women are the best women in the world. Other people might not agree.


It is definitely possible for you to find a good wife in China, however.


Please don't spend too much money on women! A good precept, whether in the US or in China. That being said, Chinese women are generally far trickier than US women. Men imagine that they seduce women, but in reality, women tame men. That's the universal truth everywhere.


Whenever I go back to China - if I wanted to, I can spend weeks without paying for my own dinner. I just call up my girls. Chinese women are generous.


Chinese women are more dramatic than western women. I like dramatic women, so, for me, that's a good thing. Chinese women are more sincere and loyal. As mentioned before, people take friendship more seriously in China than in the US.


16. People are in general more ambitious and go-getting than in the US.


17. Be aware that people might charge you more when they realise you are non-Chinese. Don't let them. Prove that you're an old China hand by speaking a few words of Mandarin.


I'll add more tips when I think of them. Feel free to ask questions, btw.




In summary, the most important thing for you to do is to find Chinese friends. If you have many Chinese friends, then everything else will be easy.


One easy tactic to make friends is to ask for help about the culture and the language. Just so you know.

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xie xie

ren shi ni hen gaoxing!!


Wow, I wont do drugs, hangout with prostitutes, and badmouth china.

There are many cultural similarities korea and china very conficius in family bonding and how you treat elders and authority.


Yea my friend who just came from china (he studied in a chinese University for 5 years) he told seriously like 1000 times. "seriously you will have a lot of girlfriends" I mean I am usually very friendly and people's person and I have lived in USA for 12 years but never in USA has there beeen a friend who told me I was gonna have many girlfriends here in USA. I didn't interpret that message as chinese girls as "easy" maybe along the lines where they are friendlier than americans. I've had my shares of american cliques and all that and even in highschool and college, by some divine force I get along better than chinese people than korean and other americans.


I don't know what you mean by chinese girls are more dramatic than US? Do they take extreme measures if I ever break up with them?


Oh yea and also I am learning a lot about chinese history and how I should read about Dengxiaoping who modernized china to the world. so i should publicly praise him!


Women taming men. and don't spend too much money on them LOL.


By the way, how did you learn mandarin, I really get jealous in a good way of course when I see americans and non asians speak mandarin so well. lol

What do you do in china as a profession? are you a businessman?


thanks a million and hope we can chat some more


zai jian!

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Hello Fellow ENAers.


I am going to China soon (around Shanghai) next year. I will be working at my cousins company and I am learning mandarin now and it feels like learning how to walk again. Has anybody been to China and stayed there for a long period of time. I need your feedback.




Have you been to China before or will this be your first time?

Great idea learning mandarin. I speak it myself and it would have been very difficult for me when I went to visit if I hadn't. I am Chinese myself, however I was born and raised in the US so I definitely experienced some culture shock.


For one thing, there are lots of people, especially in the larger cities so be prepared to be shoulder to shoulder in certain places. People tend to be much more confrontational than your average American, and speak very loudly. Try not to be offended as that's just the way some people are. It's also very important to respect those who are older than you.


Blend in. If you're at a market or some mom & pop shop, don't make it apparent that you're new or unfamiliar with the place as they may take advantage of you. Of course this won't be an issue if you're at a shopping center, but it's always a good idea not to draw attention to yourself. Also, be open minded with certain menu items/delicacies. When at first I saw the kind of items certain restaurants had to offer, I was uneasy, but I later tried some and ended up enjoying them.


There are very nice people in China though, some are used to tourists and people unfamiliar with their region will be more than happy to help you out.

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China is very nice. I have many friends down in Guangdong, and up in Chengdu.


I was thinking of heading to Zhuhai sometime in the next few years.


Chinese girls are very reserved, at least those I have met. Other than that I don't really have much to add. Just be very formal, Chinese are more reserved in general. I kissed a girl in public in China and that is offensive to some. If you lived in Korea, you know all about the proper customs there though. Serving a drink with 2 hands when you meet someone new.. accept it with 2 hands.. turn away when your drinking alcohol around your elderse.


I'm not saying these customs are the same, but you know about asian culture and how important it is to be formal.


Good luck man! I hope I might have the chance to settle down in Zhuhai for a little bit.

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