One year in China

On the 14th of October 2015 I got off of a Korean airlines flight (which had the absolute worst food I have ever eaten on an airplane, FYI), walked into a bathroom to throw up, then had my bags sniffed by a tiny little mutt of a dog (while the bag was still in the carousel.

I had arrived in China. And now, one year later I am still alive[1].

So I guess this would be a good time to do a little year in review about China, and my thoughts here after one year.

I don’t know. I just don’t fucking know.

It’s hard to divide what was my experience in China from a terrible year generally. I want to say that this year has been bad for me, but that may just be the fact that this year has generally been fucking awful for everyone involved. This best way I can really get the point across is by attempting to answer the following question; would I recommend China to a friend?

The answer is no.

There isn’t just enough bang for your buck when it comes to living here (I guess this sounds odd coming from me, and considering the fact that I am opting to stay another year. But the reality is that I am hear another year only because this one caught me with my pants down and I had no plans to go anywhere else. I will not let that happen again). There are tangible pros and cons to living in any country, but here the pros are negligible and  the cons pretty noteworthy.

I supposed pro of being here is the fact that I get paid well. But the fact of the matter is that I do not, or at least not in any long term sense. Sure, I make good money by Chinese standards, but that really only effects me while I am here. Should I leave I will find the money that I have accumulated to be pretty insubstantial. Sure, while I am here I can live well (I can afford pretty much what I want, when I want), but only because the cost of living is shit-low. I could manage a middle-class existence if I stayed here long term, but would I want to.? There is horrible pollution, the city is ugly (this whole point is getting its own post), and the people are pretty fucking awful.

Let me harp on that for a bit. There is a phenomenon that exists everywhere in the world. It is human nature. People whom you are in contact with treat you much better than strangers. This is obviously nothing revolutionary. But in China the inverse of that, the fact that people who you don’t know treat you with indifference, is taken to a ludicrous extreme. You see it constantly. The mind-numbing instance I saw was when a middle aged man, pulled an elderly lady off a bus because she was taking to long to get on, and he proceeded to climb onto the bus himself without looking back. I was so angry it made me forget about the hundreds of times I have seen similar things happen. If you are not at the door when the  when the elevator stops and the doors open, the idiots waiting to get on will not let you off As if you can get off later, and it is all the same. Same with metro cars. It is so bad that a good friend of mine, an otherwise non-threatening UK female, prides herself on shoulder-tackling anyone foolish enough to try to  get onto the metro while she is getting off. And it isn’t like this is somehow new to the Chinese, if you are on the Shanghai metro (where said friend lives) there are reminders everywhere that you need to let passengers off first.

It sounds like a nit-picking point, but this is everywhere.

So the interactions with the people are a huge minus. But aside from that, I don’t really see any other pluses.  I find the restaurants to be awful, and those few that aren’t are very expensive. There are also isn’t terribly much else to do here. Add to this the fact that almost everywhere you go the amenities are extremely poor, and I have pretty much no desire to ever go anywhere in this country. I am much more interested in seeing other countries, at this point.


So let’s review.


  1. I am well-paid. Sorta. But not really.


  1. I’m paid in monopoly money.
  2. Shit food.
  3. Rude people.
  4. Boring country.
  5. Pollution.
  6. Everything is filthy.

I give living in China an F, for ‘Fuck You’. Not recommended.


[1] I may not still be alive. I right these blog posts well in advanced, and so someone may have taken me out between the time of my writing and the time of your reading. Spooky!


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