In 46 days, I will be leaving Beijing, China for South Korea. In the last 10 months, I have had many ups and down days with China. Overall I’ve had a great time in Beijing, but I’m definitely ready to move on. On most days, these things don’t bother me, but there are times when nothing seems to be going right and it all comes to a boiling point. So, let’s just jump into it.
I hate the fact that I have to VPN for every social media that I use. Social media is the only way that I can keep up with my friends and family in America. Here in China; Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and all Google apps are blocked, plus many more sites. Seventy percent of foreign websites are currently blocked in China. It makes you feel disconnected from everything when you can’t readably access these apps. Also, here you can’t get Hulu or Netflix because they have content that the government wouldn’t like here in China. For example, anything depicting homosexual acts is banned in China. There’ve been popular TV shows that have had to cancel productions because the content centers around a homosexual relationship. Censorship is also a way for China to save Face or Guanxi (One way to describe Face is that it is the prevention of embarrassment at all costs). So, because they can’t control or pressure foreign apps/ companies to take down what is published on sites about their officials, themselves, or the Chinese people, they will ban it from being used in China.
Because of the Great Firewall/ all the censorship in place, the internet here is really slow and spotty. Imagine dial up internet and that’s what you could be working with sometimes. Whenever the government decides to go on a VPN blocking party it makes the internet even slower and good luck accessing Hulu or Netflix. There are times/ days that the internet just doesn’t work. I’ve gone into the office and can’t connect to the Wi-Fi for hours or even days at a time. In the last three and a half months I have had to go to several different cafes to get a decent connection so that I could use my VPN and connect to Blogger and Facebook Pages to submit my assignments for my graduate classes. We use an interactive webpage to teach our classes and there are been days where it takes 10 minutes to just load the intro pages because the internet is unreliable.
Atmosphere/ Environment/ Pollution
I hate having to wear a face mask. The only good thing about this is that it protects your face from the bitter cold wind when you’re walking outside. The pollution here can make you feel sad and depressed. It’s a gray blanket that hangs over the city for days. It also makes everything dirty and gray. With the pollution comes dust and dirt that never goes way and gets on and into everything. For instance, I have had to start washing my clothes twice just to wash out the dust out of them and then they will accumulate more dust, while drying. No matter how much you clean, the dirt and dust comes back in hours because it’s in the air. When you walk out of your apartment you will see piles of trash just sitting in the middle of the courtyard or bins over flowing. You can walk down the street and you will see people burning trash in the street or just throwing their trash on the ground. If you’re a germaphobe and a clean freak China will be your worst nightmare. If you come to China I recommend that you buy an air purifier.
No Common Courtesy
When I say no common courtesy, Chinese people just don’t think of others. They will cut in front of you when you’re inline at the subway or store, bump into you on the subways or in the street. Many times, I have had people just stop in front of me on the escalators, stairways, at the subway turn styles, and try to run you over when you’re walking in the streets. They are either staring at the program they are watching on their phone, the game that they are playing, or don’t have a clue where they are going. If your waiting at the subway terminal you will have old men and women and parents who will push you out of the way or cut in front of you to get to the only open seat on the subway. The thing that’s annoying about it is that they think it’s funny/cute to do this. Also, when you get are getting off the subway they are supposed to leave the middle unblocked for unloading passengers, but because they want to get that seat, they will pile in the middle as you’re getting off and you must push them out of the way. If I see this, I will make myself seem bigger by standing taller, pushing out my chest, and stick my arms out like I’m getting ready to lock arms with someone so that they have to go around me.
This is probably the one thing that I won’t ever get used to about China. I suggest you don’t ever look down when you’re out walking in China. People spit in the streets, walking in the subway terminals, in elevators, and in restaurants. The things that gets to me isn’t the actual spit but the sound they make right before they spit. Imagine you have server chest congestion and you’re trying to clear out your chest and you produce this wet flemmy sound and imagine you just did this over a microphone attached to your chest. The sound is loud and it’s wet and I’ve even heard it over the music pumping from my headphones. The sad part is that kids, men and women, old and young do this. Nothing is worse that a good-looking girl or guy doing this right in front of you or almost spitting on you. I warned you at the beginning of the to not look down because anywhere you will walk you will see spit stains or fresh spit on the ground. This is my biggest pet peeve and the thing I won’t ever get used to about China.
So, there you have it guys. My list of the 5 things I hate about China. These are presented in no particular order. I would say my number one is spitting. This list is just the biggest things that get to me about living in China on a daily or weekly basis. Until next time guys, remember keep it simple and be on the lookout for my next post, the 5 Things I Love about China.