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wicket
June 11th, 2009, 07:41
I gotta few questions. Help an old lady out.

1. If you had to pick between living/working in Beijing or Shanghai, which would it be; and why?

2. What are prices like - housing, food, transport, etc.?

3. Did you ever go from China to Japan? Plane or ferry? Why?

4. I speak/read no Chinese and don't really have a desire to learn it as I don't want to fuck up my Japanese and I'm not smart enough for three languages. Will I make any friends that aren't ex-pats?

AliDimayev
June 11th, 2009, 07:44
Learning Chinese wouldn't fuck up your Japanese.

dombay
June 11th, 2009, 08:50
I gotta few questions. Help an old lady out.

1. If you had to pick between living/working in Beijing or Shanghai, which would it be; and why?

Shangers, hands down. Hands cut off even. Shanghai is a modern, cosmopolitan and international city. It's also bigger than Beijing. It's interesting and you can meet lots of interesting people from all over the shop. It's got a lot of recent colonial history which is nice to look at and feel in the atmosphere.

Beijing I'm not such a fan of. Shanghai is polluted but Beijing takes it to a new level. If you're after touristy stuff Beijing can be good and there are a lot of tourist sites of old imperial China which are nice (though crowded) but if you're after somewhere to live and soak up the atmosphere Shanghai is far better and far more interesting. Beijing is good for a few days but I certainly wouldn't want to live there. It doesn't even feel the same as the rest of the country I didn't feel and I'm not quite sure why.


2. What are prices like - housing, food, transport, etc.?

Always getting more expensive it seems. Like the most recent trip I made to China which was last year I was surprised by how much things had gone up in price just in the space of a few years. Housing you might want to get the people you work for to help you out. Food is getting more expensive I think but you can eat much more cheaply still than you can in Australia or Japan and you can eat pretty well. Transport is still cheap though not always nice. Beijing subway is still 2 kuai and off you go. Shanghai the transport is better and a little more expensive but still probably less than a US dollar wherever you want to go.

Still on the whole pretty cheap but inflation's been running rampant through China the last few years and you can tell at the Trust Mart checkout.


3. Did you ever go from China to Japan? Plane or ferry? Why?

Only when I've been living in Japan. Before JET I'd never been to Japan. I cannot imagine it being hard to do.


4. I speak/read no Chinese and don't really have a desire to learn it as I don't want to fuck up my Japanese and I'm not smart enough for three languages. Will I make any friends that aren't ex-pats?

I agree with Ali here. They probably won't interfere. I was watching an American drama with Chinese subtitles the other day and though it was in English it is English through the lens of daytime drama that takes forever to get to the point. I was following the story mroe through the subtitles.

Wicket, your J is pretty good and I think you'd find that your knowledge of kanji would be an asset in China. But no point being there unless you're going to learn it and really it's a tonne easier than Japanese. The hard bit is the written parts but once you know J like you do thats a lot of the hard bit taken care of.

mteacher80
June 11th, 2009, 10:12
I will not answer as in detail as doms...

I would suggest Shanghi over Beijing as well. I have friends that live there and have for 5-10 years and love it to death. You will have a better time there if you dont speak chinese as there are loads more people there that speak english. also a very high japanese population. I do think it would be more expensive than Beijing but thats just one thing you would have to put up with in order to have everything else.
If you are worried abotu the language, dont do any formal study, but i think you can pick up a lot just by being there and actually japanese background will help. i did japanese first then studeied chinese and lived in beijing and shenzhen then back to japan. i have lost lots (most?) of my chinese but never in no way did one hinder the other. sometimes i would mix them up if i didnt knwo a word or phrase and that was funny but not to terribly difficult to fix.

well good luck and let us know whats going on.

ps. china is pretty dirty in general so make sure you get the babys lungs as healthy as possible before heading over... :^_^:

AliDimayev
June 11th, 2009, 11:10
Where are all the people to yell at Wicket for wanting to move to China but has no desire to learn the language?

dombay
June 11th, 2009, 11:39
Most of us are very My Japan type personalities so one probably wouldn't expect that here.

wicket
June 11th, 2009, 18:35
Thanks everyone.
It's the reading/writing aspect of Chinese that puts me off, because I'm going to have enough to worry about with a new baby and studying for the JLPT in December as it is.
I'm interested in learning Speaking/Listening skills though. Those of you who know me know I love to talk! Pronunciation seems really hard - please tell me I'm wrong. And what's with the Mandarin thing? I thought Cantonese was more popular/widely used?
Andy has his third [telephone] interview today for a great job as a lead animator in Shanghai, so keep everything you've got crossed for us!
Glad to hear you all said Shanghai in preference to Beijing. That was my feeling from research on the interwebs, but it's always better to hear it from people who've been there.

JackAttack
June 11th, 2009, 18:44
I wouldn't worry too much about the language. When I was there, my friends who had been studying Japanese for a few years actually had an easier time reading Chinese than they did Japanese. :confused:

Mandarin is the official language used in Taiwan and more north, Cantonese in Hong Kong and the south. You also get the joy of simplified characters on the mainland!

You'll get random people coming up to you saying things like "You my best friend!" or "You teach me English?" or other weird phrases. Just splutter out some basic Chinese and a few English words and you're good to go!

Neb
June 11th, 2009, 19:18
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6f/Map_of_sinitic_languages-en.svg/281px-Map_of_sinitic_languages-en.svg.png
Cantonese is mostly known for being spoken in Hong Kong, while Mandarin is most widely used in most other parts of China (and Taiwan).

wicket
June 11th, 2009, 19:45
Thanks Neb... bloody hell, I know NOTHING about China.

Ini
June 11th, 2009, 20:51
. But no point being there unless you're going to learn it

I'm sorry, what? Theres no point spending an extended period of time in a country unless you are intending to learn the native language?

dombay
June 11th, 2009, 20:53
Pretty sure that a lot of the dialects within Canto or the Wu dialects themselves or any of the other southern ones are unintelligible to each other. Stick with Mandarin. Canto I think is only thought of as common because of so much emigration.

I don't think the pronunciation is as impossible as people make out. Takes some getting used to but it's not impossible. I still make mistakes a fair bit in the not-many-chances I get to speak C these days and I'm really not all that good but I can get around ok with mine so people must understand my pronunciation enough?

dombay
June 11th, 2009, 20:54
I'm sorry, what? Theres no point spending an extended period of time in a country unless you are intending to learn the native language?

Yea the Hub gets pretty boring after about 20 minutes you see.

Ini
June 11th, 2009, 20:59
I've lived in 5 countries and only ever spoken english. I'd say living abroad has much more to offer than learning a few shitty grammar points in some pissant language

dombay
June 11th, 2009, 21:03
So learn more than that?

It's not particularly hard when you're overseas long-term anyway and especially if you already have a working knowledge of a related language.

Ini
June 11th, 2009, 21:15
rubbish, its only not hard if you are young and good at languages.

dombay
June 11th, 2009, 21:17
How old are you Ini?

Ini
June 11th, 2009, 21:20
judging by my skin, about 65

dombay
June 11th, 2009, 21:24
So it's just a you being a spack thing then and Wicket should be fine?

Ini
June 11th, 2009, 21:27
I have a 2 cm penis

dombay
June 11th, 2009, 21:48
Not trolling there are we Ini?

Ini
June 11th, 2009, 21:54
What did I say that wasn't a stone cold fact?

dombay
June 11th, 2009, 21:56
Well you overestimated your dick size for a start.

Ini
June 11th, 2009, 22:04
Hey, you wrote it. It can be whatever you want it to be seeing as its imaginary

dombay
June 11th, 2009, 22:07
You're not a bloke after all?

Ini
June 11th, 2009, 22:09
man, women, new half, you're very conservative for a faggot

dombay
June 11th, 2009, 22:25
Lots of very conservative faggots out there. Me? Japan turned me into a right wing hater.

Answer the question for me would you, love.

Ini
June 11th, 2009, 22:26
I'm nothing more than an abnormality, a ghost in the shell

dombay
June 11th, 2009, 22:27
I hear there's drugs for that htese days?

Timoshi
June 11th, 2009, 22:48
Thanks Neb... bloody hell, I know NOTHING about China.

China vs. Japan.

China wins on...

Culture, History, Food, Attractions, Cost of Living, Atmosphere and Fun.

Japan has...

Not very sketchy, combinis, security, and not as likely to get food poisoning (except Osaka, where everybody gets sick, it seems)

Ini
June 11th, 2009, 22:49
dont forget all chinese people are rude cunts

Timoshi
June 11th, 2009, 22:56
That is true.

... meh...

dombay
June 11th, 2009, 23:18
dont forget all chinese people are rude cunts

I don't agree with this hey. I think that once you get to know them more on an individual basis they're not as bad as people think. Out in the street people go to big cities when they go to China where things are rude, pushy and unpleasant. But so is Sydney, so is Osaka and so is New York.

The Japanese on the other hand present you with this brick wall of front that is impossible to penetrate until you get to know them very well. Saying please and thank you a lot doesn't make you a good person. It just appeals to our British cultural class backgrounds.

Ini
June 11th, 2009, 23:23
nothing wrong with that, I'd rather have a insincere thank you than an honest fuck off

dombay
June 11th, 2009, 23:45
No i agree ... i am well mannered in that sense too. But that's because of my cultural upbringing. The Chinese have a long history of good manners. But they're not the same as ours which are rooted in the British class system.

Ini
June 11th, 2009, 23:58
the japanese concept of respect and politeness is based on the 19th century british class system?

Powers
June 12th, 2009, 00:54
I thought the whole world was based on the 19th Cent. British class system??

Ini
June 12th, 2009, 00:59
are you insane? Have you seen the amount of queers, coloreds, handicapped and orientals allowed to operate in society these days?

wicket
June 12th, 2009, 04:02
i'd rather have an honest fuck off than an insincere thank you.

maybe that's why i've warmed to you, seth.
thanks so much for completing derailing this thread.

timoshi - no need to japan-bash. it wasn't meant to be a competition between the two countries; i'm expecting china to be very different.

Timoshi
June 12th, 2009, 07:30
Stop being so god damn positive!

dombay
June 12th, 2009, 07:33
the japanese concept of respect and politeness is based on the 19th century british class system?

No it's based on their own class and rank system. Notice how cranky old ojisan never say please or thank you?

wicket
June 12th, 2009, 08:09
Stop being so god damn positive!

it's either that or have a fucking heart attack!
a brand new baby in a country i've never been to where i don't speak the language...

i have to stay positive!
[i'm positive i'm shitting myself]

JackAttack
June 12th, 2009, 08:31
Why are you going to China, Wicket?

When I went, I was kinda nervous and freaking out on the airplane wondering WHYYYY I was on it. :| But it turned out to be amazing! The food is the best and super cheap. You can go to a restaurant, get lots of tasty (mystery?) foods and not pay much at all (especially if you go with a group). Also fun shopping. I love to haggle now! :p

Other than a little occaisional China cough, my classmates and I never got sick there. We, however, dropped like flies once in Japan. WEIRD.

AliDimayev
June 12th, 2009, 09:01
No it's based on their own class and rank system. Notice how cranky old ojisan never say please or thank you?
All my friends' uncles I have met have been very polite.

wicket
June 12th, 2009, 09:03
Why are you going to China, Wicket?



Thanks for the positive words about China!
Looks like my better half may have scored himself a job there and I don't fancy staying in England without him.

Timoshi
June 12th, 2009, 09:21
Are you gonna try get a job at an international school, or would you prefer teaching English again?

There's plenty of work at unis around the place. Shanghai is a very livable city. I'm sure you'll have a blast there... even with a kid.

Neb
June 12th, 2009, 09:31
Plus, depending on the length of your stay, your kid can learn some Chinese whilst you are there, how awesome is that?

wicket
June 12th, 2009, 17:15
You guys are great! Thanks - feeling lots more positive. I'd much rather my kid grew up bilingual in Japanese, since I've spent so much of my life on it, but Chinese will probably be more useful back in Australia.

Depending on how much Andy will be earning, I'm hoping to not have to go back to work at all - at least for a few years. Although I might do some private tutoring and I've got an update of a textbook to tweak and edit before November. Quite looking forward to staying home with my kid actually - I've been in fulltime work over 20 years now.

WesleyCrusher
June 14th, 2009, 21:20
Great edit, dombay!

elleohelle
June 15th, 2009, 04:53
Something I know a little about!
My best friend lived in Nanjing, a neighboring city of Shanghai, for several years. It's not a bad area and has a large international community. I agree with everyone that Beijing is not a place to live only visit. Moreover, perhaps be careful about mentioning your involvement with Japan, especially in the Nanjing area. We all know it's a sensitive issue, but there are many people who are still very angry and upset. Japan and China have a complicated relationship and you have to tread really cautiously. Some people don't care, but some people care a lot. That said, China is a very child oriented country. You might find a lot of nice grandmas looking to help you out. It's often characterized as a very every man for yourself culture, but there are lots of good people there like anywhere. When I visited my best friend, I met many lovely people who welcomed me into their homes and we patient with my very poor Mandarin skills.

wicket
June 15th, 2009, 05:13
Thanks for the advice, but I won't be playing down my involvement with Japan at all - doesn't mean I'm going to defend Japan's past actions or anything, but I'm not going to pretend 6 years of my life never happened!

elleohelle
June 15th, 2009, 05:22
Of course. And I just asked my friend about it and she mentioned most people affected by the massacre are no longer living in Nanjing because of migration stuff. Lots of people don't care. I just know it's a sensitive enough issue with my friend she refuses to visit me in Japan and considers Japan worse than Nazi Germany. Not out for a debate or anything, but it's a sensitive issue.

Edit: If I was married and my husband was making me move to a developing country (a lovely one, but...) I would be so fucking pissed.

wicket
June 15th, 2009, 05:31
i appreciate the warning - seriously; and i'll be sensitive about it. like i said, i won't deny my japan experience, but i'm not going to make a big song and dance about it either!

dombay
June 15th, 2009, 09:48
i think in big cities young people think Japan is pretty cool.

Older people and especially outside of big cities might not be.

There have been recent incidents with sort of semi-riots going out of anger of Japanese international students as well. China - gotta love it warts and all.

JackAttack
June 15th, 2009, 11:33
Oh that is a good point, be careful with sensitive issues in general... like politics and religion. My friend was talking to a Chinese friend once about something political and the guy said that he couldn't say anymore (can't remember exactly what). Nothing to worry about, just be careful. Young people tend to be outgoing.... and curious too! But sometimes they get nervous talking about certain issues. :|

karumu
June 16th, 2009, 23:45
it really depends on the people.. politics are always sensitive in any country and something you don't bring up unless you are ready for the follow on that may come. I got asked on my first day in China by my ex's father what my thoughts were on Taiwan and if it belonged to PRC. I told him exactly what i thought and he was fine with it. Don't need put fear into Wicket to be careful etc, i am sure she knows how to handle those issues. Not like there aren't any with Japan anyway, haha.


China is an amazing place and you are going to love it, good luck!!

dombay
June 17th, 2009, 17:36
What ARE your thoughts on it Karamu?

wicket
June 17th, 2009, 18:58
Boo hiss.
After 3 phone calls and emails pinging back and forth for a couple of weeks, they've now decided that he has too much experience in texturing and not enough in coding for the job they wanted him to do.
Back to the drawing board...

We're going to be living in a cardboard box at this rate. I really really don't want to have to go back to full-time teaching with a newborn at home, regardless of how good a job my husband would do taking care of the baby.