Hi Kings and Queens! So you want to know Culture Shocks living China that no one told me before coming? Well, In July of 2019, I decided to move from the United States to China with my toddler. I had this burning desire to travel the world, so I look a leap of faith. I also didn’t want to let being a single mom stop my goals. Since my son is my greatest blessing, I was determined to figure out how I could travel the world and be an active mom, without letting work consume me.
In the United States, I drove an hour to work and home because of traffic. This made it difficult for me to get to my son when he was sick. Coming home from work was draining. I has bad mommy guilt. I knew being stuck on a hamster wheel was not my destiny. So I Moved! Nervous and anxious does not fully explain the emotions I felt before the big move. There were so many questions going through my mind along with doubt and fear of friends and family. Would the school and apartment look like the pictures? Will my VPN work properly? Would my translators work correctly so I could communicate when i get there? How much Chinese money would I need when I arrive? Would I be able to navigate the airport and make it with a toddler?
So many thoughts, but connected myself with a lot of people in many groups that gave me enough assurance to take the chance. But I must say you can talk to all the people in the world but it’s nothing like having the experience on your own. In this video you can check out my 10 culture shocks living in China (Part 1) or you can continue reading below.
10 Culture Shocks
- Egg are eaten differently throughout meals for lunch and dinner. It is not necessarily seen as a food eaten mainly for breakfast like in the US.
- Breakfast is Lunch Food. In the United States a brunch or breakfast can consist of pancakes, french toast, eggs, bacon, waffles. In China, they eat food like noodles, rice and vegetable for breakfast which is what we would eat for lunch.
- I had to get adjusted to a lot of different smells in China. This is similar to when you go to a big city like Times Square in New York. In the summer there is thick smog. I live on the coast near the water so I don’t experience the smog. I do experience the many different smells away from the coast. NOTE: you can’t drink facet water in China.I have big jugs of water delivered to my apartment.
- They Eat A LOT of PORK here. Pork is their main animal of consumption.
- Chinese people see dairy products as healthy, unlike in the United States so they consume A LOT of it.
- There are less fried food options unlike the United States. You can still get American fast food like McDonald’s, KFC and Subway. I have mostly seen Chinese food stewed or cooked in a wok.
- Chinese Men smoke A LOT of cigarettes. I have never been around so much cigarette smoking in my life. I never had anyone warn me about this. Most expats told me Chinese people always spit on the ground.
- Microwaves and Ovens are not standard appliances that come in an apartment like in the United States.
- Chinese use WeChat and Alipay to pay for everything! WeChat also has a form of social media built into the platform. This was very difficult for me because it took me 2 months to set up a bank account. The residence permit is processed before an account can be opened. In the meantime, I couldn’t pay with my phone like everyone else, I had to carry cash. Chinese people don’t really need to carry cash.
- You have to bring your own food seasoning to make your go-to comfort foods. It will take some time to find the international market/ supplier.