Life in East Asia ~ Q&A

23 Oct
Dragon Hill Falls, in Henan, China

Hey guys!

So I was wondering if any of you have questions about what it is like living in China or traveling around Asia?

I’ve been traveling throughout Eastern Asia for about 8 years at this point, picking up in my travels Taiwan (Taipei), South Korea, Japan, Mainland China, and Thailand (Bangkok). South Korea and Japan are key staples of my holiday travels – I simply never get over falling in love with the atmosphere of both countries unique as they are. I’ve probably been to South Korea a couple dozen times at this point, always breath-taking.

I finally got up the courage to officially move to China 6 years ago now, spending the first 3 years in central China (Henan – the most populated province!) and the most recent 3 years in far northern China (Jilin – home of Ice and Snow).

It’s been quite the experience – I’m not just an occasional traveler here, this is my home for the time being. I don’t live in the big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, so I’ve had to adapt quite a bit more. It meant learning to get by without help in a language I didn’t speak – opening bank accounts, traveling on my own, setting up phone plans, arranging online shopping, cooking with Chinese ingredients. 😂 I even learned how to travel on my own to the more out-of-the-way places without a guide!

It’s been the adventure of a lifetime, and at this point I feel like I’m doing pretty well! So if anyone reading this is coming to China to live or for a visit, or is really just curious – ask me some questions! What do you want to know?

Random Fun Facts:

  1. Did you know that Chinese Brown Sugar has 2x the amount of molasses as American Brown Sugar? If the recipe calls for Brown Sugar, you should cut it with white sugar to balance it out.
  2. Did you know that many traditional Chinese dishes (e.g. Orange Chicken) call for Rock Sugar — the kind we usually eat as candy in the US?
  3. Did you know that there aren’t mailboxes in China? Or Mailmen?. . . they ship letters the same as packages. It is mailed at the China Post and you’ll get a phone call from some random shipping company (like UPS) a week later telling you to come and pick up your letter.
  4. Did you know that 11/11 is the Chinese version of Black Friday? Mainly for online shopping.
  5. Did you know that the Chinese often like to put fruit on their pizzas? With mayonnaise dressing? Yep! Other popular pizzas are corn & cheese pizza, tuna and veggies pizza, and cheese pizza. Few include tomato sauce – – it’s not often used.
  6. Did you know that most of the really strange foods (snake, rat, dog) are from Southern China (and mainly one or two provinces). Like Australia, it was the ‘wilderness’ part of the country in ancient times (far from the capital) and people survived however they could. They still have some really unique foods today. Are you brave enough!?
  7. Did you know that the Chinese don’t actually drink much tea? They don’t drink at meals at all really. . . except maybe hot water if the food is really spicy. My Students told me ‘tea is for old people.’ 😂
  8. Did you know that most ATMs offer English options – thank God!
  9. Did you know that most restrooms don’t have toilet paper or soap (and maybe no water?). You should always carry little packages of Kleenex & Wet Wipes, which is why they are sold in the toilet paper aisles and at convenience stores for cheap!
  10. Did you know that if you wear a green hat in China, it means your spouse is cheating on you? 😂

So What’s Your Question!

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