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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by danniellaphillips, Oct 21, 2017.
I'm moving to china next year and was wondering what people took with them and how.
Nothing, everything is available in China, at a range of prices. Although I would not buy a computer in China even though they are made here and are very cheap but they come with China spec software.
This is probably a dumb question but would it make economic sense to buy a Chinese PC and install a 'western' copy of the operating system? An idle query, as I'm not planning to live in China.
Depends where in China you'll be living.
Where I am now it's so hard to find deodorant, which is odd because I have previously lived in 2 different cities here and did not have that problem.
I'm sure it's out there somewhere though, going to try again today to find some...
Bedding is very expensive and poor quality over here in the local shops, but you can get it if there's an Ikea in your city.
That's true - or your could install the Chinese software but select the 'English' language options.
My UK laptop had a problem once in China; my Chinese husband took it to get fixed, brought it home with an upgraded operating system - everything was in Chinese. I was not amused. You may think you remember where each function is on the top bar of your Word doc, but when faced with Chinese characters you soon forget. We managed to change it to English, however. Phew.
With a name like yours OP I wouldn't recommend coming to China. Food is horrible, there's no meat in food, it's all noodles and soup with a tiny morsel of meat, it's all dangerously cooked food outside, you can't get DECENT cheese or HAM (anyone who tells you you can is a liar), bread tastes sweet and awful, there is no heating in apartments so they are cold, students are disrespectful and aren't "bothered" about learning like REAL PRIVATE schools in the UK (because they have the money but they don't have the CLASS or charisma.....some DO however and 6th form students tend to be more respectful and hard-working) and then there's the banks which are another nightmare and hardly anybody speaks English outside of school! I would say go to HK if anywhere or possibly Shanghai but nowhere else. Money is good though if that's what you are after. SAving £2000 per month is quite easily achievable. If you can put up with all the above.
Use your allowance to take personal items - pictures, linens you love, ornaments, favourite clothes and then buy everything else once you are there. Anything you want is available - and things you didn't even know you wanted.
The quality varies immensely - you buy as cheap as chips, expect as cheap as chips quality. Pay a little more and some of the Chinese brands can be surprisingly good! My phone was a fraction of the price of an Apple/Samsung and has better features. I bought a lovely silk duvet (it wasn't cheap, but well worth the money). Many designer or name brand imports are usually more expensive than other countries - but the items can be bought. Trying to think of something/anything you can't get and failing.
Cheese is ridiculously expensive - there you go thought of something!
Clothing is probably the most challenging, even if you are small, as the Chinese hips are tiny - so pack up those suitcases with new clothes.
Proper shoes are hard to come by
Silk Road Market in Beijing,sells anything and everything....if your haggling skills are good,then you get anything for the cost of a fraction.....there you go,make it work for you
I would second bringing your own laptop with English Operating System and Office Software. Windows 10 in English will cost you 300UK Pounds in China. ALL computers sold in China will come with Chinese version of Windows that can not be converted in English. Even if you install the Ultimate Version of the software its base default remains in Chinese.
I would bring an Asus wifi Router that you can install the Merlin firmware so you can use an Astril VPN account with to use Facebook.
I bought an Asus in Taiwan and it cost 500 pounds. They arent cheaper cos theyre made in china just like Samsung phones arent cheaper in Korea. Mine developed a fault after a Windows update. I would never buy Asus again. HP for me next time and from the UK.
We always bought laptops and phones outside of China, as for what we wanted the prices were not much more. We just felt there was more guarantee of quality. Who really knows?
That said, you can buy decent Chinese brand smartphones for very reasonable prices.
Peripherals - cables etc. were so cheap in China it made no sense to buy any of those anywhere else.
Because of my size - small - I found clothes were a great fit but larger people said they often struggled, especially for shoes.
My wife liked to buy cheese and bring it in with her.
well im going for the experience. i dont expect it to be all polite as england is. if it was then there would be absolutely no point in going. i'm moving fully aware that i will have to adapt and thats part of the thrill
thanks for all the feedback guys, thats really helpful. I plan on moving to Fuzhou in the fuijin Provence.
out of curiosity, what is the internet like out there and, the real sad question, should i take my xbox? ( don't judge)
Well, agbak, does this famous Silk Road Market in Beijing sell clean air? Or a second pair of lungs?
On a slightly more positive note, there is a famously cheapie place in Shenzhen called Dongmen, where Mrs Hippopotamus buys fake Gucci handbags. I think that most Chinese cities have somewhere similar.
Clothes, yes. The quality is usually dreadful and the sizes are too small, according to Mrs H. Cotton seems to be a rarity, as everything is made out of sythetics. However, if you can get some good cloth, then having things made-to-measure in China is really not that expensive.
Shoes are horrible in the Middle Kingdom. Plasticky rubbish and they are too small. If you want leather, then it will probably be imported and cost you a fortune.
Yes, the cheese situation is dire. It is best to give up on the idea of eating it or else buy a huge chunk from Metro.
Coffee beans are amazingly expensive and / or unobtainable, so we usually bring six of seven big bags with us. Coffee grinders and toasters are also hard to come by.
daniellaphillips, some Chinese cities are very "westernized" and so they will have all of the home comforts, but I think that Fuzhou is probably not like that. A VPN is essential if you want to use things on the Internet like Google and Facebook. Sometimes the Internet is very, very slow! Anyway, daniellaphillips, I have sent you one of those TES Conversation things and you can e-mail me if you need any more help.
I would also recommend getting a VPN sorted, Shoes sizes don't tend to go above a 10 so if you have larger feet then bring shoes etc. from home. If you are female (or bringing a female partner with you) then you should also be aware that tampons are difficult to come by.
Just thought - UK/Western shampoo - according to my Chinese friend, the ones sold for the market there have silicone added to make their hair smooth and shiny, with my fine western hair it simply felt heavy and not clean. It took me years to work out why a Western brand shampoo still felt wrong and I had been putting it down to the water.
Moisturiser (many Asian brands have skin whitener in them), tampons, ibuprofen, deodorant, Lemsip, your favourite tea bags/coffee for the first couple of weeks as a bit of a home comfort until you find your feet...
Bring your own laptop and unlocked mobile - if you buy one in China, then you will be signed up to the Chinese app stores, and also liable to any "spying" software embedded in the device. Also, don't go for Astril VPN - word is that this is the one the Chinese govt is really gunning for just now, because they aim their marketing at Chinese nationals. Deodorant is strangely difficult to find, at times, but usually the bigger supermarkets will have some. Medication - bring ibuprofen / paracetamol / Lemsip as although it's available (on Baopals) it's difficult to find exactly and all the information is in Chinese (not surprisingly!)
Clothes - you can get larger sizes where I am (Beijing) but it's not easy, and I'm not excessively big.
Bring your Xbox - you may have to pay duty on it. Our Wii has (hopefully) just arrived intact!
brilliant guys. i suppose worst comes to worst, i could always use amazon right?
I haven't been able to get Amazon to work - you need a Chinese ID number for import purposes. As a foreigner, I obvioulsy do not have that. If anyone else managed to order off Amazon, please let me know
We brought heaps of basic medication, tea and cat food. I love Yogi tea and that costs around RMB 90 for 15 tea bags here! Cat food was needed to bridge the gap until we got our Alipay set up so we could order of Taobao. Things like deodorant and cosmetics - while all of this is available, your normal brands might be very difficult to track down.
Some of the online supermarkets like Epermarket, Fields of China, and Kate and Kimi are pretty good but you pay ridiculous amounts. Which I quickly realised I am happy to pay for a little taste from home Plus, they are often still cheaper than the expat supermarkets like City Super.