I just spent 2 months in china, AMA

Submitted by TheLegendaryBirdMonster in AMA

Also I'm european, so I'm biased af (europe is the best country lololol).

I tried to spend as much time as possible with locals and learn about the culture, but didn't have much of an occasion to talk "deeply" to people different social classes. I also only spoke a little about politics; my friends didn't seem to care about it.

During my trip, I learned how to ask my way, buy stuff, and make (very) simple conversation. Chinese grammar is very easy, so I only had to learn the vocabulary; with flashcards using a combination of 2 apps: "Hanpin dictionary (pro)" (~3€) that exports words to "ankidroid", on android.

Don't expect much, but ask away

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Fossidarity wrote

Where did you go in China?

What's the favorite food that you've eaten?

How much did you feel that the surveillance state is weighing down on it's citizens?

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster OP wrote

I went to a middle-sized city (for china), in the north-center.

My favorite food was the fried eggplant.

Most of my interaction was with engineering students so take this with a grain of salt:

  • People do not talk about politics here. Maybe it's because they have other interest, but it just isn't part of the conversations.

  • They tell me that the internet is censored to protect them, but most of them have also have vpns.

  • One time I got hushed for talking too loud about certain subjects on campus: people get advantages if they snitch.

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ziq wrote

Is Marxism alive in China?

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster OP wrote

I went to a friend's grandparents rural house and they had portraits of mao on their wall. Younger generations "respect mao, but recognize his errors".

People who join the communist party get a shitload of advantages (VIP in hospitals and similar stuff, I forgot what thought), but only the best students get to choose to join or not (1 or 2 a year afaik).

Also someone told me "In your wester societies, you believe that the leader should serves the people; while here the people should serve the leader".

I dont know shit about marxism, does this sound like marxism to you?

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post wrote

What do you want to know about China? ?

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black_fox wrote

what surprised you most, or what’s something unexpected you witnessed/experienced?

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster OP wrote

The use of wechat for everything was interesting. It has a monopoly on social media, and can be used for IM, but also has a feature like snapchat stories, sub-apps for official accouts, and wechat can be used for monetary exchange between anyone.

People do not use cash money anymore. Everyone has their QR code, that you scan on wechat to pay. Even the beggars who sell knick-knack outside tourist attractions have their wechat QR code printed on a card around their necks.

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[deleted] wrote

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throwaway wrote

The whole point of an AMA is to hear opinions from somebody who has done or knows something that you don't. Keep your passive-agressive comments out of here.

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post wrote

No, no, I am not an attack comment, I mean, what do you want to know about China?

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ziq wrote

What did you eat?

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster OP wrote

mostly rice and noodles. I ate at the school restaurant or from street vendors near the school. There were more vegetarian options than in france and finding edible food was easy.

I'm usually vegan but decided to eat products with milk and eggs in them here (biscuits for example), to try to not be too shitty for my friends and experience the food there as much as possible.

Also I tasted durian for the first time.

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mofongo wrote

What impressed you the most?

What was the best view you had?

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster OP wrote

The speed at which construction is done, and the sheer amount of building/construction that's happening everywhere at the same time. A friend told me, in the last 20 years, the amount of people that left the countryside to join the big cities of china is equivalent to twice the population of England.

The best view is a tie between some of the mountain scenery and Dujiangyan temple ( I went to see it right after it rained so that was pretty cool). I definitely want to spend more time in Chinese nature, it's very pretty and very different from what I'm used to.

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rot wrote

biggest culture gap? like what was the biggest difference between where you're from in europe and china.

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster OP wrote

dating is very different. in france we touch and tease as a way to show interest; In china they might gift the person to show interest, and don't really touch each other before asking one-another out.

The shops often spill out into the footpath, and are half open. In France everything is neatly tucked behind a wall/door. Chinese streets feel more "alive".

There are lots of other stuff, like we have an immobile" and "walking" line on escalators; while where I was in china, nobody walks up the escalator.

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Pop wrote

why

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster OP wrote

school project/student exchange program; I got a scholarship that was enough to pay for the travel expenses and the life over there.

I chose china because I knew someone inside that could pull some wires.

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ziq wrote

How big is the rich/poor divide?

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster OP wrote

Engineers get the same salary as in france (3-4000€/mo). The average salary is around 600€ for other people I think (double check this fact please lol) (minimum french salary is 1300€/mo).

A haircut costs 3€, I got to cut my hair at a hair saloon for the first time while there. Having disposable income is pretty neat lol.

I didn't meet any filthy rich person, but met may very poor people.

China doesn't need to export their shitty jobs outside like we do in france; they have their local poor population to abuse.

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