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I live in China. AMA

50 replies

ExpatInChina · 22/02/2020 14:32

Been living in China for 3 years (not in Wuhan), if you have any questions about what life has been like out here since the Corona virus outbreak (or just in general), please feel free to post a question!

OP posts:
IjustbelieveinMe · 23/02/2020 10:14

Also sorry I am on a roll, have you eaten at 1221? f*ck me the BEST food ever..,,although it could be different now though. I still dream about the food there.

ExpatInChina · 23/02/2020 16:15

@IjustbelieveinMe no idea who that is, and never heard of that restaurant! I guess you were here a while ago though and things change pretty rapidly out here

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Dumbledoresgirl · 23/02/2020 16:47

Thank you @ClaudiaWankleman. I guess I just want reassurance that my dd will be safe and happy there. It is a long way from home for her. But, as I said before, it is me that is worrying about this, dd is champing at the bit and her only worry is that the coronavirus will prevent her from going. She may be a bit disappointed if you are right in what you say about foreign students now being on the mainland. I think she thought being on the island might make her a bit more protected, though from what, I don't know. Pollution maybe?

Dumbledoresgirl · 23/02/2020 16:49

Ok, silly question I could doubtless Google the answer, but are there any restrictions on what you can send into China in a care parcel?

ExpatInChina · 23/02/2020 16:54

Books and DVDs etc you might need to check to see if the ones you want to send are allowed, otherwise I think it's fine. I know that other expats have received care parcels from home without any issues.

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LilyJade · 23/02/2020 17:32

@ExpatInChina you haven't answered my question- what are your views on the camps for Uighurs in Xinjiang?

What did you think of the fact that Muslims in China whose ancestors have lived in China for centuries were not allowed to celebrate Eid this year?

Are you aware of these things?

Do you feel comfortable living in an authoritarian state that treats Uighurs & other Muslim minorities in such a bad way?

Or are you not allowed to answer my questions on these subjects?

ClaudiaWankleman · 23/02/2020 21:09

Being on the island wouldn’t protect her @Dumbledoresgirl and the pollution can be quite heavy even on the island!
The metro is rapidly expanding, and the BRT runs quite effectively too, although I understand this is being phased out in favour of the metro.

It’s a wonderful city to cycle around too.

franke · 23/02/2020 21:40

We went to China as tourists last year and loved it - the people, the food, everything. But we were just tourists so really just a snapshot. Re the street food, there's plenty on offer that's obviously not meat based isn't there? I'm thinking of the noodle dishes in particular, and we occasionally found some obviously vegetable/herby pancake things.

@Dumbledoresgirl I've never felt so safe and we never encountered any hostility (except certain airport security bods who are the same the world over). People were interested and friendly and really wanted to help

Anyway, have you managed to travel around much since you've been there? Where would you recommend beyond the typical tourist routes?

Tara336 · 25/02/2020 19:37

@franke I visited China for the first time last year and loved it, it has been a bit of a lifelong dream to visit and it didn’t disappoint. I found it a little overwhelming at first but the Chinese were all kind and keen to help 😊. I found our passport control at Heathrow a lot less friendly then the staff in Beijing but that could be because I was expecting far worse then they were

ExpatInChina · 26/02/2020 03:32

@LilyJade yes of course I'm aware of the situation with the Uighurs in Xinjiang, and I imagine how I feel about is the same as how most people feel about it, it's absolutely terrible.

Unfortunately I do not have the power to do anything about it. Much like you, and so many others in the UK, are powerless to stop the human rights abuses that occur at home and elsewhere also.

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newmanagerwwyd · 26/02/2020 05:00

I also live in China, in Guangzhou. I'm currently in the UK and have delayed my return, more because of the restrictions imposed than the virus itself. They're still advising people to stay indoors and most places are closed, including my school and my daughter's kindergarten. So I'm worried my daughter would be extremely bored if we went back now.

I do agree about the media, most reports I see discuss China as a whole, and fail to mention that the majority of cases are still in Wuhan itself, and that it seems to be fairly under control in other parts of China.

HopelesslydevotedtoGU · 26/02/2020 05:52

In China are mildly unwell people with coronavirus being tested at home (which has started in some areas of UK) or is everyone going to hospital for testing? Is everyone with the virus being admitted to hospital for quarantine or are some people with milder illness being advised to stay at home?

sittingonacornflake · 26/02/2020 08:53

Not virus related....

What are some of the best food dishes you've had there?

HopelesslydevotedtoGu · 26/02/2020 14:50

What is opinion in China about the wild food markets where this coronavirus and other viruses crossed into humans? Will there be pressure to close or change these markets to prevent future epidemics? What are the reasons the markets have stayed open?

adayatthebeach · 26/02/2020 15:02

My son went to Hong Kong for work. Only ate in the hotel and came home with an intestinal parasite. I should asked him what he ate.

ExpatInChina · 27/02/2020 03:17

No idea about mildly unwell people. As fas as I'm aware, if you present with the symptoms you must seek medical advice and if positive for the virus I believe you will be admitted to hospital immediately.

Best food dishes? Probably Peking Duck, in Beijing. Delicious

They're not called wild food markets, they are called wet food markets, and they exist everywhere. They sell a range of food stuffs, mostly fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. I shop at wet food markets, they're very good value for money. They aren't always the cleanest of places though, add into the mix the sale of wild animals and you can see how this situation developed.

I hope that going forwards the sale of wild animals is banned, and the markets themselves are cleaned and inspected on a more regular basis. That would sort the problem out pretty quickly I think.

OP posts:
KatherineJaneway · 27/02/2020 13:05

And Chinese food in China is completely different to what we eat in the UK!

Could you please expand on these differences?

ShesGotBetteDavisEyes · 27/02/2020 13:13

Do you experience any racism/negative comments from Chinese people? A Chinese friend of mine was talking about some of the comments she has had directed at her, especially since coronavirus - I wondered do British people experience this or are Chinese people a bit nicer?

LoveIsLovely · 27/02/2020 13:17

@katherine Not OP but generally saltier, greasier and less sweet. Massive generalisation because obviously China is massive and there are so many variations and dishes.

Also, they never drink cold drinks. So hard in summer when it's humid as hell but all the drinks are lukewarm.

I'm in Korea not China, but have visited a fair few times on business.

Korean Chinese restaurants are good but there is no variety of dishes. It's almost always blackbean noodles, sweet and sour pork or seafood stew. Oh and there are a lot of dumpling places too. My Korean in laws were amazed that British Chinese places have 100 or more dishes on the menu.

KatherineJaneway · 27/02/2020 19:32


Thank you. I'm a real foodie and am interested in the difference between the UK verion of Chinese food and the actual real deal.

nbee84 · 07/03/2020 16:32

I was in Xiamen a couple of years ago for a wedding. We spent a couple of weeks there and ate out with family and friends mostly - ranged between 10 and 50 of us! We were shown to private dining rooms above the restaurant and the host/head of the gathering would disappear and order the food. The tables were always round with a central revolving panel. They would bring out the food bit by bit and there were often about 10-12 different dishes. We ate a lot of fish dishes - I tried things like sea eel and turtle. We ate a lot of sea bass and lobster. Prawns were an experience to watch - the chinese put the whole prawn into their mouths and deshell it, spitting the shell onto their side plates. We were provided with plastic gloves to get the meat out of the lobster. Rice dishes always appeared last. The food was much less sweet than we are used to in Chinese food here in the uk. There were some dishes I wasn't brave enough to try - mostly the eggs! One thing I found tricky was that most meat would come on the bone and you would pick it up with your chopsticks and chew the meat off - my chopstick skills weren't up to that Grin
We ate out in restaurants a couple of times - 1 was what they call hotpot and the centre of the table had a large round dish seperated in halves that had 2 different flavoured liquids/stocks that you would cook your meat and vegetables in (all in dishes to help yourself) Another was similar but had little hotplate/bbqs in the centre and you cooked your own food.
Most people started their meals with hot water or green tea, but our hosts would usually source some cold coke for us to drink - diet coke was hard to come by. Wine was served during the meal, but I noticed that very few women drank it (I'm not a drinker myself) and the men would have chinese whisky at the end of the meal - baijiu, which is clear and looks like vodka.

buckeejit · 10/03/2020 19:45

How are things now OP-getting any better or worse in your area? Hope all is ok

LookCloser · 14/03/2020 22:19

Outside of Hubei province the risk of infection is really low

Well this aged well Grin

RandomMess · 04/04/2020 23:00

@ExpatInChina I wondered how confident you are in the official published death rate in China?

It seems inconceivable that there were so few when kiddies against Europe or do you really think the strictly imposed lockdown made a huge difference?

adayatthebeach · 05/04/2020 01:01

Hope OP is well? Daffodil

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