For the first time Eugene was in China in 2003. As a student, I came to a year in Dalian, to improve the language. After graduating from high school, he went to China to work. In the position of representative of the transport company, a native from Irkutsk traveled to Beijing, Taiwan, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Than its conquered this country, the young man told Aify.
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About the language
I started studying Chinese in the Institute. In the third year took a sabbatical and spent a year in Dalian to continue to learn the language. Alas, even after such intense practice and four years, which I then spent in the country, I still do not feel that I have mastered them 100%. The Chinese are very specific, based on the visualization, plus the added complexity of tone. If you put the wrong tone, you can not understand. In addition, it has 7 dialects, and those, in turn, are subdivided into many dialects. When one Chinese person does not understand another, not uncommon, especially when we are talking about the representatives of the North and South. But in schools across the country, people study the state language is Putonghua, so the characters, of course, they understand the same. In Chinese, there are tens of thousands of characters, with a University level involves knowledge about 6-8 thousand, and for everyday communication and reading of literature enough for 2-3.
If Spanish and Italian sound like a song, with the Chinese things are different. This language is alien to the European. First, he is harsh to our ears, because it is a lot of hissing sounds, and secondly, it is difficult to draw an analogy in terms of the sound of words (unless the words mom and dad sound the same). You may think that the local cry, and in fact they are just using the fourth, percussive tone that you want to say it aloud. This is quite difficult to get used to when first learning the language and culture of China.
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About the culture
On my first visit to China I thought that I was on a completely different planet. If loud speech local the first time is annoying, but you gradually get used to it, then adapt to them is almost impossible. In General, of course, the situation is now changing for the better, but for the Chinese, farting, juicy spit and burp — a common occurrence. For example, you walk down the street and see 80-year-old grandma. At one point she could spit how not spit even a man. It is a complete absurdity! Luckily, my friends and colleagues never did.
Another thing that struck me was the Chinese smoke a lot. Once I even saw in the gym was doing bench press with a cigarette in his mouth. For them to smoke in a supermarket, Elevator or any public place was a usual thing. Also be prepared for the fact that the restaurant or cafe all the scraps, napkins and leftover food go on the floor.
In 2003 the white man on the streets of China was a real novelty. People do not hesitate to show the tourists the finger, looked straight or just came up and touched. And if you’re a blue-eyed blond, and besides, child, you could just break apart. I enjoyed the incredible local popularity, they did, shamelessly got up close and took photos. Fortunately, in 2008, Beijing hosted the Olympic games, therefore, the party published a collection of recommendations, which clearly described how not to behave with tourists abroad. Now the Chinese traded with the Europeans much more restrained than in the early 2000s.
The influence of Western culture, Internet and media have made adjustments, but only in the big cities. In the villages and sparsely populated areas, nothing much has changed. In this respect the difference between our cultures is huge.
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I am very picky with food, even when it comes to our kitchen. Of course, in China I was daunting. Yes, here on every corner there are some institutions, but do not always find what you need. For example, I’m in my first visit here was not enough of dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream. The fact that the end of the last century the Chinese almost never used dairy products. Of course, now the food culture is above the local start to join to those products that Europeans do not present your diet. In the major cities were Western companies that supply dairy products in a large assortment.
Chinese cuisine and medicine: two parts of one whole
When I first came to China, ate everything, it was interesting to try something new. But for the stomach it was a real test, he was “used” for about 3 months. And I assure you, I was not the only one.
In my personal opinion, the Chinese have three cult: food, money and relatives. If you want to start a conversation with a local, best themes, what “food” is impossible to come up with. No wonder instead of the standard greeting: “Hello, how are you?”, you ask, “have You eaten?”. You can talk for hours about their taste preferences, and you will listen with great interest. The main thing — not to criticize the local cuisine, as the Chinese consider it the best in the world.
About the Russian-Chinese relations
There are few that know about Russia, but I love and respect Putin. In General we are treated well, and together are called a “nation of bullies”. Rare Chinese dares to enter Russian in the fray, they know that we know how to fight. No kung-fu will not help.
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As for business, the rules of the game has changed very much in 2010. If in the 90s you came here with your requirements and in most cases got what I wanted, now only the Chinese themselves dictate the terms and force you to adapt to them. For example, you want to buy 100 thousand hangers for clothes, and you say: “No, the order is only 1 million won’t take so much — goodbye.” In terms of technical progress and production China has stepped very far. We never even dreamed about. For 25 years, he from an agrarian, impoverished country where a Bicycle was a limit of dreams, has become a country where BMW, Mercedes and Audi in the family is not even a dream but a reality. The wealth of people grew, their needs also.
About the environment
For their greatness and the recovery of China will pay a hefty price. The environmental situation in the country is catastrophic. Imagine dense fog, when in the neighborhood of three hundred meters can not see anything. If in Moscow it has a natural origin, then China man — made, due to the discharge of the coal or nuclear power plants. In order to escape from this horror, I, like many others, wore a mask, because the air and then flying some particles. Among the inhabitants of the capital there is a joke that yo Beijing for a year inhales a brick. Said one man decided to check it out, and proved that for the year yo, Beijing inhales 3 bricks. For example, on 11 October 2014 friendly match Brazil — Argentina at the Beijing stadium was cancelled because people just didn’t see the ball. Was the horrible smog. I think that the current and next generation of Chinese will pay for rapid economic growth with their health.
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For me friendship is the selfless desire to help people, support in any situation, spending time together. The Chinese notion of friendship do not differ from European. I have in this country have one good friend, we met at work. This is a fairly progressive in his views and educated man with whom I held a variety of periods and when needed real help, and when it was necessary just to listen in silence. We still keep in touch. Ironically, as the language we use English because it is easier to convey your thoughts and easier to use when sending a message, rather than to use hieroglyphs.
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About medical care
Just note, in China there is no free medicine. If you have no money or insurance, you will be denied care, even if it is a matter of life and death. This is one of the reasons for local practice traditional medicine and different kinds of exercises as prevention of diseases.
For all the time living here I have twice sought medical help. For the first time in Dalian: my colds have inflamed tooth and swollen half of the face. I had to go to the dentist. Only four years later, I learned that he had left in the canal part of the drill and is not fully sealed. Questionable surgery cost me $ 230. Naturally, I wanted the insurance company reimbursed that amount, since leaving the country, I have private insurance, which cost $ 300. But the money I never saw. I first required the translation from Chinese. And then said that I had to call them before you seek medical help. Since I came to the conclusion that the most reliable insurance in China is $ 100, sewn into the elastic band of cowards.
The next time I asked for help in 2014, I had to remove the stitches. For this, it would seem, a rather simple procedure, the doctor requested $ 800. In the end, I bought a bottle of alcohol, scissors, tweezers and did it all by myself.
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About the bath
The Chinese love to entertain in karaoke and baths. But the steam room or sauna for them is not some place with prostitutes and other things. This is the place where you have a full range of services from Mani-pedi to therapeutic acupuncture and good old-fashioned cans in which we were treated in childhood. By the way, the pleasure will cost you adequate money, which is why many savvy travelers are actively using such services, to sleep and to freshen up. Watch stay unlimited, you pay an entrance fee and additional services.
For me personally, Chinese sauna was a revelation. When one of my wealthy friend invited me to go to the bath, I imagined some kind of a log cabin for a city of size 3*4, with birch brooms. But in the end we arrived at a five-storey establishment with Roman pillars, various attributes of luxury and silk carpets. Later I realized that this is a great pastime, so we often went there with friends.
About the income
My life in China can be divided into several periods. A year and a half I spent in Hong Kong. An extremely interesting city, in fact, insanely expensive. He deserves a separate story. At work I had to go to Taiwan and Shanghai. Before moving to Beijing I earned even by Moscow standards is pretty good — around 3000-4000 dollars. With the money you could spare some money and at the same time in what does not deny. But it should be noted that the housing I at that time was rented by the company.
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In 2013 I moved to Beijing, where he had to rent an apartment. I chose an apartment in the city centre with one bedroom and excellent repair. They cost me about $ 1,500. But the hostess each year povisla this cost $ 100, plus having to pay heating. In General, to feel comfortable in Beijing you need at least $ 5,000, ideally 10000. Of these, the cost of rent will average from $ 1,500 to infinity (area of residence has a significant impact on the cost), the $ 200 utility bills for electricity, gas, water, Internet. All other expenses depend on your personal needs. Shanghai needs more money, and when staying in Hong Kong safely multiply your costs by 3-5 times.
About the return
The company where I worked, was in a rather difficult financial situation in 2016, I was forced to leave China and start a new life in Moscow. I’d like to go back? Why not. Unfortunately, I did not have time to travel around the country, and since each corner is original, I would be very interested.
To do some small work here has become inappropriate. Wages were low, cost of living is high, and to get a work visa extremely difficult. The days when it was possible, for example, to teach English and people took to the principle “just a foreigner”, is gone. These positions are held by native speakers. China is now willing to accept only highly qualified foreign personnel in the Finance, high technology and energy.