Thursday, 7 November 2013

Oh China!

I saw an interesting article yesterday about how China is the best place to live for expats in terms of quality of life (when they say China, they are not talking about Hong Kong people).  Briefly, the argument is that because it's essentially cheap to live there, so you can afford a comparatively better quality of life than you could if you lived elsewhere. For example, you can afford home-help, you can go to restaurants when you want, taxes are relatively low.
However, I query this measure. Apart from the record pollution levels that just seem to get worse and worse, for example, check out this article about schools being closed in Harbin due to record pollution, and this report about an 8 year old girl has been diagnosed with lung cancer as a direct result  of constant exposure to pollution,  living day to day in China, there are other issues that don't make it easy. For example, the traffic is really, really bad. It's not always easy to remain patient in the face of massive cultural differences. If you want things like imported milk (and after babies dying due to contamination problems, this tends to be a non-negotiable) and Western style bread, it takes days to do all you grocery shopping You can't go on the grass.

Despite all these things, I do miss China. Though I have an expat friend who also migrated from Shanghai to Hong Kong and reminds me of how difficult I found it at times, there are some great things. (Though when I say great, perhaps quirky and interesting are a more appropriate description).

It's certainly always interesting! I miss how if you were feeling a bit underwhelmed about life in general, you could step outside and have an adventure. Right on your street, was always something new to discover.

Alternatively, if it was all too much, and you were having a bad China day, you could put on some (very cheap) dvds, order Sherpas, and Strictly Cookies, and just take time to recharge. (When he is on business trips to Shanghai, I make Lachlan go and bring some Strictly Cookies back.)

I can't wait to go back to Shanghai soon!

Here are some of my favourite quirky Chinese things, that I can look back at now with rose coloured glasses.
The matching clothes fashion
We tried it out as a matching family. Here is Henry at 6 weeks old at the Westin Brunch. One of the BEST places to take guests. Free-flowing Vueve anyone?
Notice where the lady is sitting? Of course, on Ronald MacDonald's lap!

Little Henry - in his first Melbourne Cup outfit. Expats in Shanghai know how to party.
This is what they gave me in hospital to wear. 
I miss my good friends so much it hurts! These ones threw a surprise baby shower when Henry was born. I was so touched.
Some of the food that I do not miss - our first Ayi used to insist on making Silkie Chicken (it's black skinned) soup when I was pregnant as she felt it was nourishing. A touching sentiment, but it was hard to get past the black skin.

The signs!
Pink dogs. More people in the rest of the world should get into colouring their dogs fur.

An "adventure" (baby-moon from hell.) See my other post, "My husband is an idiot" and you'll get the idea. 

Random - Lilo and Stitch Eye cooling mask.

Having a little nap in a display bed in Ikea. 

Tai-chi, tree balk rubbing, diabalos in Fuxing park.  

If you are interested in more of my Chinese adventures, try this link to the Babymoon from Hell - (30 weeks pregnant and a 24 hour train trip. Fun!)

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