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kongli

Help Me Find The Positive In Beijing.

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gougou

Can you guys be more specific when you say "annoying" foreigners?

No. This thread is about finding the positive in Beijing, not elaborating on the nasty stuff.

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Scoobyqueen

Can you guys be more specific when you say "annoying" foreigners? Are you referring to students, expats or tourists? How exactly are they annoying?

For example a hairdresser from the UK who manages a top chain outlet who has been living in Beijing for 10 years and cant speak any Mandarin and who complains to every foreign customer how much she hates Beijing. This is not a negative observation as such. I happen to find it quite interesting to obvserve how much effort the expats put into learning Mandarin :-). Actually it can make you feel a lot better.

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jbradfor

Can you guys be more specific when you say "annoying" foreigners? Are you referring to students, expats or tourists? How exactly are they annoying?

People that whine about bad pollution, huge city, horrible traffic, and lots of foreigners with lots of money.

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kongli

Perhaps the "lots of foreigners with lots of money" came off a bit snide. I have no problem with foreigners, well off or not, who live in China. In fact, when I stayed over there for a year I met quite a few good foreign friends with whom I still keep in contact with. However, I also met a bunch of genuine jerks. People who had no interest in learning anything about China or the culture and just came off as having a kind of rude, holier-than-thou attitude. Also, from my previous experience in China, it seems like there is a kind of 'foreigner club' where its like this too-cool-for-school attitude, instead of just having a relationship with someone because you think they are nice, friendly etc. Then again, this could just be me being judgmental, as I said before I met a lot of cool people when I was previously over in China. At any rate, this was only my personal experience and I do apologize for saying "foreigners with money" when that is a gross generalization about a lot of people. Sorry.

Jbradfor-I'm sorry you find me so whiney and annoying. Didn't mean to make anybody upset.

Anyways, thanks for those who have replied with some nice things about Beijing. Also, to the person who asked, I will be studying contemporary Chinese history with a sociological focus at RenDa.

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GreenArrow45

Going slightly off-topic, but, at least in my experiences (maybe I just haven't encountered the same people as others) I find it to be the case that the vast majority of Chinese people want to be friends with a foreigner because it can make them look more "important" or improve their English etc. While I won't deny that there are plenty of foreigners who have a similar attitude, I have found more foreigners (percentage-wise) who would be friends with anyone they encounter that they get along with regardless of their own personal gains from the relationship, than I have Chinese of that sort.

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sleepy eyes

Can you guys be more specific when you say "annoying" foreigners? Are you referring to students, expats or tourists? How exactly are they annoying?

Just visit thebeijinger. "Annoying" is a nice and PC description, though.

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gougou

(maybe I just haven't encountered the same people as others)

That must be the case, because I would say that about very few of the people I've met, and certainly about none of my friends.

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roddy

I think we've now got enough evidence to demonstrate that GreenArrow's experience of China is not representative.

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cui ruide

A few pluses Beijing has over most any other city:

1. Number of interesting China/ese-savvy foreigners doing interesting things(even if there's more than enough less-savvy to make up for it). In other cities, you'll find mostly partying students (no judgment, I've been there) and angry english teachers, or if you're lucky--an enlightened english teacher and a researcher of some sort. If you find your way into the right places and right circles, you can hardly go a night without good conversation (light or deeper) over some tasty beverages.

2. Food. You can get any kind of Chinese food there is somewhere in Beijing--any province, any ethnic group, any mama's home-cooked whatnot. You can get lots of quality foreign food as well. I guess I'll put imported beers here as well. There could always be more (or better yet: decent domestic brews), BUT, Beijing's got it about as good as it gets.

3. Cultural/academic activities. There is not a night of the week there is not some interesting lecture, film screening, performance, or musical show going on--Foreign, Chinese, or Ethnic minority. Scholars and artists from all over the country, by and large, end up here, because this is where things are going on (and there's a market). What's even better, is it's not so hard to meet and become friends with some of these people.

4. Beijingers are outgoing. It's hard to go about life here without making a few friends.

5. It's flat. Biking is the fastest mode of transportation in the city, and as crazy as it seems, everyone on the road mostly knows how to deal with one another.

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LA Guy

Hi all,

So, I read through the posts here and chuckled to myself about the

"Beijing glass is half full or half empty" dilemma.

Hope the OP can come back and reflect on the "actual experience" vs. the "fearful thoughts about the future"

now that a year has passed.

Thanks, LA Guy

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amandagmu

I agree with gougou on the air pollution. It's the number one thing I wish I could change here. After a few days (weeks!) of mostly poor air quality it starts to grate on me, not least of all because I am an outdoors-y person normally. Other cities have good days and bad days, but not like here. For me one of the shittiest things is that I'm normally a long distance runner, but here I have no motivation. I've found places to run - mostly in Chaoyang Park and out between Badachu and Frangrant Hills/Xiangshan - but it's the pollution that gets to me. I just want to sleep or sit inside all day. When I lived in Taipei the winter weather was depressing, sure, but at least I could go running and enjoy being outside nearly everyday, rain or shine.

Rain. We need more rain to clear out the pollution here.

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amandagmu

Also, I'd have to agree with the positives mentioned by cui ruide, with one caveat. The academic environment is not always very open and welcoming here; I had a much more pleasant experience with academics I met in Shanghai. The red tape and bureaucracy is also very heavy for researchers. However, in terms of the calendar and diversity, there are technically more activities going on here... they just tend to be government-approved or government-supported activities.

oh s**t. I accidentally gave you a red when I meant to do a green - how do I change that?

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roddy

I canceled it out for you.

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