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JudithO
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I can't understand why anyone would recommend NOT wearing a seat belt.

 

So what if taxis drivers don't like it, you will probably never see them again so who cares what they think.

 

Stand up for your safety and don't be scared of standing out.

 

Wear your seat belt, they will probably just think it is ignorant foreigners anyway. :)

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You can buy good masks at the pharmacies here and not really expensive, I have bought one for 26 RMB and works really good. My chinese friends here told me than the bad smog will last only one month and it is because of the heaters and the crop, the first month they turn on the heaters they need more crop than normally to make them work properly after 4 months of inactivity, so this first month is bad but later it gets really better. I also don t take the point to not put on the seatbelt, in my place is obligatory and I understand why, and we have not ice roads.

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Yeah I thought it seemed like pretty silly advice about the belts, I just hope they're joking! Even if the drivers don't like me wearing one - it's my life that it'll save so I don't really care what they think, without being rude! 

26RMB seems good for a mask, maybe I'll just buy a cheap disposable one to last me for the first couple of days then just buy one once I'm there and have my bearings. Just about to leave my home and pets to head North to await my Visa and flights now with my partner, all seems rather scary now! 

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Smog seems to be worst in the evenings and in the mornings. This afternoon it was quite clear and aqi was 70ish. Now its night its gone back up to 200.

Try to avoid going out at those times (as the weather gets colder it'll be hard to be out for too long in the nights anyway).

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You see the odd totobob mask around Beijing. If you want a less disposable type of mask then i'd go for that one. They are fairly unobtrusive, at least as far as face masks go, and you can cut them to shape them to your face.

 

Note that 3M beat totobob in those recent tests.

 

I honestly don't work for 3M. :lol:

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I went to Harbin last year with Beijing Language and Culture University's free scholarship trip. Was only 4 days during January, but man, was it cold! it was -36 when we was at the ice festival and my camera and phone froze! Putting the cold aside, the city itself isn't bad! Check out the Siberian Tiger Zoo, quite impressive. 

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I reasearched about masks and so many information, I think I'm goign to choose 3M ones, because they look "normal" not like respro ones, and they are not so expensive so if they are not goo enough I won't feel bad when I have to throw them. 

 

Around 10 days and I depart! Nervous!

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Note that 3M masks are disposable so after about 10-14 days of use you should think about changing.

In Beijing at least, it's rare to get 10-14 days of continual pollution so I wouldn't be using the mask everyday, thus it lasts longer.

Online they are quite cheap in China. My local supermarket also sells them for around 40rmb for 3 masks.

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What do you mean by what kind of card? There are only two mobile operators in China, China Mobile and China Unicom. China Mobile seems to have a larger market share, but they seem to offer similar deals.

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There is China Mobile, China Unicome and China Telecom. Three providers.

 

China Unicom have the repuation of being the best for mobile internet - speed and deals.

 

What you pick also depends on what kind of phone you will be using. If you just have an old Nokia type phone then obvious data/internet isn't a big deal.

 

I would go to an official phone shop to buy your sim card though. You should need your passport to get one.

 

I got my first sim from just a phone shop in Beijing and I always got a lot of spam texts. Recently I changed number/deals and went to the official store... no spam yet.

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Yeah - the smog is what had been holding me up from going - I found a good program I think and it might be worth it... but I come from the Midwest in the United States - so not used to anything but clear skies!

 

Is the smog pretty manageable though? I'll only be there until the end of May, so it seems like I'll be leaving just in time for it to warm up!

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I've booked my flights - I arrive this Sunday evening! So soon! 

Do you know roughly how much it is for a prepaid sim card with data/minutes and a cheap handset in Harbin roughly (a cheap one that I could easily use to access my emails and whatsapp/wechat etc). I'll be bringing my old iphone but it's going to take a week or so to get it unlocked for a chinese sim, so I'm not sure if it'll be easier to just buy a handset there! 

 

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Last time I didn't need my passport to buy the mobile card though ...

 

Well, that wasn't the question does anybody knows any electronics official store in there? I need a good phone because my samsung is on his last days ;__; and I though of buying a new one there already instea of buying it here, that way I can write in chinese with the phone. So if anyone knows any good shop, please tell me.

 

Nataliebb my job provides me a room, so I don't have any problem with acomodation. The problem will be the 8 hours train travel until Harbin after a very long flight ;__; XDD I will be dead to the world for two days I think.

 

EmilyP you getting there before me! haha, I want to me you already!

 

I want to meet you all! Maybe we can do languag exchange? Does anybody speak something else than english?

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There are electronics stores all over town.  I'm sure your coworkers can point you to one i your area.  We took a Chinese friend with us to help buy our phones and got sim cardsincluded in the internet package for our apartment.  Made things much easier.

 

I'm looking forward to meeting you all when you arrive!

 

I speak a tiny bit of Spanish Judith, but it's been many years since I spoke more than the basics so I'm very out of practice.  

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Don't worry about passport/sim card thing. It's a lot more relaxed now. Every man and his dog sells sim cards. However, if you go to an official China Mobile office, for example, they may still ask.

Regardless, you can pick up sim cards everywhere. The coat of the sim varies from 10rmb up to a couple hundred. It depends on the phone number AND on the deal you are getting.

In terms of free minutes/data etc there are loads of deals. Currently I get 400mb, 200 minites for 46rmb a month with China Unicom. Actually, the price was 76 but they will pay me 30rmb a month for a year.

For phones, you can buy cheaper Android phones that are also quite good for around 700-1000rmb. You can probably buy not so good ones for less. If you are just looking for a no frills text/call thing then you can find them for 50-100rmb.

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