In the world, there are only two countries whose population, confidence, cultural and historical depth make them stand out in an increasingly homogeneous world: China and India. They are both attractive to foreigners in their own ways, especially for those seeking to experience working and living in a culture different from what they are used to. China’s present, as well as past profile makes it a popular destination among foreigners.
Don’t be discouraged by the bad press; news on China may dwell on the political drama while on the city streets the story is entirely different. The Chinese are largely open and welcoming, and for the astute, opportunities abound.
Yet this country is not as easy; the food is strange to those who aren’t used to it, and their way of life is entirely different as are social expectations and contracts. The uneven modernity and development levels coupled with widespread inability of the locals to communicate well in English makes this country hard to relocate to. But people whose urge to explore the world is stronger than the setbacks experienced, China is undeniably rewarding. But if you want a healthy stay in China, here are some insights.
Living In China the Healthy Way
Most people who are new to this country, regardless of where they are from, may have a few concerns in mind; how do I stay healthy? How do I keep my family and me healthy? How do I avoid air pollution? Where can I find nutritious and healthy foods? Does Xbox live work in China? What transport system is the best? Where should I live? Well, here are a few things you can do to stay healthy and enjoy a productive life.
Control Exposure to Air Pollution
Air pollution is probably one of the biggest problems in cities today, and China is no exception, especially in Tianjin and Beijing. Sometimes the Air Quality Index shoots a few times over that recommended by World Health Organization, which can cause serious health issues if uncontrolled.
One of the simplest ways to avoid the adverse effects of air pollution is to control exposure. Since 90% of our lives is spent indoors, whether at work or home, air purifiers are recommended. On worse days when the AQI is higher than 200, it is advisable to limit outdoor activities, and if you must go out, an N95 rated protective mask is recommended.
Play With the Food
Food safety is one of the most severe concerns when it comes to people who live and work in China. If you are not very sure of safe places to buy food items, you might want to begin your search in the organic markets. Organic foods are the best choice as they are likely to be free of chemicals and pesticides. However, these foods are scarcely available and expensive. If the organic foods are not available where you live, you can go for other protected alternatives such as Green Food, which are still safe and cheaper than organic items. You can get these alternatives in big supermarkets.
Regardless of the foods you choose, remember to clean well before cooking. Be careful where you buy meat in the summer to avoid poisoning if they are not well stored in cool areas. Remember also to use glass containers instead of plastic to prevent contamination. Drink water from installed filters instead of bottled alternatives as most are counterfeit and unsafe.
Explore China on a Bicycle!
Biking is one of the most convenient transport modes in Beijing, although it is a slowly diminishing tradition. Biking is faster than driving, and a lot healthier as it helps you keep fit. You can wear your mask as you bike along to reduce exposure to air pollution, and keep your helmet on! If biking is not your thing, you can always take the Metro as you need not worry about car parking spaces in one of the world’s most populated cities.
The Internet in China
Internet censorship in China was one of the hottest topics in the past, with only a select few sites available. One of the questions that we ask is, does Facebook work in China? Well, like many other sites, it was restricted. Today, however, most sites are available online, and only a few are inaccessible. Access to the internet is quite fast in the cities, and while it may be slower in the smaller villages and towns, the government is working towards steadily improving the quality of service.
If you want to live and work in China, you must be aware of the communication breakdown with many locals when it comes to the English language. The booming economy is luring loads of expats into the country, something that has led to the dramatic increase in foreign investments. This has largely increased the demand for English skills which has resulted in the mandatory English classes in schools. You can decide to work in China teaching English part-time as you pursue your other ambitions as opportunities are available in both private and public schools.
Settling Into China Life
Jobs in China are in abundance, especially teaching jobs. There are loads of opportunities for work in China for foreigners. If you find work with a Chinese firm, your employer will help get you settled by finding you a house in any of the cities nearest to your work station. You can also get an orientation of the city such as the transport systems, food markets safe places to eat out, where to shop, etc. Jobs in China, especially for expats, come with a relatively high salary, and when coupled with the low living costs, you can get yourself a comfortable place around.
Taxes in China
The amount of income tax deducted from your pay varies from 5% to 45% depending on your job. Usually, employers take the tax out to remit to the government before your salary hits your accounts. For America’s living in China, the tax system is fundamentally the same. You pay income tax from your salary, and value added tax whenever you buy products.
There are endless tips on healthy ways to live and work in China. You need to understand their culture so as to enhance your relations with the neighbors. Learn their language as opposed to expecting everyone to learn yours, and get grounded in a group you can be part of so as to enjoy some of those home traditions that are not practiced in China. You will find this group pretty useful when you wake up on the Chinese New Year day to find the city streets empty!
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