Shenzhen is a long way from home

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  1. #11

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    Apr 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiprex:
    I have been offered a post at a Shenzhen college and was wondering how good the city is in regard to facilities for Westerners (entertainment sport, gym etc) and availability of used cars or motor cycles.

    Also regarding transportation what are the requirements for a foreigner to be allowed to drive/ride a motor vehicle in China/Hong Kong?
    I would also like to know also how difficult it would be to obtain a permit to cross the border between HK and Mainland for a vehicle.

    I visited it in April though only for a day and found it to be quite clean and pleasant though that was probably because of the new experience and rose tinted glasses I was wearing. What are the main pitfalls of living there compared to Hong Kong since I may get a job offer to work there too?

    Thanks
    China drives on the right.

    Second hand vehicles in China, and Sz - not a problem

    Cross border licence for China car into HK - no chance

    Cross border licence for HK car into Sz - under the table HK$200K-250K per annum plus insurance hassle (i.e. need to be rich, or stupid, or both).
    Some folks are so poor they will risk injury to get a compensation claim against the driver, best to hire a local driver.

    China driving licence costs about $1500 rmb for official licence translation and also you will need to sit written test (in English)

    expats are deemed to be very rich, even those on local salary, hence you tend to draw the attention of various sectors of a poor society.

    Crime is bad, but hidden from many expats.

    hope this helps.

  2. #12

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    Nov 2005
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    124
    Quote Originally Posted by JAherbert:
    China drives on the right.

    Second hand vehicles in China, and Sz - not a problem

    Cross border licence for China car into HK - no chance

    Cross border licence for HK car into Sz - under the table HK$200K-250K per annum plus insurance hassle (i.e. need to be rich, or stupid, or both).
    Some folks are so poor they will risk injury to get a compensation claim against the driver, best to hire a local driver.

    China driving licence costs about $1500 rmb for official licence translation and also you will need to sit written test (in English)

    expats are deemed to be very rich, even those on local salary, hence you tend to draw the attention of various sectors of a poor society.

    Crime is bad, but hidden from many expats.

    hope this helps.
    women nature anywhere in the world, who find successful business men more attractive then the ones on dole even if you r older. General impression of expats who are earning more money than the average ones coz they are paid for high standard of accommodation, car and perhaps tax free etc. So you are in advantage of being an expat when you r in abroad. whether you have got money or not, god knows!

    I would say most expats are not particular on high paid when you go home. you are no diff. from anyone when u r in UK, you still shop at Asda, go to local pub, go to pound shop, fish and chips on a friday, curry on a thursday, drink to death on friday, sat and sunday.

    Anyway about SZ, I hated it, I don't think I could ever live in China. I think you will find it struggle living in china, but is your choice

  3. #13

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    May 2006
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    4

    Crime

    Quote Originally Posted by JAherbert:
    China drives on the right.

    Second hand vehicles in China, and Sz - not a problem

    Cross border licence for China car into HK - no chance

    Cross border licence for HK car into Sz - under the table HK$200K-250K per annum plus insurance hassle (i.e. need to be rich, or stupid, or both).
    Some folks are so poor they will risk injury to get a compensation claim against the driver, best to hire a local driver.

    China driving licence costs about $1500 rmb for official licence translation and also you will need to sit written test (in English)

    expats are deemed to be very rich, even those on local salary, hence you tend to draw the attention of various sectors of a poor society.

    Crime is bad, but hidden from many expats.

    hope this helps.
    Thanks for the insight JAherbert it has certainly made me think less rosily about moving there. The attention from females is probably the least worry but the crime thing is a bit worrying.

    Do you say the criminals target foreigners? Obviously the lure of a potentially wealthy individual attracts the wrong sort of attention but just how bad is it? Burglary? Mugging? Assault?

    ON a less pessimistic note
    What about sporting activities? Are there places where you can go along and join in say a game of football volleyball etc? I saw this in Hong Kong and found it refreshing that people would jsut turn up aat a sports ground and take part in comunitty sports. Is this the same in Shenzhen?

  4. #14

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    Nov 2005
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    18

    Sorry, but Shenzhen is really not a good place for non-Chinese. Yeah, you can take classes to learn Mandarin and read Chinese but you'll never bond with the locals and will feel like a foreigner everywhere you go. Nobody should have an idealistic notion about China. No matter how much it opens itself to the world, the country and its culture is staunchly xenophobic and unwestern. If you're non-Chinese, you will be isolated except within a tiny expat community. That's no way to enjoy your life even if your salary can go farther there.


  5. #15

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    May 2006
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    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by shiphq:
    Sorry, but Shenzhen is really not a good place for non-Chinese. Yeah, you can take classes to learn Mandarin and read Chinese but you'll never bond with the locals and will feel like a foreigner everywhere you go. Nobody should have an idealistic notion about China. No matter how much it opens itself to the world, the country and its culture is staunchly xenophobic and unwestern. If you're non-Chinese, you will be isolated except within a tiny expat community. That's no way to enjoy your life even if your salary can go farther there.
    Hmm sounds ominous
    Are the people there actively anti-western and can one expect trouble?
    I thought the closeness of Hong Kong would have rubbed off perhaps a little in the few years the Chinese have had governance over HK.

    In what was would they manifest this ?
    Are they just ignorant or shy or something more sinister?

  6. #16

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    May 2006
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    I'm curious, too why Shenzhen has a bad rap.

    Is it because it's so new and industrious? As a non Chinese wwould I be fine with using common sense or is it even beyond that?


  7. #17

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    Nov 2005
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    18
    Quote Originally Posted by Shiprex:
    Hmm sounds ominous
    Are the people there actively anti-western and can one expect trouble?
    I thought the closeness of Hong Kong would have rubbed off perhaps a little in the few years the Chinese have had governance over HK.

    In what was would they manifest this ?
    Are they just ignorant or shy or something more sinister?
    Remember that China just emerged from 50 years of dictatorship, during which time its leaders warned its people on the evils of Western culture and values. So even though China is now "opening up", its people don't harbor that fascination or affection for Westerners. This is different than, say in Japan or Taiwan or Korea, when those nations were closely allied with the United States during the Cold War and traded with the West and understood the wonders of capitalism.

    Besides, I sense strong nationalism amongst the mainland Chinese. They know they will become an economic superpower. With this sense of nationalism, they're less likely to kowtow to the gweilos. If anything, the think the West should kowtow to the Chinese.

    If you go to any bookstore, you'll see volumes on how to do business in China. That's because the culture and mentality is really different. Shenzhen is not a Westernized city and probably won't ever be in our lifetimes. Riding on the Shenzhen subway, notice none of its stations have English names (in Hong Kong, you'll have English names like "Causeway Bay" or "Prince Edward" or "Admiralty" as subway stations). Shenzhen was not built to accomodate non-Chinese. It was built as an entreprenural backyard for Hong Kong capitalists. I know it's a romantic notion to think people are all the same and we should all hug each other and be friends. But there is such thing as a clash of culture.

    But don't let me scare you. It's not like Shenzheners are out to hunt the white man with pitchforks. I'm just saying that they're less accomodating than the Chinese in Hong Kong. Shenzhen has a problem with petty crime, but that's because of all the poor and unskilled people flooding into the city, not because there is a campaign to target foreigners.
    Last edited by shiphq; 20-05-2006 at 10:25 AM.

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