Quick Update

February 1, 2010 § 3 Comments

I’ve been to Shenzhen [mainland China] twice this past week, and I’ll post on them when I have more time to write. For now, I’ll make a quick list of advantages & disadvantages.

Pros:

+People speak Mandarin! I feel useful!
+Signs are in simplified Chinese instead of traditional. My reading abilities are still limited though.
+Food is almost unbelievably cheap.
+In fact, almost everything is cheaper. Transportation, services, shoes…
+The Metra system is similar to that of HK and is easy to use.
+Activities there don’t seem as clichĂ© as HK because exchange students rarely go to Shenzhen.
+I have a multiple entry visa, which means I can go as often as I like [I think].
+Cars drive on the right side of the road.
+It has that familiar smell of the motherland.

Cons:

-English is no longer ubiquitous on signs.
-It’s not as clean as Hong Kong. People on the mainland allow their babies to run around with their butts hanging out…I’ve seen it in more than one city.
-SQUAT TOILETS :(
-The exchange rate from USD is not as advantageous as changing to HKD.
-The border closes at midnight, with the last train leaving at 11PM.
-It takes over an hour to get to the border & another 30 minutes to cross over.
-People say that pickpockets are common, though thankfully nobody I know has lost anything.
-Traffic is much less organized than in HK, and pedestrians are basically moving targets.
-The smell of the motherland is mostly pollution mixed with sewage, garbage and cigarette smoke.
-Some are still unused to foreigners and might ask to take pictures with white people if given the chance.

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