Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Low-cost lifestyle

A bit bumpy to ride but definitely cheaper than a taxi

Keen to lower your living costs in China? Start studying at a Chinese university. Studying in China is really like surrounding yourself with a cheap lifestyle. For the last week or so my daily spendings has not exceeded 10 rmb/day. It’s rather great if you ask me:

Bus to school: 2 rmb.

Lunch at school: 5-6 rmb (big bowl of rice with 2 vegetable- and one meat dish. Normally I aim for three vegetable dishes and skip the meat, or take one dish less, and then it’s only 4 rmb).

Filling up your water bottle in school: free. There are water stations everywhere.

(I’ve also been told to head to the 7th floor, the “teachers floor” if I’d like to make myself a cup of coffee to the cost of nothing. But so far I haven’t taken up on this offer).

Bus back home: 2 rmb. And guess what, both buses that I can take stops outside my door. It’s almost too easy to be true.

And, I don’t even have to bring my own packages of tissues. This university has got bathrooms equipped with both toilet paper (!) AND soap (!). First time I’ve had that luxury in China.

14 comments:

Susan said...

Interesting blog. Do you study Chinese full time? Or do you work as well?

Jonna Wibelius said...

Susan -Currently I'm a full time student, but I'm hoping to find some part time job.

Anonymous said...

toilet paper?!

now you are just talking crazy!

annie hall said...

and soap??? i don't think i've ever seen soap in china, except at western hostels!

Jonna Wibelius said...

Anonymous -I know, hard to believe, huh? Hahaha, well I think the fact that there is soap is quite incredible. I normally walk around with my own bottle in my handbag.

Mountaincat said...

This bus we have also in Japan. It has engine somewhere in the middle of bus and its very noisy inside. Typical university bus here.

George said...

Jonna, so you can refill the cold drinking water in China now? i remeber in my university, we only had the hot water for refill in a water station, we Chinese like drinking our water really hot (白开水), my English friend was so shocked after he asked me for some drinking water, and i brought him a cup of steaming water ^^

for the toilet roll, aren't there any aunties or grannies selling them for 5毛 at the entrance of public toilet, not anymore?

Jonna Wibelius said...

Annie hall -yeah, soap isn't something u come across on a daily basis over here...

Mountaincat -the bus in the pic isn't actually the one I ride to uni every day.. this was a small bus we rode in Yunnan. They use them a lot on the country side too from what I understand.

George -yeah, I could get cold water from that water station... no probs! I prefer drinking hot water throughout the day but it doesn't really work when u are filling a plastic water bottle. But I was like your friend in the beginning... totally surprised when people brought me cups of hot water when I asked for something to drink, haha!

As for toilet paper etc, there are still people selling tissues at most public toilets here in Suzhou.

Anonymous said...

wow toilet paper and soap, I think you have found Shangrila!! Now I have to rethink all my preconceived ideas about living in china. Soap, who would have thought it possible.

Kate said...

Ahhh! I never thought of toilet paper and soap as luxuries before!!! Thanks, Jonna, for the reminder to be grateful for the little things that aren't really so little!

And I didn't get a chance to wish you good luck on the new year of study. I am sure you'll do great! :)

Pete In Syracuse said...

You must feel like royalty?!

Jonna Wibelius said...

anonymous -pretty much yeah... ;)

Kate -it is funny how little things can make your day yeah.

Pete -well that uni is like a royal uni compared to Suzhou uni where I used to study. The toilets over there were always clogged and stinky.

小树枝 said...

It's interesting to lived in China

Anonymous said...

haha, i just came back from china yesterday and i totally share your frustration! the lack of tissue paper anywhere is really annoying! so annoying that i had to resort to stealing all the tissue paper in the hotel that i stayed in (sorry hotel-in-shanghai!). ive been following your blog for quite a few months now, its pretty much the only chinese blog i actively follow :) keep it up!