Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Q&A session

Q: "What's the best thing about China?!" A: "Chinese food! And all the lovely Chinese people that I have met formed a friendship with over here!"

I've been quite bad at replying to comments/questions asked in the comment's field lately -sorry about that. I'm just trying to spend less time in front of the computer and more time at the gym/yoga club. Anyway, since I know some of you might have questions you want to be answered, here's an opportunity to ask me anything about life in China/bout learning Chinese/about moving here, and I'll try my best to reply. Note that I am not some kind of China expert in any way, so all my answers will have my personal twist.

Obviously I won't answer questions that I find offensive.


Meghan said...

What is the most interesting Chinese custom you have experienced?

Tom Li said...

Hi Joanna,

Long time reader, first time poster. I was born in China, grew up in Canada, live in Sweden for 6 months during University and now study in the US. So I find your take on Chinese life very interesting and I can relate! A lot of my Chinese friends tell me that the work culture in China is very competitive, and people are more focused on their individual career interests. I know this is a gross generalization, but as a whole, compared with your past experience, is this true?

Tack så mycket and keep on posting,


Anonymous said...

What's your favourite Chinese food?

Jonna Wibelius said...

Meghan -oh lord, there are so many?! One thing I find a bit strange is young girls holding hands. I know it's a friendship thing, but it still looks a bit weird.

Then I find it pretty interesting that women start wearing pregnancy clothes as soon as they find out that they are preggers. And the whole "cannot move, have to stay in bed and cannot wash my hair" during the pregnancy is also a bit odd.

The most interesting custom though... There's a lot of interesting customs related to eating, that you shouldn't put your chopsticks in your rice (means that you wish for someone at your table to die) etc. I cannot think of anything else right now. But there are many interesting customs over here!

Tom Li -Glad to hear u are a long term reader! The work culture in China is super competitive, people over here work much more than people in Sweden. When you call someone about work, regardless if it's weekday or weekend, 10am or 10pm, they are always willing to take your call. People are also willing to be more flexible and give up their free time to work. I also find that the most important thing for people over here is their salary. Fringe benefits, such as free coffee or fruit in the office, discount at membership clubs etc, are not interesting. People just want to make more money. Back in Swe, I would say a lot of people chose free time over money. Over here it's the other way around.

Anonymous -Ah.. there are so many! I love most spicy things, especially tofu and beef. I'm also a big fan of simple veggies like broccoli cooked with garlic, eggplant, and stuff. It's actually hard just to choose one dish, because Chi food is not really like that. The more dishes u have to mix, the better the taste. But OK, if I have to chose a "kitchen" that I prefer it will have to be Hunan or Sichuan food. Oh, and I loooooove rice. I know it may sound a bit weird but I love it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Joanna,

I've been reading your blog for a while now, I was wondering what kind of job you do ? Can you give a kind of job description ?
Also, whats your favorite hangout in the 'hai ? (during the day and in the night ? )
Thanks !

Jonna Wibelius said...

sichuaninsider -I don't like to go into my job too much in details, but to give you an idea I work a lot with Swedish culture events, such as exhibition, fashion shows, film weeks, events etc. It's a fun but busy job and I really enjoy it!

As for my fave place in Shanghai...ah, that's a hard question! I have so many places I enjoy. I feel real happy when I'm at the yoga club where I go, but then there's also this little Hunan resto that I've been going to since 2007 and that I really enjoy.. Maybe the Hunan resto if I have to pick one. The food there is so nice. I always feel like I'm at home when I'm there. And since I'm a long-term regular all the waiters recognize me so they are quite friendly.

As for nighttime fave place... ahh.. there are many! I really enjoy small and intimate bars with good cocktails such as El Cocktel, Yukka, Constellation (the small one on Xinle rd), etc. But then again, I am not a big drinker, so I don't go out that much. I spend most of my nights at the gym or the yoga club.

Jim Lechleitner said...

Hey Joanna,
Long time reader, first time poster. Just wanted to thank you for sharing your life and drop a few questions! I recently moved to Shaanxi and am teaching English for a year before I use my business degree. For now I'm just enjoying life and and studying Chinese/HSK prep. In the fall I'm going to make the transition from teacher in Shaanxi to a "real job" in a major city. It is a little difficult to get in contact with the right people all the way out here in Shaanxi, do you have any tips on connect with people from major cities?
Thanks for sharing!

Jonna Wibelius said...

Jim -do u want to connect with foreigners or locals? For foreigners, there are often expat communities in each big city. As for locals, I think a good way to make friends is to get a language partner. I bet you will also meet a lot of people through your new job in the city.