So I’ve been in China for about 5 days now and I feel like I’m starting to settle down and I think I’m picking some bits up. I have taught my first lesson (it didn’t go awfully woohoo) and had my first Chinese lesson, so I mean at least I can bust out a sentence or two. Everything kind of moves at a different pace here. When we first went out to go and try and get SIM cards and bank accounts, we waited for 45 minutes before being told that our phones didn’t support that network. We then went to try the bank only to be told that we needed a phone number to set up the bank account. By this point the bank was due to close in 20 minutes so we gave up and went home.
When foreigners first arrive, they are supposed to register at the police station so they know where you are staying. We tried to do this the next day, only to be told to come back tomorrow because the computer was broken. Apparently this is all quite normal for China.
I think I’m settling in to the whole difference in social media as well. So most of the apps I love and waste all my time on back home (insta, twitter, facebook, snapchat) are all blocked so if you want to use them you have to download a VPN. Actually not as complicated as I thought it would be tbh. However pretty much the whole of China has this app called WeChat. WeChat isn’t something I had ever heard of before I started applying for this internship, and honestly I don’t know how. It is used for EVERYTHING. It’s like instagram, facebook, twitter and snapchat all rolled into one. Friends use it, businesses use it, you can pay with it like apple pay (including scanning it on the subway), small vendors on the street take it as money. No one really bothers carrying round purses or wallets because everyone just has wechat. You can order food, bars have pages so you can see what’s coming up. China is so technologically advanced you can use your phone to get someone to come and deliver a new loo roll to you whilst you are on the toilet, god forbid you run out. Honestly feels China is living in 2100 and the rest of the world is stuck in 2018.