You can view part one here as we explore the vast differences between China and Australia.
Q: What are the biggest adjustments you had to make when settling into expat life in your country? Did you experience any particular elements of culture shock?
S: Australians have a dry sense of humour that takes some getting used to, and I found myself easily offended by snide remarks in my first week here. No tipping is weird. No brewed coffee. No free refills. Smaller portion sizes for twice the price. No air con in most houses and many establishments which can be rough in the blazing summers. Lack of chain restaurants, more local cafes and family restaurants.
I came to Australia expecting America with a few more kangaroos and sexy accents, which made these small differences a huge irritation at first. I keep having to remind myself that just because it’s different, doesn’t mean its bad. I’ve learned to embrace these differences!
streets. Chinese people are loud, pushy, and abrasive. Seriously, my office sounds like I’m at a market sometimes!
I’m going to be honest here and admit that yes, I struggled a lot when I first moved here. I was just starting my first “real” job, first time living alone, and I was doing it all in China. I felt crazy! (And, to be fair, I probably am…) A huge struggle I dealt with was one of my suitcases got lost in the move over to China. That was really difficult to deal with, because I felt like part of my identity was lost! (Yes, seriously). Once my suitcase finally came back, I was no joke one million times happier.
Q: Describe the biggest “WTF” moment you’ve had since living abroad.
Q: Give a few tips for traveling in your country.
S: Always carry cash! No splitting of bills at restaurants and many places only accept cash. Since $5 is the smallest paper bill, your loose change is $1 and $2 dollar coins. You typically have to go up to the bar and order your food and get your own water as the waiters aren’t working off tips.
Bring sunscreen! There is a legitimate hole over the ozone layer and you will be a lobster if you fail to take the necessary precautions. Be careful cross the street, cars on the left side of the road will nail you, they do not yield to pedestrians either.
The wildlife isn’t as deadly here as it’s made to seem unless you’re travelling solo through the outback. Apparently drop bear’s will claw you to death and have chlamydia? And box jellyfish and crocs and cassowarys oh my?
R: You don’t need to tip anywhere (woo-hoo!) Not even in restaurants or cabs. In fact, it’s seen as rude. People WILL be pushing you… you just have to go with it.
Respect is important here, as well as doing favors for people you work with (it’s called gaunxi). Basically, if you help someone else out at work, they will help you out. Try and speak limited Chinese if you know any, they’ll love it!
Q: How are the men? 😉
S: A bit overbearing, honestly. They hold nothing back. One guy literally try to stick his tongue down homegirl’s throat after chatting for a few minutes on our shared bank jobs. Uh?I do love their hipster chic style, however. Tighter pants, black-rimmed glasses, and sleek hairstyles are all welcome in my book.