2. Which company do you work for? What is your job position? Is Chinese language required for your job? How long have you been there? Did you volunteer to move there or were you volunteered? From other posts you’ve made it looks like you’rer coming to Taiwan. Permanently, short term, why the move? Happy about it or not?
I actually have my own company with a few partners based in Hong Kong, currently my job includes running around having a lot of meetings with various companies and clients overseas. As for why I’d like to move to Taiwan (this may sound silly) it’s two things really 1) I can own a motorbike (this is my hobby and it’s illegal to ride bikes in Shenzhen, I do have bikes here but all I can do is work on them and drive around my parking lot … and occasionally go outside the city for a ride)
- I love the Japanese influence in Taiwan, I can speak Japanese (well Mandarin too) and have always had a fascination with the Japanese and Chinese cultures… and to see them blended together like they are in Taiwan, well that’s the ideal situation for me (I mean… Chinese hotpot with sushi side dishes???, seifuku parties??? Japanese goods everywhere and Chinese attitudes… it’s difficult to explain, but it’s what impressed me most).
3. You showed the Japanese area which had various pubs, restaurants, etc. Are there really any Japanese there? Are all these restaurants and pubs owned and run by Japanese people? What I mean is… I’m from America. If I walk into a Thai restaurant in America, it’s owned by an immigrant Thai family and Thai people are running it, a Korean restaurant has Koreans, etc. Seems almost foolish to say it. But Taiwan…not really. I walk into a Japanese restaurant, not one Japanese, no Japanese speakers. Thai restaurant, maybe they have a foreign Thai worker who is supposed to be taking care of grandmother, but instead she’s cooking in the Taiwanese owned restaurant, no menu in Thai and no Thai language speakers to be found. When I go to a foreign restaurant whether it be Indian, Thai, German, Japanese, Korean, I would like to eat and experience authentic food prepared by the actual ethic people themselves. Is this how it is in Dong Men or are they just Chinese owned businesses catering to Japanese people living in Dong Men?
The Japanese restaurants I showed, about 50% are Japanese owned, Yawaragi for instance, the owner is a Japanese Nuclear expert who came to China to help develop the nuclear power stations, he retired and opened his restaurant, and with regards to the language, most of the restaurants in this area are specifically for Japanese business men, so all the waitresses have to speak Japanese and usually there’s a Japanese manager somewhere (I know all this beause when I first came to Shenzhen I could only speak Japanese and no Chinese so this helped a lot). There are of course plenty of Chinese run “Japanese” restaurants too.
4. This next question is a little political and it has to be because it’s related to living in China. How is the Internet and access to information and the Chinese government desire to censor anything they feel is objectionable. Do you have 100% free access to the Internet without government interference? Over here in Taiwan I am constantly on the Internet reading news stories on CNN, Drudge, Lucciane, watching my Slingboxes and Havaboxes so I can have US television in my home, etc. I couldn’t live anywhere that I wasn’t able to access this information without censorship 24/7.
Yes, this is irritating, as far as censorship of the internet is concerned it’s real, they currently block youtube and facebook (but that’s about it), if you try to do searches on porn or Mao zedong (at least negative stuff) it usually just turns up a blank page, Wikipedia works fine, but certain articles are blocked. This however doesn’t bother me as I have a way around it, and so do most foreigners living here (send me a PM if you want more details), so I can freely browse the web with no issues.
5. How is the rasicm toward foreigners? Does your health card have a “foreigner” stamp on it? Can you get permanent residency? Can you become a naturalized citizen? Can you do the following without a co-signer?..get a bank loan to purchase your own condo, get a local credit card, hook up Internet, hook up phone service, get mobile phone service, get a loan to buy a car or motorcycle. In Taiwan foreigners are faced with a lot of discrimination and the usual standard response to questioning these racist policies is, “Because you are a foreigner”!
There is of course racism towards foreigners, but it’s usually positive, everyday I can hear people saying “wow look a foreigner” (there are less than 20,000 foreigners in this city of 14,000,000) or they chuckle when they see me riding my e-bike (wow a foreigner can also ride an e-bike?), that sort of thing. But being a foreigner has it’s advantages, people generally treat you well, I get preferential treatment wherever I go (I feel embarassed about it), I’ve been in the local Shenzhen newspaper about 11 times now (I’m not kidding, I can send the links), I’ve been interviewed for TV twice and been asked to do TV adverts for companies (watch out my head is going to explode). But I can see where your question is aimed, Yes you will always feel like a foreigner, the nice thing about Shenzhen is that everyone’s a foreigner, it’s a migrant city so there’s no Beijing or Shanghai superiority complex going on, everyone’s on the same level, all here trying to earn their fortunes. You will always and clearly stand out and although I love Shenzhen and call it my city, I know I can never really claim to be a citizen (it just wouldn’t stick).
Permanent residence I don’t think is possible (unless you have been here for yonks and are someone very special, you get a residence permit if you work or study here, if you’re married to a Chinese person you get “Visitor visas”
Getting a bank account is easy, you just walk in with your passport and 20 minutes later you have your bank card. Mobile phone (I was frustrated how hard it was in Taiwan), just walk up to any road stall selling sim cards it’s about 400NT$ and you’ve got a phone number with 400NT$ worth of credit. I hooked up my own internet no problem (although speaking chinese is a must), getting a loan to buy things is possible, I know an English teacher who bought a laptop on loan no problem, not sure about a car or apartment though, but I know foreigners do buy apartments here, especially Hong Kongers (for their 2nd wives ).
Usually the only documentation you need is your proof of residency thing (which is easy to get).