Getting Around in China
- May 19, 2017
- Posted by: marlenedubois
- Category: Home Health Aide Training
I have traveled in addition to lived in numerous countries. I have studied numerous languages in addition to language, in general, as a linguistics major, in college. So, I have a Great understanding of language, in general, in addition to I know that will language in addition to communication can be about more than just talk. When, I first came to China, four years ago, the item was a last minute thing, however I did buy some Chinese language CD’s in addition to learned some rudimentary words in addition to phrases. However, what I learned was a paltry smattering, in addition to could not be taken as knowing the language, however I got by with different forms of communication. Of course, the bigger challenge can be that will the written language, comprised of over 50,000 separate written characters, can be so different through the more familiar written languages, inside West.
Moreover, even though, officially, China has one language, Mandarin (Putonghua), there are actually over 50 separate languages, in use inside country, in addition to many people, especially, inside modest villages in addition to outlying regions, can only speak in their regional languages. Although street signs, in larger cities are also written, in Pinyin English, that will can be not the case, in most of the country in addition to for most things, like store signs, product labels or menus. that will problem aside, I have always relied on different forms of communication, in any country, when I did not hold the words to express my needs or desires. A smile in addition to a playful attitude, I have found, can get one pretty far.
In addition, simple words in addition to phrases, like hello (ni hao, in Mandarin; lei ho, in Cantonese), goodbye (tsai jian, in Mandarin; bye bye, in Cantonese), please (ching, in Mandarin; mgoi, in Cantonese), in addition to thank you (xie xie, in Mandarin; mgoi, in Cantonese), go a long way. Moreover, for travel, in China, you can take along a modest Chinese-English-Chinese dictionary in addition to show people words, inside dictionary. After that will, being funny, charming in addition to engaging are communication actions that will transcend spoken language. Moreover, every merchant, through the modest corner store to the large department store, carries a calculator, to ensure they can show you a cost, in numbers.
Language issues aside, the first trick to traveling in China can be to use a Chinese travel agent (for example, E-long travel or C-trip) to book both your flights in addition to hotel rooms because you will get a Great discount (when in Rome…however, you’re in China, so…). The prices that will you can get, through those types of agencies, are actually lower, usually much lower, than those that will you will get by dealing direct. In fact, on one trip that will we took, we wanted to extend our stay at a hotel, in addition to they told us to call the agent because we could get a better cost on the extension. Even if you do not call an agency, in advance, to book a room, there are usually agencies around airports, train in addition to bus stations.
You get a double benefit as a foreign traveler, in China. First of all, hotels in addition to restaurants pay their staff in addition to pay for supplies in Yuan, not dollars, so they are priced like Western hotels in addition to restaurants, however the Yuan can be cheap in terms of dollars or Euros. For example, we rented a modest bungalow on our recent trip to Xi Chong, an isolated beach, south of Shenzhen, for ¥150 per night. I used to stay in a large hotel, in Guangzhou, before I got an apartment, for ¥300 per night; one of my more frugal (cheap) friends always stayed inside smaller room with no river view for ¥150 per night.
So, do not be lulled into thinking of prices, in China, in terms of buying power of your home currency. Understand money, local or foreign, in terms of its local buying power, not in terms of your home country’s currency’s buying power, inside different country. The second benefit that will you get, traveling in China, can be that will energy costs are subsidized, so trains, planes, buses in addition to taxis are still cheap, in terms of any currency, local or foreign, because of the subsidies, not because of the purchasing power of the Yuan.
For example, a round trip airfare for a 1,000 mile (each way) trip might cost ¥1,000, which can be about $US150. Most Chinese take trains in addition to buses, even on long trips. Some of my foreign friends have also taken two-day train trips to the north, in addition to they say that will the item can be Great way to meet people in addition to to see the country (personally, I think they are just being cheap). A one hour train trip (two hours by bus) costs around ¥70. I pay a private driver to take me to the university where I teach, which can be about an hour’s drive, mostly on highways, ¥115.
Although tips are not part of the culture or the expectations of staff, in some Western hotels in addition to restaurants, they are expected, in addition to I always leave money inside room at a hotel in addition to at Western restaurants that will we frequent. When the item comes to the cost of anything however restaurants, always negotiate prices. All Chinese think that will foreigners are rich. They know that will ¥70 can be just $10 to an American, however what they don’t realize can be that will that will $10 won’t buy us dinner, in America, while ¥10 can buy them (in addition to me) dinner, in China. As a result of their misunderstanding of the relativity of money (see “You’re Missing the Point” in addition to different analyses on our In Country Analysis page of the Website), I have had people try to charge me as much as 10 times the real cost in Yuan. Remember: one Yuan should buy you about as much as one dollar or one euro buys you at home.
I am a “natural local”, which means the way that will I like to travel can be to act as though I have just moved to the area rather than being a tourist (although the item can be hard to convince people, here, that will I am a local, however some still do believe me). I have already lived in over a dozen places, that will century. My method can be to tell local people that will I am moving there (which I am, although the item may be for as short as a week or a month), in addition to ask them what there can be to do around the area. You learn much more about a place, that will way.
People love to help you discover the inner secrets of their towns. I am also very friendly in addition to say “hi” to everyone on the street (here, “hi” can be “ni hao” or, in some parts of Guangdong province, “lei ho”). that will always gives you a Great barometer of the friendliness of the city: the more people who smile in addition to say “hi” back to you can be a Great measure of friendliness. For example, in brand new York City, most people will look at you like you’re crazy in addition to pick up their pace, while about 85 percent of the people in Philadelphia will say “hi” back to you, in addition to some will even be the first to say “hi”. Montreal can be about 75 percent, in addition to Quebec City can be even friendlier, even if your “Bon jour” shows that will you are not a native French speaker.
In most cities, in China, even tiny villages, people are so tickled that will you can speak Chinese in addition to that will you have taken the little bit of time to pay some attention to the that will they will smile in addition to say “ni hao” (“lei ho”) back to you in addition to may even give you a thumbs up (Xi’an being a real exception to that will rule of thumb). Try these simple methods, yourself, when traveling, especially, if you are trying to get around, in China.
I have been getting by in addition to getting around without much difficulty since I came to China four years ago, right through the very start. Sure, the item’s been scary, sometimes, when I have felt isolated in addition to was having trouble trying to figure out how to get what I want or where I want to go. however, I just took a breath in addition to decided to relax in addition to have fun with the item all. I have never been one who has put much stock in words, inside first place.
I am a physicist who has been able to talk in addition to think inside much more precise language of math, in addition to I studied linguistics because I was interested inside interplay of language in addition to thought. I always ask a lot of questions in addition to teach my students in addition to assistants to do the same because words have different meanings to different people, inside first place. However, language can be also about much more than just words. Don’t be afraid of language barriers, be creative in addition to have fun.
P.S. When you get a call in your hotel room, late at night, asking if you want a massage, the item isn’t definitely a massage that will they are offering.