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People in China

A general rule of thumb in China is that the person you meet as a stranger walking down the street, will in no way resemble the same person after you become close to them. While at first it may seem that people are rude and do not consider each other at all when you arrive in China, this is not necessarily the case. Chinese people are extremely hospitable to people they know and come to trust, but first you have to have the patience to become close with them.
 
The crowds in China will shock any foreigner arriving for the first time, especially in the crowded metropolitan cities like Shanghai or Beijing. So be prepared for a little physical contact on your daily strolls. People will push and squirm to get past you in their daily pursuits so instead of losing your cool, it is best to get used to this early. In addition just because they are pushing you around, doesn’t give you the right to push back. You are the guest.
 
Chinese people may invite you to their home for dinner or to develop your friendship with them. Always be sure to prepare a nice gift, as gift giving is considered a norm when visiting with others. In addition if you reject something they offer, be prepared to reject it a few more times. Teachers in China have often told of how they must reject again and again food or other offerings.
 
When going out with Chinese friends in China, remember that going “Dutch” is not acceptable. You should make an effort to pay for everyone when going out, and they will repay the favor in kind the next time. You are getting paid much better than the average Chinese worker, they know this, and they will respect you more if you treat them every now and then.
 
Under no circumstances lose your temper when dealing with Chinese. You will lose face and they will lose respect for you. This could lead to a difficult year for you and make your job more challenging. Relax and go with the flow. We are here for you should your contract have problems.
 
Remember, at the end of the day you are the guest of China. What may be disturbing or even disgusting for you, it is not your place to make comments, faces, or disapproving gestures about it. Some of the things we do in the West are considered filthy also to foreigners visiting as well. We just make the best we can of the situation we are offered. 


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