Coming to China?

2015-08-30 07.15.12This is a post for people who are thinking of coming to China for a while.   I will most likely be here for a few years, with the luxury of going home again for the summers!  However, as I have now been here for 4 months, I will give you a list of the things I am missing.  I also had the blessing of a friend who travelled to the US and will be brining some of those things back for me!

First thing – get all the various shots you need.  I neglected to do this, so I’m not heading to more tropical climes this year.  It is better to be safe than sorry, but next year I hope to do some WWOOFing during the various breaks that we have.  Those immunizations would be helpful.

Second thing:  Pay for the third suitcase.  I so regret being tight-fisted on this.  Firstly, all of my suitcases would have been lighter (I think) but I could have brought some things that I ended up buying quickly ($$$$) because I really did need them.

Bedding:  2 king size flat sheets.  I arrived late at night, and there was NO bedding.  Fortunately I did bring an afghan and I was too excited to sleep much, but I was still uncomfortable.  I say king-size because you don’t know what size the bed is going to be, and you can buy fitted sheets later (There are two IKEAs in Beijing!).   If you are arriving in the summer a light blanket will suffice and you can stuff a pillowcase with clothes for a makeshift pillow.  Also pack some food for a pre-shopping meal.

Warm Indoor Clothing:  In Beijing the heat does not get turned on until around November 15th.  In cities like Shanghai or Hangzhou there is no heat.  My school is always cold and it is normal to wear your winter coat indoors.  I don’t but I do wear a tee-shirt, shirt and sweater or hoodie all day long.  I would definitely bring some long underwear, tank-tops for under shirts, long sleeved shirts, tops and sweaters and such.  Layering is important here, both inside and out of doors.   For at home, warm slippers, warm socks and a cozy house coat/robe would be great to have.

Holiday Stuff:  I didn’t bring holiday shirts, earrings, hats and kind of missed them.  I think the students would have enjoyed them so I will be looking for things when I am back in Canada again.  I did bring some ornaments and stuff and they really did help me enjoy the Christmas season.

Kitchen Stuff:  Bring a  hand held can-opener!  I am in Yizhuang, (southeastern Beijing) and haven’t been able to find one.  Also cutlery.  Saves having to buy it and eventually you will want at least one set.  Bring the spices you really love (I’m regretting not buying the big bag of organic turmeric I saw before leaving).  Peanut butter is not cheap and neither is Nutella, but it is available.  My friend is bringing me Liptons Chicken Noodle soup, Stash Earl Grey tea (I’ve lost my taste for Twinings!) and maybe some turmeric if she can find it!  Coconut oil is also hard to find here, even on Taobao.

Odds and Sods:  Brand name Q-tips.  You can buy these all over the place and they are cheap.  But the cotton came off one of them, (which has never happened to me in Canada) and I have no idea how to get it out if it gets stuck.  So I’m hoping there will be some in my order!

School Supplies:  Another thing I’m missing is the spiral ringed notebooks.  I didn’t bring any, but the notebooks here come apart easily and they are also smaller than I’m used to.  We make do, but I will bring some in the fall.  Index cards are also difficult to find, and my friend Craig has not been able to find file folders.  Here they use large envelopes for many things and I’ve adapted for some things.  If you like a particular pen, bring enough.  But school supplies are easy to find everywhere I go.

I think this is long enough for one post, so I will pause. I’m sure there will be a part two to this, but I have some cooking to do!

Have a great day!

Marcia (PS the picture was taken the evening I arrived!)

 

 

About Marcia Stehouwer

I have a great life (most days) and a small budget, so being frugal is one of my favourite hobbies. I started this blog after procrastinating for 3 months, on April Fool's Day. I knit, I read, I knit, I work... I am also about a quarter of the way through my goal to lose 100 pounds. So between knitting, working, reading etc., I also do some walking! EDIT: 2021. I am not closer to my weight goal, but moving forward. The budget is still small. We are renting our homestead and progressing towards our family dream!
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1 Response to Coming to China?

  1. Sharon says:

    Hi Marcia,
    Thanks so much for sharing. I’ll keep my eyes open for those Christmas decorations you’re looking for. 🙂

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