Where to be an expat: China or Japan?

Because many people have asked me where in was better, 日本 or中国, I’ve decided to clear that up for those who still have the questions. How are foreigners treated in these two magnificent countries?

I’ve lived in both countryside and huge cities in China and Japan, but the differences were not that big. In China the first thing a foreigner notices is how people stare at him/her…it? So we all say that Chinese are uncivilized and that staring is rude. But have we ever stopped to think that in China…that’s not actually rude? By staring, Chinese people express their admiration and curiosity, they see foreigners as something new, different, beautiful. Of course, in Europe you stare at something that is weird. That would not be the case in China, though. They will treat “the white people” as something far better and advanced than them. You will have the freedom to do and say whatever you like (not insulting, though) and they will still adore you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received special treatment at my workplace or an outdoor event just because I was a young “waiguoren” woman: better salary, better presents, free entrance to social events etc. And after a while, it starts to feel less weird and you actually get to enjoy it.

In Japan,things are pretty different. The Japanese society considers you, the “white person”, an equal to their society. You will have to work as hard as the Japanese, speak the language like them, eat like them and not act differently in any way. When I first arrived in Japan I felt so bad for not being able to follow all the rules. It’s embarrassing to see others be polite and well structured, while you’re the one walking on the right side of the road instead of the left one. Sometimes you might get compliments for your big eyelashes or your natural curly hair, but that’s the most you will receive in Japan.

So which one is better? I’ll let you guys decide that for me. Have a day full of cherry blossoms! ^_^

 

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Gaijin/Waiguren Girl.

I’m Alex, a Romanian born in 1991 who’s travelling the world by living in different countries. I’m 170 cm, average weight and normal brown hair and hazel eyes. But I’m a “外人, gaijin” or a “外国人, waiguoren”, so nothing normal about that.

I moved to China in August 2014 and in Japan in August 2016. I studied Japanese in university and Chinese in China, but that didn’t help with the culture shock and the experiences that I’ve been through. So this blog is about how it is to move from a European country to an Asian one. Maybe in the future I’ll extend it to other countries, but for now let’s stick to China and Japan.

Why did I start this blog? Many people were surprised that I’ve lived in both China and Japan and the first question in their mouth was “which do you like best?”. I could never answer this question and it took so long to explain why. I’m gonna talk here about everything that I liked and hated while living in these amazing countries: moving to a new apartment, food, dating, drinking, traveling and many many many (めっちゃ, meccha) more. You will also see the most used words in these countries and how they influence the life of a foreigner (hence the name: gaijing/waiguoren). I’ll be funny and critical, maybe offensive, but always try to tell the truth (from me and my friends’ perspective).

If you have questions you can leave them in the comments and I’ll respond as soon as possible. Don’t be internet trolls or assholes, nobody likes them, and as my optimistic side would say “it’s easier to like than to hate”. So thanks for reading and can’t wait to read your comments! ^^

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