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! ^_^

 

Splendid China3.JPG

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