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Gokunming-Where have all the foreigners gone

livinginchina (187 posts) • -1

@Tom69 your right. Imagine all the tourist dollars being lost not only from Chinese nationals but all those from around the world. How long can China keep this up? I'm waiting to see what will be in place when the Chinese Spring Festival New Year comes up next year. Yikes!

Tom69 (151 posts) • 0

Exactly. I just hope the good times return soon. Seeing happy Chinese tourists traveling all over Asia and the world, and vice versa is how I want things to be like again. Splashing their money around.

I think maybe that will start to occur again during the second half of 2022 if China eases off it's "zero Covid" policy, which is shared by Australia and New Zealand. Then by 2023, things might finally start to look pretty normal again.

livinginchina (187 posts) • -1

@Tom69
I'm beginning to believe that some governments are liking keeping the populous under their control. Rules for this and rules for that. Now they're talking about a new virus. I believe it's called the 'mu' virus. WTF! I too want things to go back where traveling was a joy and not a lengthly task. Some countries GDP's are basically solely based on tourism dollars. Papers please!

Tom69 (151 posts) • 0

@livinginchina, that occurred to me long ago. Covid is the perfect excuse for governments to keep populations under their grip. Indeed, many countries' GDP is based largely on tourism such as the Maldives. Although they're kind of open, when you have quarantine in the reverse direction (as many places impose on returnees from there) the tourism industry can't be sustained and the entire economy is at stake.

While China doesn't have that problem and it's domestic tourism industry, though large, is mainly made up of domestic visitors, being a hermit kingdom isn't going to do any country any good.

In a globalized community, we need the whole world to go back to normal, not just a few countries (such as Denmark).

JR305 (5 posts) • -1

I left Kunming mid 2020 back to the US due to the high levels of xenophobia, racism, and the massive uptick in nationalism. Being half black from the US it was a nightmare. Initially when I first moved to China is 2015 as a naive foreigner who didn't speak a lick of the language I loved it. After learning more Mandarin and finally being able to understand the language, it was quite disheartening to hear racist comments being made towards me on a daily basis. This only got worse since the pandemic, and the constant anti-American propaganda only intensified it. It is difficult for me to understand why anybody would continue living there in the current political climate, but admittedly there are many perks to living in China. If you mainly just associate with the foreign community, have a working vpn, and continue to be afforded a nice lifestyle working 20-30 hours a week and never have to worry about finances, then why go back home? Anyways, since March of 2020, practically no foreigners have been allowed to enter. Many left in the beginning of the pandemic, and a fair amount made the decision to leave for other reasons. Just thought I'd share why I left. Several of my friends decided to pack up and leave for the same reasons. China isn't the same anymore.

livinginchina (187 posts) • 0

@JR305
You're right when you said: "China isn't the same anymore." The writing's on the wall but for those of us who have Chinese wives, the decision to stay or leave is not an easy one for various reasons. Hope your move back has been a good one.

BoJoke (34 posts) • +1

Thank goodness racism towards African Americans and other immigrant minorities, FOB or longstanding 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generations, is nonexistent in the USA. #BLM

DasIstAoWPhOL (15 posts) • +1

@JR305,sorry for your experience in china about xenophobia. at the other hand, china is never the same, there is no "the same china". when i used to share beers in the hutong with friends from all over the world, i used to make this for helping understand china : vertically chinese society is at very differ stages of social developing, the differences between kashgar and beijing is far more than the differs between beijing and paris. kashgar is pretty much pre-industrilized and at the other hand, beijing is mostly towards post industrilized. and then,

have the south and the north china also typically very differ cultures. and look at the timeline, the unprecedented enconmic developing in recently a few decades even for chinese it is bit diffiuclt to catch up. kunming is a remote city in china, it is bit on the downside in the matter. generally, chinese people is not so friendly to black people that is quite a fact. i would say, kunming is not the fine choice.

Tom69 (151 posts) • 0

JR305, I totally understand your sentiment. I left China a few years ago, although I have continued visiting regularly for business, up until not too long before Covid.

I remember seeing the signs posted on Chinese businesses refusing entry to foreigners, especially people of African descent in the early days of Covid. Such stories went viral on the Shanghaiist and other foreign media. Although these signs seemed to disappear after around the middle of 2020, I think the writing was definitely already on the wall.

I'll always be fond of China, especially Kunming and rural areas of Yunnan, which I'm most familiar with. That being said, although I have some great friends there, most of whom are locals, I find it can be a lonely place to be, if you're staying long-term. Most foreigners come and go. Few remain long-term, other than those married to locals and who own businesses such as restaurants and bars.

Chinese apartments can be nice, but what would be nicer is a big house with a large yard, something that is almost impossible to find in any Chinese city, where 99% of people now live in some sort of apartment and the 1% well to do in a townhouse that is kind of a glorified apartment.

While I haven't faced what you have when I was living in China, I did experience some minor cases of racism here and there. This was especially apparent when I was with another Chinese or Asian woman similar or younger in age to me. One time in Yuxi, south of Kunming, my female Chinese friend was called a whore by a jealous local dude. Even though I felt like hitting the guy, I don't think that would have been a good idea!

I was also verbally abused by an elderly Chinese couple once in a Kunming shopping mall back around 2011.

Other than that, I get the feeling that a lot of locals look down on us as simply being English teachers with few other skills. In nearly every interaction I've had with Chinese, I was stereotyped as an English teacher even though I'm not.

Although there are certain complaints made by expats living in SE Asia that are similar; for the most part, experiences are much more positive than those of China. There are more foreigners in SE Asia, English is more widely spoken and a lot of things look more familiar to us than what we'll find in China.

Going forward, I'd love to visit China again once the borders reopen. I'll gladly visit once or twice a year. I don't know if I'd want to live there again though, even though there are some charming aspects of life that I miss. I love the western cafes like A slice of heaven and the French cafe and similar ones in places like Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-la. The backpacker hostels are quite luxurious and their proprietors very nice people. I don't stay in such places anywhere else but China. The landscapes are fabulous and the diversity and richness of the food is almost unparalleled anywhere.

In other words, China is fantastic for travel and short-term business, but not that great as a place to live.

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