Forums > Living in Kunming > 101 Good Reasons to live in China
Life in China: A Contemporary Comparison of the Orient and the West
It was a scorching July afternoon. Wiping the sweat off my brow, I spit out my wad of chew onto the dusty ground. My forearms scratched and bleeding, I walk to the wall and crank the faucet on, latching myself to the end of the hose. The cold water sucks out my breath and I dowse my head, as the brown tinted water drips onto my wife beater. Landscaping ain't easy work, s'why Mexicans do it. But not in my neck o' the woods. Nah, we got people for that. It was my last day of work before I got onto the plane and my thoughts were already far from home. A virgin to the world, I was heading to BsAs, Argentina, to finally put my years of Spanish to the test. What I saw and learned there, forever changed my life.
I was studying at the Universidad Belgrano, on hiatus from the droll monotony that is Engineering. I realized there that being an expat was the life for me. Run ins with the law being one of my least favorite confrontations, I found the laxitivity of their police state to rather suit my responsible care free spirit. I know longer had to speak with just closed eyed Americans, and my controversial/contradictory views found a more receptive ear. The people of the World, you are my kindred brethren! Life in South America is amazing, dangerous, lively, loving and mind-blowing. And for some reason, all the people there who had lived in China before had some sort of super-elevated clout. I'm man enough to admit my own vanity, and superficial things such as perceived respect and different color women are enough to sway my path. And so, after hearing many a China story and compiling my data, I set my sights to the Land of the Dragon.
Back in America, I was doing some construction work, a couple night shifts, and drinking more whiskey than could possibly be healthy. I was self studying Chinese and planning my jaunt across the Pacific. Whilst planning, I googled "10 best cities to live in china" or something to that accord, and saw that Beijing was not even in the top ten. The three that did catch my eye were: 1. Xiamen (on the beach, advanced city, ferry to Taiwan, but bland seafood) 2. Chengdu (pandas, spicy food, but cloudy more oft than not) and 3. Kunming, city of eternal spring, 2000 m elevation, geologically containing part of Tibet, spicy food, max minorities, mountains, sunshine, and the closest proximity to SE Asia. Couple that with low levels of pollution and a small (Chinese standards) city, there was only one logical place in China I could go.
In conclusion, my one year in Kunming has been enlightening. The Chinese people are wAAAy different than everybody else. They openly practice a 3,000 year old form of "cultural" supremacy, which Obama would look down on. They really don't care what happens outside of the motherland, but look at it with a vague amusement. The one child policy does exist, but as far as I can tell they aren't drowning baby girls . This is the safest place to live I've ever lived in, the ancient culture has sort of an ingrained obedience. I like the people, the food, the culture, the history... but it does not have the wild fluctuating beat of South America, and so I say << A tí me encanta, pero el corazón se quedó dentro de un lugar lejeno. Nos vemos pronto >> May the force be with you