Things we do miss

We know this list will grow in time, especially as we grow weary of our new surroundings (as all expats do at some point or another), but here is the first installment of things we miss. (See previous entry on things we don’t miss.)

  1. The Internet – sigh. This one we’re learning to live with. It is painful to have download speeds of 0.1 mb/sec when we’re paying for an advertised 100 mb/sec. It is annoying to know that my family’s old ’92 Packard Bell was faster on dial-up Internet than our “high speed fibre” network is here. But it’s something. We could still be trapped behind The Great Firewall of China.
  2. Being able to drink tap water if we wanted – Water that comes from faucets in China is not to be ingested. Look it up if you don’t believe me, but even rinsing our toothbrushes is done with bottled water. We buy imported water to drink because of the sometimes shady business practices of Chinese bottling companies (not all, but we’re not taking any risks with the things we’ve read). This will be the topic of a longer post soon. I know you’re excited to read that. 😉
  3. Merchants who accept credit cards – They are so few here! Everyone wants your Chinese bank account/bank card or cash. Credit is basically nonexistent here (which I’m sure has some deeper cultural implications and says something about living within and beyond your means as a person). The two places that accept our credit cards? Sam’s Club and IKEA. We miss earning airline miles for our purchases. 😦
  4. Being in control of our logistics – This applies to Andy more than me, but we miss being able to just get up and go (i.e., hop in a car and get somewhere and possibly make an unscheduled stop or two along the way). We considered bicycles or e-bikes (bikes that you plug in; electric bikes that mostly look like Vespa scooters) for about half a second before deciding that the bus or a taxi is way, way safer. It’s also more cost effective. But, as if often the case, when you’re not spending money you’re spending time…
  5. Napkins at mealtimes – Most restaurants don’t really use napkins like we do stateside. Usually there is just a set of silverware or chopsticks with your dishes and plates and a box of what look like tissues. They are tissues. Really thin tissues. Translucent tissues. Half a ply tissues, if you will. We have tissues on our dining room table because we couldn’t find proper napkins… We think napkins are receiving a similar cultural treatment as paper towels, which are also rare, but we find it really interesting that tissues are the suggested alternative to napkins.
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8 thoughts on “Things we do miss

  1. I smiled big at this post…I’m so relieved that you won’t starve, since SAMS takes credit cards. I’m also thanking God each day that you have each other.

    the girls still pray for you and Andy every day… Vivian does it more as a routine…but Suz is truly passionate “Dear God, please bless ‘Rissa and Ady…I miss them so much”

    I LOVE that you are getting used to being without internet. Recently, we confiscate the iPad…indefinitely, from the girls. It’s amazing how much happier we all are…but in the same breath, it must be really hard to adjust to this particular aspect.

    I miss you, and think of you both often. XO

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  2. At the plant, they always bought us bottled water that had a red and white label, in English it said “Nongfu” on it… The customer (Chinese company) bought them for both the residents and the expats, and the expats never got sick from them (we expats also bought it in bulk)… You could try that, it’s semi-affordable. I wish Britta was a thing there. I don’t understand why Britta isn’t a thing there. 😦 *HUGS*

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  3. Okay, so I’m reading a bunch of posts at a time, catching up, that’s why I am writing all of these replies. Not having napkins or paper towels would really bite. Then, if you get sauce on your face, you have to rinse a tissue in bottled water and wipe it off? Karissa, you’d better get some cheap shirts for rags.

    And the toilet. Oh my. I never thought of that. I heard that some of the bathrooms over there were just holes in the floor. Is that true? Please tell me you guys can sit down. Sheesh.

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    1. We can sit… depending where we are. Home: yes. Work: sometimes. Out and about: probably not. Certain restaurants are known for having good bathroom facilities, if that helps. 😉

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