Life hate-Beijing-pollution

Published on December 6th, 2013 | by Admin


10 Things To Hate About Beijing

I’ve been living in Beijing now for over 4 years now and although I love this wonderful city, there are still a lot of things I hate about Beijing. Here are the 10 things I hate about Beijing.

1. Spitting
Is that a bird chirping? Is that sounds of crickets? Nope, it’s the sound of people spitting. If this is your first time in the city, get ready for a little culture shock because most of the locals love spitting everywhere. I’m not sure if it’s because of the dry air, pollution or if it’s just accepted as the norm. Nevertheless, it’s gross no matter where you are, so get use to the snot and spitting sounds.

2. Pollution
Although the city are trying to address the sometimes hazardous levels of pollution, it can be very discomforting when you see smog covering the city. Because of the geographically location of the city, there can be limited winds and dry air, which makes the levels of pollution very concerning for people living in the city.


Pollution in Beijing (BBC News, 2013)

With more and more people moving from rural to urban areas, the need to meet the energy needs of millions of people has created the familiar sights of smog that beijingers and foreigners are now use to.

3. Taxi drivers
My biggest pet peeve before the city increased taxi fares was just how difficult it was to hail a cab. It wasn’t just us laowais who had difficulty trying to get a cab. The locals had the same trouble. Since the taxi fare price hikes, it’s been noticeably easier to hail a taxi but this isn’t what I hate. It’s the fact that most drivers don’t know where they are going after you’ve got in and they agreed to take you to your destination.

Before I plan to head out and hail a taxi, I always ensure I have a screenshot and full address of my destination on my phone, as taxi drivers never know where they are going.

4. Highway Code
Another thing I hate are drivers, bikers and people who disregard the Highway Code. Pretty much every foreigner who comes to the city will notice that most drivers, bikers and people pretty much disregard the Highway Code. Whether a pedestrian just crosses the road at the a busy intersection or when drivers or bikers use the wrong side of the road, it’s pretty much everyman for himself on the road.

5. Overcrowded Buses and Subways
As with any thriving city, most forms of public transport can get overcrowded from time-to-time but in Beijing, it’s pretty much push your way through else you aren’t going to get on kind of attitude. Don’t expect people to form ordinary lines or people to let you off first.

6. Foreigners
It’s pretty surprising that this is on the list because I’m a foreigner too but I know most foreigners here probably have met or know someone that complains about the country too much or takes liberties. You might even class me in this category as I’m writing this post about things I hate about the city.

7. Rip off Merchants
The disadvantage of being a foreigner in this country is that merchants always try to rip you off. I understand they have to make a living but when they quote ridiculously high prices for an obvious inferior and crap product, it can get very annoying. I was once quoted 1000RMB for a scarf that only cost 10RMB. Go figure!

8. Creepy or pushy retail assistants
If you love window-shopping, you’ll have to get use to retail assistants following you around and sometimes being pushy to make a sale. For most of us, we like to shop to peace.

9. Slow and limited Internet access
If you love accessing sites like Facebook or YouTube, you won’t be able to because such sites are blocked in the country. You can get around this if you invest in a VPN. You can check out the to see which sites are blocked in the country.

10. 面子 (MianZi) or Face
Face or面子 (MianZi) basically represents someone’s reputation or prestige either at the workplace, home or within a group of friends. Having face is pretty important in China, especially if you work or do business here. If done correctly, it’s fine but it can be annoying and can affect your work and even your private life. It’s pretty hard for me to explain but there’s a good article here that explains how to make and keep face in China.

What do you hate about Beijing?


About the Author

I am British expat who has been living and working in Beijing, China for over 4 years. I blog about Beijing life, travel and work. Follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

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