Bou Rai Ne: My Experience of China's Culture, People, and Opportunities as a Writer
Bou Rai Ne: My Story of China
Have you ever wondered what it's like to live and work in China? Have you ever dreamed of exploring the ancient and modern wonders of this vast and diverse country? Have you ever wanted to learn more about the culture and the people of the world's most populous nation?
Bou Rai Ne: My Story of China
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this article is for you. In this article, I will share with you my story of China, how I ended up there, what I experienced there, and what I learned from there. I hope that by reading my story, you will get a glimpse of the real China, beyond the stereotypes and the headlines, and maybe even get inspired to visit or work there someday.
Who is Bou Rai Ne?
Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Bou Rai Ne, and I am a content writer from Thailand. I have been writing for various online platforms for over five years, covering topics such as travel, lifestyle, education, business, and technology. Writing is my passion and my profession, and I love to share my stories and insights with the world.
Why did I go to China?
I went to China in 2020, when I was offered a job as a content writer for a Chinese company based in Beijing. The company was looking for someone who could write in English and Thai, and who had experience in writing for different audiences and purposes. They found me through one of my online portfolios, and after a few interviews and tests, they hired me.
I was thrilled to get this opportunity, as I had always been fascinated by China and its culture. I had visited China once before, as a tourist, but I wanted to experience it more deeply and authentically. I also wanted to challenge myself and expand my horizons as a writer and as a person.
What did I expect from China?
Before going to China, I had some expectations and assumptions about what it would be like. Some of them were based on my previous visit, some on what I had read or heard from others, and some on what I had seen in the media. For example, I expected that:
China would be very crowded and polluted.
Chinese people would be very reserved and formal.
Chinese food would be very spicy and exotic.
Chinese language would be very difficult to learn.
China would be very different from Thailand in terms of culture and values.
Of course, these were just generalizations and stereotypes, and I was aware that they might not reflect the reality. I was open-minded and curious to discover the true China for myself.
My first impressions of China
The culture shock
When I arrived in Beijing, I was immediately hit by a wave of culture shock. Everything seemed so different from what I was used to: the weather, the traffic, the architecture, the signs, the sounds, the smells. It was overwhelming and exciting at the same time.
I had to adjust to many things that were new or unfamiliar to me. For example:
The climate was much colder than in Thailand. I had to buy warmer clothes and accessories.
The traffic was chaotic and hectic. I had to learn how to use the public transportation system and how to cross the streets safely.
The buildings were huge and modern. I had to navigate the skyscrapers and the malls and find my way around the city.
The signs were mostly in Chinese characters. I had to rely on my phone and my colleagues to translate and communicate.
The sounds were loud and constant. I had to get used to the noise of the cars, the horns, the sirens, the people.
The smells were varied and intense. I had to cope with the aroma of the food, the smoke, the garbage, the pollution.
It took me some time to get used to these differences, but I also found them fascinating and stimulating. I realized that China was a country of contrasts and diversity, and that there was so much to see and learn.
The language barrier
One of the biggest challenges I faced in China was the language barrier. Although I had studied some basic Mandarin before coming, I soon realized that it was not enough to communicate effectively with the locals. Most of them did not speak English or Thai, and even if they did, they had strong accents or used different words or expressions.
I had to rely on gestures, pictures, or translation apps to get my message across. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. Sometimes it led to funny or awkward situations, sometimes to frustrating or embarrassing ones. For example:
Once I ordered a chicken dish in a restaurant, but I got a duck dish instead. Apparently, I had mixed up the words for chicken and duck in Mandarin.
Once I asked for directions to a subway station, but I ended up in a supermarket. Apparently, I had pronounced the name of the station wrong.
Once I complimented a colleague on her dress, but she looked offended. Apparently, I had used a word that meant something rude in her dialect.
I learned from these mistakes and improved my Mandarin skills gradually. I also learned to appreciate the beauty and complexity of the Chinese language, and the diversity and richness of its dialects and cultures.
The food and the people
One of the best things about living in China was the food and the people. I was amazed by the variety and quality of the food available in China, from street snacks to fine dining, from regional specialties to international cuisines. I tried many new dishes and flavors that I had never tasted before, such as:
Peking duck: a roasted duck with crispy skin and tender meat, served with pancakes, scallions, cucumbers, and sweet bean sauce.
Hot pot: a pot of boiling broth with various ingredients such as meat, seafood, vegetables, noodles, dumplings, etc., cooked at the table and dipped in sauces.
Dumplings: small pieces of dough filled with different fillings such as pork, shrimp, cabbage, chives, etc., steamed, boiled, or fried.
Noodles: long strands of dough made from wheat, rice, or other grains, cooked in soup or stir-fried with sauces and toppings.
Baozi: steamed buns stuffed with savory or sweet fillings such as meat, vegetables, red bean paste, etc.
I also met many wonderful people in China who were friendly, hospitable, generous, and helpful. They welcomed me into their homes and their lives, shared their stories and their opinions with me, taught me about their traditions and their values, invited me to join their celebrations and their activities. They made me feel at home in China.
My challenges and opportunities in China
The work environment
Working as a content writer in China was both challenging and rewarding. I had to write for different clients and projects, ranging from websites to blogs to social media posts to newsletters. I had to write in different styles and tones, depending on the purpose and the audience of each piece. I had to write in different languages: English, Thai, and sometimes even Mandarin.
I also had to work with different colleagues and managers who had different expectations and feedback styles. Some were more supportive and flexible; some were more demanding and strict. Some gave me more freedom and creativity; some gave me more guidance and structure. Some praised me for my work; some criticized me for my mistakes.
I learned a lot from working in this environment. I learned how to adapt to different situations and requirements; how to research and write about various topics; how to communicate effectively with different people; how to handle pressure and deadlines; how to improve my skills and performance.
The social life
The travel experiences
Another great thing about living in China was the opportunity to travel and explore different places and regions. China is a huge and diverse country, with a rich history and culture, and a stunning natural beauty. I was lucky to visit some of the most famous and amazing attractions in China, such as:
The Great Wall: a series of fortifications built along the northern border of China over centuries, stretching for thousands of kilometers and offering spectacular views and scenery.
The Forbidden City: a complex of palaces and buildings in the center of Beijing, where the emperors of China lived and ruled for over 500 years, displaying exquisite architecture and art.
The Terracotta Army: a collection of thousands of life-sized clay soldiers and horses buried with the first emperor of China in Xi'an, representing his army and his power.
The Yellow Mountains: a range of mountains in Anhui province, famous for their peculiar shapes, pine trees, clouds, and hot springs.
The Li River: a river in Guangxi province, flowing through a landscape of karst hills, bamboo forests, rice paddies, and villages.
I also visited some of the less-known but equally fascinating places in China, such as:
The Rainbow Mountains: a geological wonder in Gansu province, where the rocks have different colors and patterns due to mineral deposits and erosion.
The Hanging Temple: a temple built on the side of a cliff in Shanxi province, supported by wooden beams and pillars, defying gravity and logic.
The Reed Flute Cave: a cave in Guilin city, filled with stalactites, stalagmites, pillars, and other formations illuminated by colorful lights.
The Leshan Giant Buddha: a statue of Buddha carved into a cliff in Sichuan province, standing at 71 meters tall and overlooking the confluence of three rivers.
The Harbin Ice Festival: a festival held every winter in Harbin city, where ice sculptures of various shapes and sizes are displayed and lit up at night.
Traveling in China was an eye-opening and enriching experience for me. I learned about the history and culture of China; I saw the beauty and diversity of China; I enjoyed the fun and adventure of China.
My reflections and learnings from China
The personal growth
Living and working in China for two years was one of the best decisions I ever made. It changed me as a person in many ways. It made me more confident and independent; more adaptable and resilient; more curious and open-minded. It also made me more grateful and humble; more respectful and tolerant; more compassionate and generous.
I grew as a person by facing new challenges and overcoming difficulties; by trying new things and learning new skills; by meeting new people and making new friends; by discovering new places and experiencing new cultures.
The professional development
Working as a content writer in China also helped me advance my career as a writer. It gave me more exposure and recognition; more opportunities and connections; more income and satisfaction. It also gave me more feedback and improvement; more variety and creativity; more knowledge and expertise.
I developed as a writer by writing for different clients and projects; by writing in different styles and tones; by writing in different languages and formats; by writing about different topics and domains.
The cultural appreciation
Living in China also taught me to appreciate the culture and the people of China. It showed me that China is not what I expected or assumed it to be. It showed me that China is more than just crowded and polluted; more than just reserved and formal; more than just spicy and exotic; more than just difficult and different. It showed me that China is also beautiful and diverse; also friendly and hospitable; also delicious and varied; also fascinating and amazing. It showed me that China is also similar to Thailand in some ways; also compatible with Thailand in some aspects; also complementary to Thailand in some respects.
I appreciated the culture and the people of China by learning about their history and traditions; by understanding their values and beliefs; by respecting their customs and etiquette; by enjoying their arts and entertainment.
In conclusion, living and working in China was a life-changing and rewarding experience for me. It was not always easy or comfortable, but it was always interesting and worthwhile. It was an adventure and a journey that I will never forget.
I hope that by sharing my story of China, I have inspired you to learn more about this country and its culture, and maybe even to visit or work there someday. I believe that China has a lot to offer to the world, and that the world has a lot to learn from China.
Thank you for reading my article. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you.
Here are some frequently asked questions about living and working in China as a content writer.
How did you find a job as a content writer in China?
I found my job through one of my online portfolios, where I showcased some of my previous work samples. The company that hired me contacted me via email and asked me to do some interviews and tests. They were looking for someone who could write in English and Thai, and who had experience in writing for different audiences and purposes.
How did you get a visa and a work permit to work in China?
The company that hired me helped me with the visa and work permit process. They provided me with the necessary documents and information, and guided me through the steps. They also paid for the fees and expenses. It took about two months to get everything done.
How much did you earn as a content writer in China?
I earned about 15,000 RMB (about 75,000 THB) per month as a content writer in China. This was enough to cover my living expenses and save some money. I also got some bonuses and incentives based on my performance and achievements.
How did you deal with the censorship and the internet restrictions in China?
I had to follow the rules and regulations of the Chinese government regarding what I could write and publish online. I had to avoid sensitive or controversial topics or opinions that might offend or harm the Chinese people or the Chinese interests. I also had to use a VPN (virtual private network) to access some websites or apps that were blocked or restricted in China, such as Google, Facebook, YouTube, etc.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work as a content writer in China?
I would advise them to do some research and preparation before going to China; to be flexible and adaptable when working in China; to be respectful and polite when interacting with the Chinese people; to be curious and open-minded when learning about the Chinese culture; to be confident and creative when writing for the Chinese market.