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Tips for “Survival” in China without Technology

By Anna Luzanne @WIEChina

The first thing I realized when I arrived in China is that technology is a necessity. You can do so many things with your cellphone, like:

·       Booking a Didi (Chinese version of Uber)

·       Pay for your bill at the restaurant or for your groceries via WeChat or Alipay

·       Order takeout online

·       Online shopping

·       Translation apps when you want to speak to a local

The list goes on and there are plenty resources for using these apps to get along easy in China.

But what if your cellphone's battery dies unexpectedly and you forgot your power bank home, or your cannot access WiFi or the mobile network is not working?

Here is my tips for peace of mind if technology lets you down:

1.     Carry a small notebook with you containing your home address written in Chinese (and other important addresses). Also have the contact number of a Chinese friend or colleague written in the notebook, if there is an emergency.

2.     In the same notebook have a few Chinese phrases so that you can communicate with a local (like: “Can you please help me?”, etc.).

3.     Always have a bit of cash on you or your bank card (especially if you do not carry your wallet or purse with you when you normally go out).

4.     Transportation card: this will allow you to make use of busses and subways (depending on the city you are living in).

5.     Get familiar with busses and subways in your environment. This will give you peace of mind if you get lost and you have no idea what to do.

Sometimes, we may feel our cellphones are all the connection to our world. Especially when you are in China where your needs for many public services can be all fulfilled in just one small machine on your palm. But don’t let the technology fail brings you back to “stone age”. Good luck friends.


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