This morning I was reminded of why I love living in China.
I had a few errands to get out of my way before starting my day. The handle of one of my favorite handbags broke. I walked 3 minutes to the neighborhood shoe repairer (who works from a small pushcart parked on the side of the street) and he said he could fixed it within 5 minutes for 10 yuan (one dollar and forty cents).
While was fixing my bag, I went to visit the neighborhood alteration shop. A button had fell off one of my shirts and I didn’t have time to sew it myself. The friendly seamstress sewed it in right there within 2 minutes. She then looked at me and commented in horror, “Dear, your coat looks so ruffled. Did you just take it out of a suitcase or something?” I did. She then offered to iron it for me. So I got to go to work in a freshly ironed coat. The sewing cost 5 yuan (70 US cents), which I paid via a Alipay QR code. The ironing was free.
While the seamstress was ironing, I ordered DiDi to go to work. The car was 3 minutes away.
Once the ironing was done, I went to collect my bag at the shoe repairer’s, and paid him 10 yuan via, guess what, an Alipay QR code pasted to his cart. Just then, my DiDi pulled over.
While in the DiDi, I realized I was moving out of my apartment very soon and wanted to leave a clean apartment behind, but I don’t have time to do deep cleaning myself. So I ordered 2 hour of cleaning from an app called “Daowei” (which specialize in home services) with a couple clicks. A cleaner will come to my apartment on Sunday to clean for 2 hours, and the total cost was 90 yuan ($13) which I paid via WeChat Pay within the Daowei app.
Then I realized I needed a mop for my new apartment. I searched “mop” on JD.com, expecting to find the kind of old-fashioned mops that you wash with a tub and must wring each time. Instead, I found this:
This is a next-generation mop uses a special kind of super-absorbant sponge which cleans your floor like a wizard (whether wet or dry). And you only need to pull a lever once for it to become completely rid of water. The best part is, you can effortlessly remove all the dirty stuff just by rinsing the mop in water. It just makes so much sense. It’s everything that a mop should be. And I knew all of this because there is a well-made 30-second video on the product page that showcased all of the mop’s features. This futuristic mop cost 29.9 yuan (around $4). (By the way, the same mop costs $24.99 on Amazon). I ordered it right away.
Within 30 minutes, I had a fixed handbag, a sewn button, a magical mop, a house cleaning on its way, and I was at work in a perfectly ironed coat.
By the time I got home in the evening, the mop was greeting me right outside my door.
This is China today.
Note: There are also days when I don’t like living in China. This is one of those days that I liked living in China. Also, everyone’s views are shaped by their background. Here’s mine.
One thought on “Why I Love Living in China”
I followed an invitation last year and was the first time in China for 3 weeks. There I met many new people and made new friends. This year I was for almost 5 weeks in the Chenghai district of Shantou, before I was in Xingtai. Last year’s friends are even more dear to my heart, so I want to come again next year. China enchanted me. I feel much more life energy and joy in China than at home in Germany. The way you live together is great and so close to my character that we joked last year one of my ancestors must have been a Chinese. The food is healthier and more tasty than the German cuisine. Life is much cheaper, which you say in your mail. And above all there are still the many small shops with you, which break away more and more with us. A cobbler, a sewing shop we have only in the city. That takes 15 minutes, take it back with you or wait for it, that was once. My decision is certain, if my obligations towards my parents in Germany are fulfilled, if I am still fit and healthy, if I am allowed to live in China, then I will do that. First for half a year to be sure and to see if I can speak and read the language fast enough. That is my greatest fear. But where a will, there a way. I love China. Your report has let me go again in my thoughts into the many narrow streets of Chenghai.