National Day Planning?

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    Avatar photoWoodWERD

    Well, it seems I’m finally going to make my way to Sichuan! After some minor paperwork issues, my prospective employer/school is telling me the work permit is just about complete and the invitation letter shouldn’t take more than a week or so. The staff had originally estimated me coming around October 9th but they’re now thinking that docs will be ready in time for me to get there by end of September.  What would you do in my shoes, wait, or try to make it in time for festivities?

    One thing to consider is, I’m not going to be in Chengdu proper but the Tong’an/Longquanyi area (I hope I don’t regret being that far outside of the city but I got a pretty late start on the job search).  Since I’m a first timer I think I’ll be overwhelmed as it is, so I’m leaning towards coming over after the craziness(?) has died down. Can I see similar celebrations throughout the year?

    Some other random questions for you guys:

    – What is your opinion on the area where I’ll be living? Good, bad, ugly is fine.

    – Is there anyone on this forum from Tong’an?

    – What time do the busses typically stop running? I like to drink socially on weekends and happy hours, but wondering whether the distance will keep me closer to my neck of the woods.

    – Can I get by on public transit or is a bike/e-bike/scooter going to be a necessity? I planned on getting a bike but now thinking I may need something motorized.

    Any other thoughts, comments or questions are welcome. I’m starting to get a bit nervous; I’m newly 31 and leaving my “career” – miserable as it was – of 10 years to go try something I’ve never done and see where it takes me. Fortunately I’m debt free and love to travel, but this will be my first time living abroad.

    Avatar photoTrevorTCB

    Hey WoodWerd, hmm no-one has piped up yet, i’ll see what can enlighten you on 🙂

    i biked from century city(south chengdu) to longquanyi took me about an hour and a half one way at a good speed, not alot there but have random small areas/towns to hang out in, you’ll get lots of attention and drinking partners, whether or not they speak english, they’re pretty friendly.
    if you want to hit chengdu, not sure about buses but a taxi ride could be between 100-150rmb depending on destinations..
    would recommend a scooter out there, will just make life a little easier.
    first 3 months will be a bit of a blur for you but should be lots of fun, if your ok with being outta the city and around most people that can’t speak english lol ( but they are very friendly )

    Avatar photoTrevorTCB

    o and as for national day, i usually avoid all chinese holidays, i try not to travel anywhere, unless you like taking pictures of the back of peoples heads 🙂 , but you should hit a couple holidays just too appreciate avoiding them lol

    Avatar photoWoodWERD

    Thanks for the input TrevorTCB. I wonder how hard it will be to convince a cabby to drive me that far. Here in Austin, it can be tough to find one willing to make the drive from downtown to the northern part of the city which is about 20 minutes haha.

    And at the rate that the school is replying to my emails, it seems like I’ll probably be there after the holiday whether I like it or not. I’m fine with that though, I’m sure the spring festivities will make up for it.

    Avatar photoKim Duistermaat

    Hi Woodwerd, welcome to Chengdu!
    I think getting a bike or e-scooter is worth it. The ride from Chengdu to Longquanyi goes uphill, if you like biking its not a problem but a e-scooter is probably better. Drive carefully though. Taxis go there I don’t think they have a problem. The good thing about living there is that you’ll be close to the hills and relative greenness, compared to living in Chengdu itself. You can do great hikes and mountainbikin in the Longquanyi hills. You may be able to convince yourself that it is a bit less polluted out there. Perhpas being out there increases your chances of socialising with the chinese rather than with other expats. Also, ‘flower town’ is between you and Chengdu, and there are some nice events happening there. Perhaps you will make a few friends in town where you can crash after a late night out? As far as I know there are hardly any celebrations to watch on the street in the October holiday. But everyone will travel and tourist destinations will be packed with people. Good for you to take the big plunge and go abroad, and then such an adventurous destination! Give yourself at least one year to settle in and feel good about your new home. It takes that long to go through the ups and downs of relocation. In the beginning, make sure you use the period of high adrenaline and enthusiasm to get some things in place that are important for you to feel good, such as friends, a sports club, a hobby, being able to speak the language, whatever it may be that makes you feel good now (at home). If you have those things up and running, by the time your energy and enthusiasm start sliding towards that (inevitable) dip on the rollercoaster of being abroad, you will not feel lonely anymore and you have things in place to pull you through. After a year, things level out and you will feel you’ve arrived.
    good luck!

    Avatar photoWoodWERD

    Thanks for the advice Kim! If I can find some kind of sports club out in those parts I’d be content…and I definitely think the distance from the city will force me to improve my non-existent Chinese skills 😉  The school has been pretty slow to provide updates (work permit has been ‘in process’ since 8/20), so hopefully they’re not just leading me on.

    Avatar photoCanada022762

    From what I understand, it takes 4-6 weeks to process paperwork for the work visa and  invitation letter.  So I don’t believe they are leading you on.  Things have to go through the government after the school has accepted your application.

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