What makes you stay in Chengdu?

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  • #9754
    Melina
    Participant

    After reading the fascinating interview and commentary on Why China will Never Rule the World (https://www.chengduliving.com/why-china-will-never-rule-the-world-interview/), I feel emboldened (impertinent?) enough to put this question, out of pure curiosity, to the long-term expat community of Chengdu:

    What is it exactly that you love about this city, or what is it that makes you stay here long term?

    Because, quite frankly, I’m struggling to see the charm. Admittedly, I’ve only been here a few months and since I work from home I haven’t had all that many opportunities to get to know the locals, but I’m guessing no matter how great the people here are, their awesomeness has got to be at least somewhat outweighed by the many trade-offs in quality of life.

    Out of a spirit of adventure, I can see myself staying here for maybe two or three years and I can understand those who are here for the long haul for family reasons or, for a shorter horizon, to pursue career or study opportunities or some kind of social justice/environmental/religious etc. mission. But for the decade-plus crowd (if you even exist) what’s the deal, if you don’t mind my asking?

    #24144
    RayRay
    Participant

    I don’t have to sit in an office for 8-10 hours a day. Truly. I could say the people, the culture, the food, learning Chinese etc. but that wouldn’t be honest….doesn’t mean i don’t like the place, but that’s the main reason….

    #24252
    RayRay
    Participant

    I don’t have to sit in an office for 8-10 hours a day. Truly. I could say the people, the culture, the food, learning Chinese etc. but that wouldn’t be honest….doesn’t mean i don’t like the place, but that’s the main reason….

    #24145
    RayRay
    Participant

    Oh yeah, and a cat. When he expires, I’m outta here.

    #24253
    RayRay
    Participant

    Oh yeah, and a cat. When he expires, I’m outta here.

    #24255
    Melina
    Participant
    Quote:
    I don’t have to sit in an office for 8-10 hours a day

    Yeah, I’ve got to say that’s one of the highlights for me too. That and the low cost of living, which, for me at least, is part of the same parcel.

    #24256
    VincentVincent
    Participant

    One of the biggest factors I like it here so much is because somehow Chengdu gives me an amazing feeling of freedom (apart from the occasional visa issues). Nobody’s pointing fingers.

    #24257
    JerrySJerryS
    Participant

    Girls and the booze!!! Believe it!

    Jk.

    Why i stay in CD? Well the opportunity. With my skill-sets, i am able to teach what i know and build an organization that may last for many decades, all from grass roots baby!

    Esp the food, one of the main reasons why i am here.

    #24264
    LinoLino
    Participant
    Quote:
    I don’t have to sit in an office for 8-10 hours a day.

    Have to say I agree with this one as well. For years I have been working in an office in pursuit of success and money. But I figured out (at least for myself) people should educate theirselves to be happy instead of being rich.

    Quote:
    Why i stay in CD? Well the opportunity.

    I have only been here for 2.5 months but I also agree with Jerry. Back home I am an average John Doe with (at best) average beatbox and sports skills, but in China it’s like I’m on a whole new level. This place seems to be packed with opportunity. Not only in sports and music, but in languages, businesses, etc.

    #24267
    Melina
    Participant
    Quote:
    somehow Chengdu gives me an amazing feeling of freedom (apart from the occasional visa issues). Nobody’s pointing fingers.

    I felt the same way when I first moved to Tokyo, which makes me wonder if it might just be a function of living abroad or if there is something particularly special about Asian countries. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who has lived in another Asian city where they have felt overly scrutinized/under pressure…

    Quote:
    Esp the food, one of the main reasons why i am here

    I wish I could agree with this, but being a vegetarian I’m finding it a bit of a challenge. Seeing whole dead animals strung up in every small grocery store and live fish flopping about on the conveyor at the supermarket register doesn’t help…

    #24268
    RayRay
    Participant

    Man, this place ain’t for everyone. two buddies visited me last year and they were horrified by the pollution, public “manners” and other stuff that we get used to. I felt kinda bad, cos i dig Chengdu, and i tried to show them the charms of this place, but they just weren’t into it…however, they loved street shao kao!

    #24269
    JerrySJerryS
    Participant

    Prior coming to China, I promised myself to become a vegan. When i got here, it took me just two weeks and I failed at being a vegan… Street bbq at 1AM is hard to pass up….

    #24273
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster

    Reading that book (the subject of the interview) made me think about this question deeply.

    For me I think it’s the action and adventure of being in a place that is transforming. We’re witnessing something historic, and this isn’t like Shanghai with hundreds of thousands of foreigners. The foreign community in Chengdu is small and each of us can play a significant role in Chengdu’s growth in our own ways.

    Over the years I’ve had my different pursuits, as well.

    – I spent my first few years in China traveling around the country DJ’ing in Lhasa, Beijing, and everywhere in between.

    – Learning Chinese was a real journey, and figuring it out gave me confidence that I could do many other things. After 3 months in China, I gave myself the goal of becoming fluent in Chinese through self-study, believing that once I achieve that, I can approach any future learning task with greater confidence.

    – Creating and curating Chengdu Living, striving to always improve my understanding of Chengdu and Chinese people and culture. Chengdu Places to uncover and explore physical places in the city

    – I spent a few years promoting Disco Death and got to know most of the best DJ’s in Mainland China and HK and host them in Chengdu

    – Recording and performing hip hop with Chinese rappers, which has been a fulfilling journey in expression. The Chinese psyche in general, with it’s Confucian roots, and now being thrust into the modern world, is fascinating to me

    – Helped start and grow a company that has transformed into a juggernaut, which is my current pursuit

    I originally came to Chengdu to escape the 9-5 rat race and ironically, I’m back in it now. But what I really hated about it was the routine of every day being the same, and I can’t say that I have that problem here. Every year Chengdu feels like a different place. With that said, it’s still far behind any first world country (obviously), but that’s a sacrifice that I’ve been willing to make.

    I follow news and events in China pretty closely and enjoy watching it all unfold. Basically the entire time that I’ve been here I’ve felt that we’re right on the edge of something big, and we more or less have been. I could write a lot more about this but I’ll stop here for now.

    #24290
    Merior
    Participant

    Because it is home!

    #24293
    Ian
    Participant

    My wife

    #24298
    Melina
    Participant

    Thanks for all the feedback, guys. It’s really interesting to get some different perspectives. Probably like most of you (or I dare say you wouldn’t have left your home country in the first place), I think I have a naturally curious, novelty-seeking type sensibility, so I find your comment, Charlie, about

    Quote:
    Every year Chengdu feels like a different place

    particularly intriguing. Looking forward to it!

    Oh, and am I mistaken or have no women responded? How about it, ladies? Anyone been here for 10-plus years and still loving it?

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