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#152573 - 10/20/08 11:20 PM Re: Urban Survival in China [Re: Arney]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 995
Loc: Channeled Scablands
I got a filter bottle when I went to China.


This one is a 3 stage--filters, iodizes, charcoal.

Look like a regular water bottle so you can even dump your
glass of water from the cafe in it and it looks like you
are just saving it for later.

I had someone write "water filter" in Chinese on the outside
with a felt marker so the customs agents would know what it

The good thing about it is you have instant water to drink,
the down side is it take a little bit of force to suck or
squeeze out the water.

#152579 - 10/20/08 11:45 PM Re: Urban Survival in China [Re: Yuccahead]
clarktx Offline

Registered: 07/01/08
Posts: 250
Loc: Houston, Texas
Originally Posted By: Yuccahead
This may sound a little geeky but all of your electronic communication in, to and from China can be monitored by Chinese intelligence.

I've heard this also and I believe it. And, its their country, their government, and their internet infrastructure. I won't deign to tell them whats right and whats wrong. I'm bringing a memory stick with me and will have a laptop waiting when I get there. I might not bring the memory stick home, the only time I got a memory stick from a Chinese vendor with some data, it had a virus on it. Who would have thought.

I've been to Taiwan before, as well as other countries. But I've been putting this trip off for quite a while.

Good points, thanks.

You can't teach experience.

#152586 - 10/21/08 12:26 AM Re: Urban Survival in China [Re: ducktapeguy]
clarktx Offline

Registered: 07/01/08
Posts: 250
Loc: Houston, Texas
Originally Posted By: ducktapeguy
What part of China are you going to?

Fly into HK. Shenzhen, major electronics area. Guangdong for a few hours to visit a vendor who just can't get a product right no matter what we do. Then fly to Shanghai, run to Hangzhou, Zhenjiang, and Ningbo. And someplace called the Wiyu market in that district.

I will have a person travelling with me the whole time. She's been with the company 2 years. A native speaker, whose spoken English is not great. She will be invaluable.

When I went to Taiwan a few years ago, I did't prepare much at all. Even ate some stuff from a street vendor. Everything was fine. I feel a bit differently these days. Preparedness means you have a lot of stuff you probably won't use, but if you need it, it can turn your day from bad to good. I'd rather have the good days.

I really appreciate the feedback, and I'm so glad I asked. Each of you is providing valuable insights or thought provoking suggestions. Urban survival in the USA is one thing, but urban survival in a foreign country is a bit more complex.

Really, thanks a lot.
You can't teach experience.

#152592 - 10/21/08 12:50 AM Re: Urban Survival in China [Re: Arney]
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3560
Loc: Spring, Texas
I imagine that the beverage situation has changed a lot since then.

Not as recently as 2007. On the plus side, I no longer mind warm Cokes.

Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

#152595 - 10/21/08 01:12 AM Re: Urban Survival in China [Re: clarktx]
clarktx Offline

Registered: 07/01/08
Posts: 250
Loc: Houston, Texas
The pocketcomms are cool if there was a way to get them locally. Not sure if I would commit the money but I think its a useful item for a subset of travelers.
You can't teach experience.

#152603 - 10/21/08 02:43 AM Re: Urban Survival in China [Re: clarktx]
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
One thing I would do before I went was buy one of the initial versions of Pimsleur Mandarin, so I knew something of the language. I know Mandarin is not the only language, but it is the "common language," which is what it is called when speaking Mandarin (pronounced something like PO-tung-wa). In Mandarin, you really need to hear the words, because it's tonal. If one wrote out the word for the "to be" verb and wrote out how to say the number ten for an English speaker, there would not be much difference in what was written.

In addition to the other first aid items on your lst, I'd add some athletic tape. It has many uses. I'd also make sure to carry some antihistamine. You are in a strange environment, do not know the things you make be in contact with, and you may be allergic to something new.

#152637 - 10/21/08 11:21 AM Re: Urban Survival in China [Re: Arney]
pentium Offline

Registered: 10/20/08
Posts: 4
You are getting some very good feedback! The people who have traveled in China are giving great insight into this country's culture. The underlying message is that China is not the 3rd world it was a decade ago. It's a thriving, sophisticated culture and any opportnity you have to visit and explore the less-traveled villages and countryside should be taken before it too disappears under pavement and skyscrapers.

Arney make me laugh - bring ice! He's spot on right. The Chinese never put ice in their drinks. My wife says it messes with the Chi or something like that. The Chinese have never had the best municipal water system, so they needed to boil the water before drinking it. Someone commented on hot water thermos being in hotel rooms. Although rapidly being replaced with bottled water, you can still find the old thermos in some places. Many Chinese will only drink plain hot water. Nonetheless, refrigerated beverages are becoming common enough to satisfy your thirst.

In restaurants, the waitress will bring hot water to the table to rinse your cups and silverware with (to kill the germs).

The idea of conveniently carrying scans of all your important documents on a memory stick is a great idea. It certainly merits consideration.

#152683 - 10/21/08 03:33 PM Re: Urban Survival in China [Re: pentium]
clarktx Offline

Registered: 07/01/08
Posts: 250
Loc: Houston, Texas
Originally Posted By: pentium
My wife says it messes with the Chi or something like that.

A guy I know told me that you should always close the lid on the toilet before you flush, otherwise your Chi will go down with "it". He was very serious. I told him I was looking for a way to get rid of Chi anyway, there's always too much of it floating around here... Now I have a reason to smile when I flush. Gettin' rid of that pesky Chi.

I've heard in China they do away with that problem by not having the toilet or the flushing. I'll be sure to include Chi levels in the report.

I really wish there was a video camera I could mount on my hat that had excellent motion compensation, so as I walked the picture would not be bob bob bobbin along. A detachable lens system with something unobtrusive would be perfect. Any thoughts on that? Since you guys are rockin the mic already?
You can't teach experience.

#152692 - 10/21/08 04:07 PM Re: Urban Survival in China [Re: clarktx]
NAro Offline

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 484
"A small bottle of iodine (for quickly applying to any small abrasions or incisions"

Nope. Never. There are numerous threads regarding wound cleaning. Iodine is NOT recommended.

One thing I'd be certain to bring is a strong resolve to do things THEIR WAY in their country. I hate being abroad and running into other Americans trying to make the locals do things the way we do. Why not just stay at home. I say enjoy the differences and look for them.

#152698 - 10/21/08 04:30 PM Re: Urban Survival in China [Re: clarktx]
Andy Offline

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 378
Loc: SE PA

Follow this link to find a free audio book taken from letters written by my brother Pete to his family and friends while spending a year in China teaching English to college students. While it won't help you find the best things to take with you I think you will find his descriptions of China and its young students funny and informative.

Best wishes for a safe and profitable trip.

In a crisis one does not rise to one's level of expectations but rather falls to one's level of training.

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