Praktikum in China

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Charity, InternChina News, Uncategorised, Zhuhai Blogs

CTC and CPAZ hold charity event in Pingsha

On May 8th 2018 more than 30 representatives from CPAZ, CTC & InternChina visited the Pingsha Experimental Primary School to distribute funds raised at the Come Together Charity Music Festival 2017 and provide care packs to a total of 50 disadvantaged students.

The bursary money totalled 82,500 RMB, meaning over 1500 RMB was raised for each child in need!

This is CPAZ’s 12th year in a row working with families to support the education of those in need in Pingsha, and the 5th year that the CTC – Come Together Charity Music Festival has raised money for CPAZ’s mission. The day started when representatives of CTC and CPAZ distributed a total of 82,500 RMB to 50 local children in need.

The bursary for each child was 1,500 RMB, along with a care package which including a backpack and school supplies. Afterwards, representatives split into groups to visit some of the families who receive the bursary.

Come Together Community

Come Together Community (CTC) is made up of a collection of like-minded fellows who care about the community, helping out, and making a difference. The founders of CTC have collectively lived in Zhuhai and China for over 40 years, and consider Zhuhai home.

InternChina is a proud sponsor of CTC, and also one of the official organisers of CTC’s annual charity music festival each year, Come Together. The aim of the NGO is to help people in Zhuhai by uniting the expat and local communities to fundraise for charitable causes and local philanthropies.

Come Together Music Festival

In November 2017, the 6th annual Come Together Charity Music Festival was held. It was an extremely successful event, with a total of 900+ people attending and raising a total of 255,000 RMB. The event has volunteers, bands and sponsor work alongside food and beverage vendors, the schools, the venue and more local groups to raise money for local children in need.

As CTC firmly believes transparency is of utmost importance, you can view all the income and expenses of the Come Together Music Festival 2017 here to see how they got the total amount of 255,000 RMB.

CPAZ

The Charity Promotion Association of Zhuhai (CPAZ) is a registered CSO (Civil Society Organisation) in China. They work to promote social activism and public welfare with the aim of providing compassionate assistance to vulnerable sectors of society.  They operate a range of projects with the aim of helping financially destitute, disadvantaged people and particularly young students living as orphans or with single parents.

Come Together Community's WeChat QR Code

Want to experience charity events like these yourself? APPLY NOW!

Chengdu Blogs, Chengdu InternChina events, Eating Out in Chengdu

Weekend Trip to Wenshu Monastery

Wenshu Monastery

This weekend in Chengdu our interns took a visit to the famous Wenshu Monastery. Upon arrival, the beauty of the buildings stunned us. From the towering peace pagoda to the stunning halls, the architecture amazed us all.

Wenshu Gardens

Upon entering the monastery, you notice its layout in the traditional Chinese style. Wenshu is made of 5 south facing halls in a row leading up to the stunning main hall at the far end from the entrance. In classic Chinese style there was maintenance underway including this man precariously perched atop scaffolding on wheels using a jet wash to clean the beams.

Maintenance worker at Wenshu Temple

Having toured the grounds of the monastery we headed outside to an antiques market. Here we found old communist memorabilia, including the famous little red book,  and Mao-ist propaganda amongst other treasures. One vendor was sat outside his shop playing his guitar as his dog kept an eye on the passers by.

Antiques Vendor and his watch dog

After looking around the monastery and the antiques market we headed back towards the temple grounds in search of some food.

The Food

The surrounding area to the monastery is home to some of the most famous food in Sichuan. Not ones to miss the opportunity to eat, we jumped in the line of a famous restaurant. The restaurant was packed full with no space to sit. Upon ordering our TianShuiMian (this restaurants famous dish) we managed to find a spot to sit and dug into to this amazing delicacy. Our interns loved the sweet and spicy contrast to these amazing hand made noodles!

TianShuiMian

After sampling this delight we wanted more and headed to another famous spot near the metro station. As is the case with all well-known eateries in China, this place also had a queue out the front. This time we were queuing for Guo Kui. The menu offered Beef, Pork, Pig’s Snout, Pigs Ear, Noodles and other delights to fill this delightful pastry pocket. I personally chose the pig’s snout, which didn’t disappoint.

GuoKui in Chengdu

Having filled our stomachs with great food and our eyes with fantastic scenery we all headed off. On the way back we stopped by Tianfu Square, right in the middle of the city to snap some pictures and take in our surroundings. All in all a great day out!

Interested in visiting Wenshu Monastery and trying some Sichuan cuisine? Apply now!

Cultural, Discover Chinese culture, Learn about China, Things To Do in Zhuhai, Zhuhai Blogs

PMSA New Zealand – Zhuhai Cultural Programme

by Nick Goldstein  

Two Week PMSA Language and Culture Programme

PMSA zhuahi

I’m not a very good writer, but when asked to write a piece on my first two weeks in Zhuhai as part of the PMSA Programme I volunteered. Not only because I want to get better, but because coming here under InternChina’s culture and internship program taught me the value of doing things you are scared of. That’s why I ended up here writing about InternChina’s program, having already wasted the first 60 words.

The first two weeks were packed! My personal highlights were tea making, calligraphy and Tai Chi classes. Although lots of fun, I also learned a lot. Much like learning about the history of your country helps you understand it today, learning about the details of Chinese culture helped me understand the big picture (it’s a really big picture!)

During this time, we visited two companies operating in the free trade zone. In the same way as our cultural activities, learning about the companies taught me not only about the company itself, its processes and operations, but also the way western firms interact with Chinese. I saw two models, although on the surface very similar, in practice very different, and I felt the difference. If I were to set up an operation in China, I know what I would do differently.

Language Classes

Part of the program was two weeks of intensive language classes. 3 hours a day in a room with other kiwis trying to learn Chinese was invaluable, and although my Chinese is not comprehensive, it is enough to make a contribution to the language gap. In China, at least where I am, the effort is more appreciated than required.

Homestay Experience

The third part of the program was the homestay experience. Make no mistake this was an experience, living with my own family was difficult enough, someone else’s is downright terrifying. Despite this, however, the most valuable aspect of the course was the homestay. Visiting companies and learning about culture is useful, but you only learn so much by teaching. Living in a homestay opened me up to the culture, exposing me to the intricacies.

Examples of what I have learnt are 1. That, at least in my family, no matter how loud your child’s friend is screaming, you don’t tell them off and 2. People really don’t like it when you wear shoes in the house, like REALLY don’t like it!

homestay

What I’ve Learnt

Jokes aside, I learned about the details of the culture, and I have made friends that I will take back to New Zealand. Reflecting on the past fortnight I think the most valuable thing I have learnt are soft skills. Cultural appreciation, empathy, an understanding of the Chinese approach, and an ability to work in Chinese culture, as well as, I believe, an improved ability to work with any culture. I think the friends, contacts and memories I have made are all important. Overwhelmingly, however, participating in this program has been mostly beneficial to my appreciation of different cultures, expanding my mindset.

Uncategorised

My Internship in China

Qingdao Citie view from Fushan
Qingdao view over the city from mount Fu-shan

 

All things come to an end and good things even faster, so does my time in China. It is crazy when I look back on nearly a year that passed, and although I really dislike phrases that are most commonly quoted in situations like this, sometimes we cannot help but use them!

Let us just say, I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. Sad because I must leave a city and people that grew to be my friends and home, happy because I return to my homeland and family.

 

Qingdao Beerfestival, saying "Ganbei" to the world
Qingdao beer-festival, saying “Ganbei” to the world

 

My Experience

When I look back on what I experienced, on what I have seen here, felt here, tasted here and gone through here, the impact on me was/is strong. Stronger than I would have thought or guessed in the beginning. When I arrived in February this year in Qingdao, expectations were low. And surprise was therefore even bigger, as I got positively surprised in so many ways!

I have already shared some of these positive experiences in my blogs so far.

I will also never forget my first encounter with the InternChina crew at Mama’s Noodles. I was completely lost and unnecessarily took a cab to get there from the university. The driver just smiled, when we got there I knew why (it was literally 500 meters, and he got his 10 RMB basic charge for only 1 minute of driving). And then I ate the best noodles in my life, joining the first Thursday dinner with meeting the interns and participating first time in the quiz (scored 2 points).

 

Panoramic view with the typical "qingdao-rocks" at the seaside
Panoramic view with the typical “qingdao-rocks” at the seaside

 

My Internship

After my time at Qingdao University I started my internship, keen to get some insights in the work of InternChina and keen to use the knowledge I earned over the years in university. After all, I really must say I could do so, and even more.

I got my daily workload but also time to fulfil my own personal goals. If you think now I sat every day at work in front of the computer, then you do not know InternChina. Every Thursday I helped to organise dinner for our participants. Saturday was reserved for trips and activities, which is a task for interns like me to plan and conduct.

With these activities I saw many different and cool things that I otherwise would not have seen. Furthermore, I could show other people activities and places I like to do and share some of my favourites with them, and try to share my experiences and make new ones.

Climbing up the hill to Qingdao-TV tower in 35℃, or having tough times translating at a tea ceremony. With all these out of work experiences, and also living together with other interns, you start to develop a matey feeling which comforts you.

“More than just an internship” is more than true!

 

On mount Fu-shan with a satturday activitiy from InternChina
On mount Fu-shan with a saturday activitiy from InternChina

 

Time to Leave China

So now this time of learning living and traveling in China comes to an end. There are uncountable things I will take with me – moments, impressions, experiences, memories. Too much to be able to write them down on a paper when asked, but never forgotten.

Maybe a few years from now something will trigger a flashback from a small impression which then will make me think back to a moment I went through, remembering the people I was with. And suddenly having someone around me asking what it is with me, “because you were silently focusing your eyes somewhere else?!” And you put the memory back in your bag of memories. Where it rests until you take it out once more.

 

View from the Lion-Tower in Nanjing, modern and classic in one picture
View from the Lion-Tower in Nanjing, modern and classic in one picture

 

Finally, I just should say the following! Come to China no matter who you are! I will guarantee you will witness two things.

First: The people here are the same as everywhere else on this planet. No heartless working machines, they have the same feelings, fears and hopes that we have!

Second: China will surprise you not only once! Be it food, be it daily life or the people. You cannot be prepared. But this is also what makes it so appealing to go abroad.

The only bad habit I started in China, taking pictures of food
The only bad habit I started in China, taking pictures of food

 

Uncategorised

Vorbereiten für China: Wie man einen WeChat Account einrichtet

Vorbereiten für China: Wie man einen WeChat Account einrichtet

Habt ihr jemals was von diesem WeChat gehört und euch gefragt wie man es nutzen kann? Hier eine kleine Anleitung vom Anfänger zum Profi.

 

Appstore page with WeChat
WeChat Deutsch/German

 

EINE KLEINE EINFÜHRUNG

WeChat ist, mit 963 Millionen aktiven Benutzern, die größte „Social media“ Aplikation in China. Zunächst ist es einfach eine Chat-App vergleichbar mit dem in Europa meist genutzten “Whatsapp”. Allerdings enthält WeChat noch viele weitere Features. WeChat ist außerdem, in Ermangelung anderer populärer Plattformen, sozusagen der allumfassende tägliche Begleiter im täglichen Leben Chinas. Es ist, während eures Aufenthalts dort, nicht wegzudenken und absolut notwendig. Ihr werdet es benötigen um euren Freunden zu folgen, Kollegen zu kontaktieren und selbst um euren Kaffee damit zu bezahlen.

Bezahlen mit WeChat
Hier ein Beispiel wie mit hilfe eines QR-Codes und dem Smartphone, in Verbindung mit WeChat bezahlt wird.

MIT WECHAT BEGINNEN

Einen WeChat-Account anzulegen ist ziemlich einfach. Der Prozess erinnert dabei an das Anlegen eines WhatsApp Profils. Zunächst benötigt ihr natürlich die App. Das ist weiter kein großes Problem, ladet sie einfach über euren App-store herunter, und verbindet die App dann mit eurer Telefonnummer.

Wie das im Einzelnen geht haben wir euch hier aufgelistet:

  • Ladet euch die App herunter und installiert sie
  • Sobald ihr sie habt, wählt „Anmelden“
  • Gebt eure Handynummer ein und bestätigt, vergewissert euch allerdings davor den richtigen Ländercode zu verwenden (UK, USA, DE usw.)
  • WeChat sendet euch daraufhin einen Bestätigungs-code, gebt diesen in das vorgesehene Feld ein
  • Sobald ihr das bestätigt habt gebt euren Namen an, bestätigt ein weiteres mal und stellt die Profilerstellung fertig

Chat partner auswählen
Such dir einen Kontakt aus deiner Freundesliste aus, mit dem du chatten möchtest

NACHRICHTEN VERSCHICKEN

Um Nachrichten zu verschicken öffnet einfach einen Chatdialog mit einem euer Kontakte und gebt eure Nachricht ein wie ihr es von WhatsApp gewöhnt seid. Sprachnachrichten können ebenso einfach verschickt werden und sind auf eine Minute dauer limitiert. WeChat wird euch für alle zusätzlichen Funktionen um Erlaubnis auf den Zugriff fragen.

Menüfeld mit verschiedenen Aktionen
Das auswahlfeld bietet euch viele Möglichkeiten an verschiedenen Aktionen

FREUNDE HINZUFÜGEN

Jetzt benötigt ihr natürlich erstmal ein paar Freunde um überhaupt mit ihnen zu chatten. Das geht mit WeChat sehr einfach und auf mehreren Wegen.

Zum einen kann man einfach nach Ihrem Benutzernamen oder ihrer Handynummer suchen, allerdings auch einfach ihren persönlichen QR-Code scannen. Letztere Option ist mit der Grund, wesshalb WeChat für Networking und Geschäftskontakte benutzt wird.

Auswahlfeld für Kontakte
Neue Kontakte in die Freundeslite aufnehmen

 

KONTAKTE PER BENUTZERNAME UND HANDYNUMMER HINZUFÜGEN

  • tippt zuerst auf das „+“ in der rechten Bildschirmecke oben.
  • tippt dann auf das Bedienfeld „Kontakt hinzufügen“
  • Gebt den Benutzernamen oder die Nummer in das Suchfeld ein
  • Der grüne Such-Button wird aktiv
  • Existiert der Kontakt, wird er sichtbar auf eurem Bildschirm und ihr könnt auf „Hinzufügen“ klicken.
  • Sobald die andere Person akzeptiert seid ihr verbunden.

QR-Code scannen
So sieht das Dialogfeld aus für das Scannen eines QR COdes, hier wurde ein fiktiver benutzt.

FREUNDE MIT DEM QR-CODE HINZUFÜGEN

  • Geht wieder auf das „+“ im oberen rechten Bildschirmrand
  • Geh auf die Option QR-Code scannen
  • Erlaube WeChat auf deine Kamera zugreifen zu dürfen. Ein neues Fenster öffnet sich mit einem Feld zum Scannen des QR-Codes der Person deren Code ihr scannen möchtet.
  • Scannt den Code der anderen person in dem ihr das Smartphone über ihren Bildschirm haltet.
  • Nach erfolgreichem scannen bekommt ihr ein Feedback in Form eines Tons und der Kontakt des anderen erscheint auf eurem Bildschirm. Klickt auf die grüne Schaltfläche „Hinzufügen“ und schon seid Ihr verbunden.

Eigener QR-Code
So sieht eure persönliche virtuelle “Visitenkarte” aus, andere können euch genauso ,wie ihr sie, scannen.

LASST EUCH VON ANDEREN ADDEN

Andere können euch natürlich durch euren Benutzernamen adden, eure WeChat ID, oder Handynummer. Ihr könnt sie aber auch einfach euren QR-Code Scannen lassen.

Um diesen aufzurufen, geht im Hauptfenster unten rechts auf das Feld „Mich“ tippt auf euer Profil und dann auf „Mein QR-Code“.

EINEN GRUPPENCHAT EINRICHTEN

Um einen Gruppenchat einzurichten, geht einfach auf der Hauptseite auf das Plus Zeichen und wählt dort „Neuer Chat“ aus. Jetzt wählt ihr einfach noch die Kontakte aus die Ihr zur Gruppe hinzufügen wollt und fertig.

ÖFFENTLICHEN SEITEN FOLGEN

Gruppen sind ein wichtiger Teil der Kommunikation auf WeChat und wir benutzen sie regelmäßig um unsere Praktikanten über IC Aktivitäten zu informieren. Daher ist es notwendig der öffentlichen Seite InternChina´s zu folgen um über die wöchentlichen Aktivitäten und wichtige Neuigkeiten informiert zu sein. Und außerdem könnt ihr den jeweiligen Gruppen für die Aktivitäten darüber beitreten.

Folgen aktivieren ist relativ einfach, geht einfach so vor wie wenn ihr einen Kontakt hinzufügen würdet. Einziger Unterschied hier wählt „öffentlicher Chat“ bei der Suche aus. Gebt als Suche IC ein und ihr erhaltet eine Übersicht über alle InternChina Accounts.

Öffentliche Seiten auf WeChat
So sieht ein Newsfeed einer öffentlichen Seite auf WeChat aus.

WIE MAN KOMMUNIZIEREN KANN

Bei WeChat kann kann man entweder chatten, Sprachnachrichten schicken, anrufen oder Videotelefonate, ähnlich wie Skype, führen. Wichtig und gut für alle die sich mal vertippen oder versehentlich im falschen Chat posten, ihr habt bei WeChat die Möglichkeit alle Nachrichten, Posts und Bilder bis zu zwei Minuten nach Posten zurückzurufen.

EINE SPRACHNACHRICHT SCHICKEN

Um eine Sprachnachricht zu schicken tippe auf das Lautsprechersymbol neben dem Eingabefeld. Dann halte das Feld gedrückt und sprich deine Nachricht in das Smartphone. Lass das Feld wieder los, wenn die Nachricht beendet ist. Solltest du mit der Nachricht nicht zufrieden sein, dann zieh einfach den Finger nach oben und lass los. Das senden wird abgebrochen.

 

 

 

VIDEO ANRUFE

Wenn ihr mit eurem zukünftigen Praktikumsunternehmen ein Bewerbungsgespräch führen wollt wird dieses euch höchstwahrscheinlich per WeChat Video Anruf kontaktieren.

Daher solltet Ihr wissen wie Ihr einen Anruf per Video tätigen könnt:

-zuerst öffnet den Chat mit der Person mit der ihr telefonieren möchtet. Ihr könnt auch einen neuen Chat beginnen indem ihr die Person als Chatpartner hinzufügt.

– öffnet das Chat Menü (kleines Plus rechts im Texteingabe Menü)

-klickt auf „Videoanruf“, das kleine Kamerasymbol, und der Anruf wird gestartet.

(Das gleiche gilt für Sprachanrufe)

Sobald ihr euer WeChat eingerichtet habt, seid ihr bereit euer Leben in China zu beginnen. Solltet ihr allerdings noch weitere Fragen haben, vor allem wie man öffentlichen Seiten folgt dann seht euch einfach das folgende Video an.

Cultural, Internship Experience, Learn about China, Understanding Business in China

Hear It From the Companies: Guanxi & Mianzi

Congratulations! You have acquired an internship in China! By now, you must have researched all about how to successfully communicate and work with your soon to be Chinese co-workers. Through the research you have gathered, you must have read about “face’’ and “guanxi’’ a lot. Well, here’s a bit more, with tips and advice from two of  our partnered companies here in China!

What is Guanxi or Mianzi?

Here is a quick introduction for those that don’t know these two concepts. Guanxi, or “relationships,” is used to describe relationships in their many forms. These can be between friends, families, or businesses.

You can read more about the concept of guanxi from James here, but it is absolutely essential to conducting business and succeeding in China.

Mianzi or “face”, explained here, is so important in Chinese social, political,  and business circles that it can literally make or break a deal! It can be translated as “honour”, “reputation” and “respect,” and the concepts are deeply rooted in the Chinese culture.

So how do you achieve Guanxi and Mianzi??

There are a few ways you can better your guanxi and gain some mianzi- read some comments from our partnered companies on how best to do it!

“Be open-minded, curious, and prepared!” – Marketing firm

The lifestyle and the business environment in China is different than it is in the West, so have an open mind for your new lifestyle here in China. You need to try being patient and understanding of your new cultural surroundings and work with potential language barriers.

Be Curious

Ask lots of questions while you are at your internship! Don’t worry about bothering your new co-workers, they want to help you, so ask away!

You should also engage in conversations while you are at social events, such as dinners, with your coworkers- this a great way of building your “guanxi!” However, you should remember to keep your questions reasonable and appropriate for the situation. You don’t want to ask any questions which might embarrass or cause your coworkers to lose face themselves.

Be Prepared 

Even though you might not know much about China in general, the city you are in, or the language, you can always do a bit of research to show you care enough to learn. This might mean doing some research before you visit, and continuing to ask questions and engage while you are there.

“Offer to buy dinner or go out to eat, and asking for help with and opinions on your work.” – Education company

interns-out-to-lunch-with-their-Mandarin-teacher-build-guanxi

But this doesn’t need to be anything fancy! Even something simple such as grabbing some nice dumplings or noodles at lunch can do the trick. Spending some quality time with your co-workers will be good for your guanxi and networking, and for your daily working life! If your coworkers ask you out for dinner after a long day of work, take the chance and enjoy a good meal and conversations- you will build your guanxi, mianzi and social circle!

Finally, ask for help when you need it. This is still an internship! You aren’t expected to know everything, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice when you don’t know something. Asking a colleague will show you are engaged and interested in the work, and they will appreciate sharing their knowledge of the task with you and gain face. It’s as great to earn as it is to give face!

Feeling ready for that internship now? Best of luck and enjoy your time in China!

Don’t have an internship yet? Check out 5 reasons why you should get one in China!

Learn about China, Travel, Weekend Trips

The Great Wall: From Badaling to Zhuangdaokou

Hey travel addicts! Let me show you the Great wall as you would have never have imagined it!
You might think you know quite a lot about China, but this massive country has plenty of secrets. If you’ve already been, you’ve probably visited the Forbidden City in Beijing, and the Bund in Shanghai. I bet you’ve seen the Terracotta Army in Xi’an, the lovely pandas in Chengdu, and the “Avatar Mountains” in Zhangjiajie…

If you have managed to see all these things, it seems like you might be half Chinese now- congratulations! But what if I told you there is way more to China than these popular tourist spots? The Great Wall of China is probably one of the most famous tourist spots in the world, but I’m sure you’ve not seen all yet!

The Great Wall: Tourist Destination

If you’re in Beijing, well of course you should go to the Great Wall, otherwise you’ll never be a brave man – 不到长城非好汉, as the Chinese proverb said.

For a first experience in China, Badaling 八达岭 and Mutianyu 慕田峪 are nice spots of the Wall, and are very well renovated- this therefore means they are the most visited parts of the Great wall, so don’t expect to be the only tourist there!

Quiet Spot

But if like me you’re not really into tourist traps, and crowded places, let me show you another piece of the Great Wall called HuangHuacheng 黄花城. This is the only lakeside piece of the Great Wall, and some parts of it are not renovated, which means there is the perfect balance of tranquility and adventure- you definitely should try it!

Athletic Spot

If you feel ready for a hike, I have another piece of the Great Wall for you! Zhuangdaokou is one of the unrestored sections of the Great wall in Beijing, and you should definitely visit here if you feel like an adventure. Don’t be scared if you see some signs which won’t allow you to climb there, they are most likely like the “no smoking” signs all over China … not really significant.

Unknown Spot

Did you know that the Great Wall isn’t the same everywhere in China? For example, in Inner Mongolia the Great wall is totally different, and it’s of course way harder to imagine how they could defend their country with this kind of wall, made of soil and sand. In every hostel in Hohhot you can book a tour to see those amazing landscapes, and since Inner Mongolia isn’t that far from Beijing, you definitely should go and take a look there!

Do you feel like exploring the Great Wall of China? Then you should apply now!

Qingdao Blogs, Qingdao Eating Out Guide, Qingdao Eating Out Guide, Things To Do in Qingdao

Tips and Tricks for Qingdao Street Food

While eating street food here, you might think that eating the street food in China is a bad idea and say, “Never will I eat that!” However, I can tell you that soon you’ll be saying “Daily!”

Spit it Out, This Isn’t Food!

At least that is what the small Western voice in your head is saying, annoying you while you are chewing on things that you never would have dreamed of eating before coming to China.

Sadly, you won’t see me eating a scorpion on a stick. If I dared to eat that, I would be grinning in the camera saying “yes, I am a badass!”

I also don’t want to tell you about what you should or shouldn’t try, but I will give advice to help prepare you for the wonders of Chinese street food- especially in Qingdao.

Jian Bing being prepared by a street food vendor in Qingdao

One of the best “pancakes” (jiānbǐng) in Qingdao in process

First Things First

If you want a nice tidy kitchen, then you better stay at home where you will not have to look at messy street food stalls- but you also will miss some of the best food out there. I had my first encounter with street food on the street right behind the University.

Variety of Food

The difference between Chinese and Western street food, that I have seen, is obviously the variety and amount of food offered.

On one stand you will find a type of  pancake, “jiānbǐng” (煎饼), which can be filled with vegetables, crispy wonton or meat.

The always grinning guy from the other stand will give you some spicy chicken meat in a tasty sauce on potatoes, and with an even broader grin he will ask if you want an egg with it.

Ro jia mo is prepared for me
Propably the best “ro jie mo” in Qingdao

You will also find the so called Chinese hamburger, or “rou jia mo” (肉夹馍), so called because they both have meat and bread! You will find a guy using a scraper, normally used for plaster, to create flatbread. You will see another guy, with his mouth covered by a mask, mixing the cold ingredients you choose by yourself, such as peanuts, noodles, peppers, ginger, salad, tofu, seaweed and so on, in a bowl, and he will then give you your food directly in a plastic bag.

Street food stalls behind Qingdao University
Normal group of street food stalls (not crowded)

You will have the agile couple trying to break a record in preparing your meal as fast as possible. Him, hammering around like a lunatic on his iron hot plate, her, throwing the ingredients for fried noodles directly in front of his constantly moving spatula. You will find a competing couple selling chicken kebab with rice. Their arms and hands, heads, legs, knees and toes will be covered, to prevent them getting brown skin from the sun, while you will stand there, wearing a T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops, sweating.

But If you are hungry after a long day of travelling or sightseeing, no need to worry. Qingdao can help you out with BBQ on the streets, so search for what you want, sit down and wait for your meal to be prepared over charcoal fire.

Long story short, it is crazy the variety you have with street food, and you can go every day and eat something different. And the best thing is, as far as I got to know, it is the same everywhere! The people and ingredients may vary but the system is the same.

One of the best things to add, street food is there for you night and day!

BBQ grilled over charcoal
Different examples of street BBQ

 

What Street Food to Eat

So, what should you pay attention to?

First, you should apply one rule to all the food you eat, if you eat it and it tastes bad or unusual in a way, then follow your inner voice- spit it out! This may sound hard but believe me, if you don’t want to know what “la duzi” is, follow this advice! You wouldn’t eat bad food at home, so don’t do it in China.

Don’t hesitate to push your way to the front- “active-queuing” is a very popular sport in China! Be prepared to stand your ground and be firm, or you may lose your spot to an old lady who took advantage of the space you left.

When you find yourself standing in front of a vendor, you’ll be asked, “What? How much? Spicy?” You will have a hard time answering in English, but if you have an index-finger attached to your arm you will get what you want with pointing. Nodding and shaking your head is also optional!

Last but not least, for your own health follow some simple rules; go to the stalls that have people queuing up, and to those who are there every day. You can be sure their food is good!