Tag Archives: “This is China”

Getting a Bank Account


I have no idea about the forms I filled out to open a bank account, but I have a debit/credit card.  I am used to passing money over to deposit when opening a new account, but here you have to wait for 7 days to be approved and then you are officially good to go.  When my security device arrived (for Internet banking) I could not remember the password I had set up.   So, I did the usual password request email, completed the process and then got a message telling me that I had to print the confirmation off and bring it into the branch for verification!!!!

The Medical

A warning for anyone who is thinking of entering China to work and live.  DO NOT do your medical before you arrive!

Owen and I spent a great deal of time, effort and money running around in the UK to get blood work, chest x-rays and ECG completed.  Multiple visits to multiple places.  After all that, it was not sufficient for China so we had to do it all again anyway.  But, how efficient it was: in the facility at 8.30am out by 10.00am – completely finished.  It is like a conveyor belt of doctors – you start in one room for height and weight and general questions, move into the next room for chest x-ray, next room for blood work, next room for eye test, next room for ECG, next room for abdomen ultrasound scan. Done!  I was so impressed and then so mad at myself for wasting time in England when this process was so easy and straightforward.

The medical report is a critical step in obtaining a residence permit and every foreigner over the age of 18 must have a certified medical report to move on to the next step in the process.

Internet Access

Every time I use my laptop or iPad, I am going through a VPN to my companies network.  However, vanilla internet access is most definitely not going to work for our home, or Owen’s sanity.  What I mean by Vanilla Internet Access is that you have broadband, but it is limited to what the Government here would like you to access.  It is closely monitored and sites are frequently shut down or banned completely.  Facebook and Google are currently banned completely on vanilla internet.

So after much research and reviews from lots of ex-pats living here, we have signed up to ASTRILL.  It is a fabulous service that has servers all over the world so we can access and watch TV shows in the UK and USA.  Plus we can now update Facebook and use Google!

Lifesaving ASTRILL.  Huge plug for Astrill here  https://www.astrill.com/

Temporary Accommodation

An uneventful drive to our huge Apartment complex – Shama Century Park.  We are living on the 16th floor in Block 12 for the next month.  Great views and pretty western in terms of furniture and appliances.  But….. we have only 3 saucepans, 2 knives, set of 4 cutlery and crockery, no oven pans, no dishwasher – HELP!  Owen is beside himself because he does not know how he will manage to cook without even the bare essentials.  🙂

We will obviously have to do some shopping to tide us over for the next 2-3 months while we wait for the rest of our belongings to arrive.  (Which have not even left the UK yet because we do not have our residence permit.)

Despite all that we do not have, we are super impressed with the electrical outlets here.  Check out this photo which shows that you can plug in any device from any Country in the world without an adapter!!  Next time we build a house, we are putting these in. 🙂

And, at least the windows have black out curtains so it is easy to get the kids off to sleep.

We had to give our passports to the Complex managers who have to register us with the local police.  Every time we move (ie. a new address) we have to re-submit our passports to re-register with the Police.  It is at events/times like this, that I remember where we are and how completely different life is going to be.  Our apartment has internet connection, but we cannot access Google or Facebook without going through a VPN (Virtual Private Network) – again, another reminder about the difference from the West to China.

The views from our Apartment:

View from our Apartment.  Century Park is just across the road.

View from our Apartment. Century Park is just across the road.

Another view - the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum can be seen here.

Another view – the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum can be seen here.

Looking down to the playground and green space

Looking down to the playground and green space