Why Can It Be Difficult To Make Friends in CHINA?-
Here is something you need to watch out for when you meet people in China:
Many people are curious about foreigners in this country and are looking to practice their English. That is why so many youth pay top dollar to be taught English by foreigners. English education is a huge business in China.
When people come and talk to you, they will probably ask you the basic questions such as "where are you from?", "do you like China?", "can you use chopsticks?", etc.
This may seem like friendly small talk but a lot of times it isn't. Like I said before, English education is a huge business in China. That is why many people will try to find ways to learn English as inexpensively as possible. What often happens is that people that are trying to talk to you and asking you these questions are simply trying to practice their English.
They often times want to "make friends" with you not because they genuinely think you're awesome, but because if they make friends with you, then they can essentially get free English lessons. I have had this happen to me before.
While I was in the city of Tianjin at an Ancient Culture Street, some university students approached me and told me right off the bat that they want to practice their English. They asked me a few questions and then went on their way. Had they not explicitly stated that they are trying to practice their English, you could have mistaken them for some friendly Chinese people that wanted to make friends with you.
You can definitely make friends in China. You just have to be careful that you aren't making friends with someone that is trying to get free English lessons. Since I teach English here, I don't want to be taken advantage of like that. If you start speaking Chinese to strangers frequently, you can better gauge at who is your friend is who is using you for free English lessons.
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Sony A6300 (w/ Kit Lens)
Sony SELP18105G E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS
Zoom H5 Audio Recorder
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