Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Expat Bubble

We have been unable to update our blog since we had issues in our new home with getting the internet working and then setting up my Virtual Private Network (VPN).  In China the government controls the internet and blocks certain websites like Facebook, YouTube and Google Blogger (this site).  A good topic for another blog.

Our new home is in an area called Jinqaio (pronounced - Gin Chow).  If you slurred to your taxi driver while out drinking in downtown Shanghai, passed out and woke up in Jinqaio you would have thought that he put you on an airplane back to Wichita, Kansas.  Many like to say that it you are in the 'bubble', protected from the extremes that China has to offer.  This little area of Pudong, Shanghai is also known as Green City and has a large population of expatriots (aka - expats).  With the large number of foriegners comes many of the comforts of their homes - like Mexican, Irish, American and German restaurants; Starbucks; churches; and many large homes that expat's companies afford to those crazy people that decide to move their families from Florida to the other side of the planet.

Our neighborhood street
Jinqaio is about 12 -15 years old and is a place where some brilliant Chinese people decided to build some American and British International schools to cater to those expats that don't want to mess up their kids too much.  With the great international schools comes the families needing oversized homes and apartment complexes that they couldn't afford in their home country.

Concordia International School
If you are a family without school-aged kids, your company doesn't give you a nice housing/school allowance or are looking for the true China experience then Jinqaio is obviously not for you.  And those who fall into those camps will constantly say, "If I'm coming to China, I want to experience China".  Yes, you can quickly step into China but it takes more of an effort (taxi or metro).