I get paid pretty much equal to what I would in the USA ($40-45k) as a history teacher at a local school, which includes a stipend for housing and round-trip flight home every year… but my salary goes further here.
At home, I could hardly afford an apartment (I’m from New Jersey) because I had student loans, car payments, car insurance, rent, utilities, etc.
Here, rent is paid. Utilities are cheap ($100 max for heat in the winter; $10 water bill; $30 unlimited internet). I have no car, no car insurance. I can get taxis (starting at $3) or hire a car (starting at $5) or take the metro (less than $1) everywhere. I can eat very well with a variety of foods, go get massages & spa treatments ($30 for 90min at my fave place, but you can go to cheaper places), and travel cheaply. All while still having enough to send home to pay for student loans…
在这里呢，我工作的学校包我住宿费用。水电费也很便宜(冬天供暖费100美元顶天，10美元的水费在家30美元不限流量的宽 带)。我在中国没买车， 所以没车险，我可以打出租，起步价只要3美元，或者可以包车，起步价也只要5美元，坐地铁的话，不到1美元的价格可以到全市任何地方。我可以各种食物搭配 着吃，还能吃的很好。还能去按摩+SPA。(我最喜欢去的地方，90分钟收费30美元，也有便宜的)，出行很便宜。就算这样花钱，我还是能寄钱回家还我的 助学贷款。
I left Shanghai for a year for another job and that is what I missed most. All the regional cuisines (Hunan, Sichuan, Yunnan, Dongbei, Taiwanese, Xinjiang, Tibetan) are delicious and fantastic. I can also get a wide range of international cuisines within 5km of my apartment (Thai, Vietnamese, Vegan, Organic, Japanese, French, Italian, Mediterranean, Spanish, Mexican, Turkish, Moroccan, Indian, Malaysian, Singaporean, etc. etc.) and, for the most part, are reasonably priced. Shanghai is more expensive than Beijing and people here always complain about inflation, especially with cost of food. However, with everything else being relatively cheap, I don’t mind spending $15-30 on a Western restaurant brunch which includes a bloody Mary or two… (not the four star crazy buffets… they are $80-100)
为了另一份工作，我已经离开上海一年了，而我最怀念的就是中国 的食物。所有的地方菜都那么好吃那么棒(湘菜、川菜、云南菜、东北菜、台湾菜、新疆菜、 西藏菜)。从我住的地方五公里范围内能吃到全世界各地的好吃的(泰国菜、越南菜、素食、有机餐、日本菜、法国菜、意大利菜、地中海菜、西班牙菜、墨西哥 菜、土耳其菜、摩洛哥菜、印度菜、马来西亚菜、新加坡菜等等)而且最重要的是价钱都很合理。上海的消费比北京贵，这里的人也经常抱怨通胀让食品价格连连上 涨。然而，尽管这样，所有这一切的价格相对美国来说还是很便宜。所以我不介意花上15-30美元吃一顿早午餐，还包括一两杯血腥玛丽鸡尾酒(当然不是那些 四星级自助餐啦，那些要80-100美元一餐…)
You don’t have time to clean your house or do your laundry? Hire an ayi (maid/nanny) … Mine costs about $6/hr … You don’t want to go to your favorite restaurant for dinner because the pollution is bad? Don’t worry, you can have it delivered. There are many restaurant delivery services where you can order online and someone goes to get your order from the restaurant and brings it to you… You don’t want to go to the foreign supermarket? You can order online and have it delivered. You don’t want to go to the store to buy bottled water? You can have it delivered. You don’t want to spend $100s on a new suit? Bring a picture to the fabric market and they’ll make it for $10s. You want to do a juice cleanse? You can buy one and have it delivered to you every day. You can get a lot of things done for you if you know how… And the list keeps growing! All the choices for foreign food markets & deliveries were not around 4 years ago, so the market is growing…
不 用花时间打扫房间或者洗衣服，花钱请阿姨就行了，时薪只要6美元。你想去自己最喜欢的餐馆吃饭，但是外面空气污染太糟糕？没关系，他们可以送餐。有许多餐 馆开通了网上订餐，甚至有人会专门为你去餐馆买来再送给你。你不想去超市？没关系，一样可以在网上订购，让超市帮你送到家。你不想去便利店买瓶装水？可以 送。不想花几百美元买新衣服？去面料市场，花几十美元他们就能帮你做。想喝果汁排排毒？可以让人每天送。如果你知道办法，很多事情都不用自己做。外卖服务 的范围还在不断扩大。四年前上海还没有进口食品的外卖派送，现在也有啦。市场在扩大…
You can travel cheaply in the entire region. You can also splurge on a hotel because the cost of wherever you’re going is going to be nominal. I am a ardent budget backpacker at heart and have been travelling & living in hostels for 8 years, but living in China has given me the opportunity to see many different cultures around East and Southeast Asia and stay within my budget.
And if you’re looking for a non-monetary and/or food answer:
Living in the middle of Shanghai means that I interact with the local culture every day. I’ve learned to read and speak enough Mandarin to haggle in markets, order in restaurants, talk to taxi drivers, have conversations about where I’m from and what I do, navigate around the city, etc. It can be very frustrating sometimes, and I know if you are in your expat bubble, you don’t even have to speak any Mandarin at all, but I like what I’ve experienced. I speak Mandarin every day and as a history teacher, I find living and experiencing the changes in China to be fascinating. You can see the impact the past has had on the current government and how the economic changes are paving the way for a new China to emerge… it’s great to be here and experience all of the energy…
住在上海中心城区你每天都可以接触到当地文化。我已经学会如何听懂并使用普通话在菜场里砍价，在餐馆点餐，和出租车司机聊天， 告诉人们我从哪里来，我现在干什么工作，在城里问路……虽然汉语环境有时候让人挺沮丧，但是我知道有些来中国的外国人只生活在自己的圈子里，从来不说普通 话，我却喜欢过这样的生活。 我每天都会说普通话，作为一位历史老师，我觉得生活在中国，体验中国的变化很是令人激动。你可以看到现在中国政府身上过去文化的影响，也可以目睹新中国崛 起过程中经济的变化趋势……能够在这样一个充满活力的地方体验生活，真的很不错。