The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

It’s been 3 and a half months and here is how I view Beijing, China. 


  • Street food is AWESOME
  • People are understanding that my Chinese is bad and constantly tell me the names of things when I ask them
  • Public transportation, for me, is more of a pro than con. Yes, traffic and the subway can be congested, but for millions of people, Beijing is doing alright
  • Chuar
  • Amount of people who speak English. I know it’s not Hong Kong, but there are still a lot of random people who speak good English. Like the lady selling tickets at the movie theater or the guy selling ipod cases on the bridge. 
  • Street vendors sell anything from socks and shoes to ipads and fresh fish. As someone who likes to barter, I’m a big fan of these guys. 
  • Like any big city, Beijing has variety. From food, shopping, clubs, tourist attractions, bars, and job opportunities. There’s something for everyone. 
  • The Subway


  • Cars tend to double or triple park on the street leaving absolutely NO room to maneuver 
  • Chinese dudes roll their shirts up past their belly and walk around / eat / sit on the street like this to ‘cool off’
  • People take smoke breaks in the adjacent corridor at the gym
  • There are no sense of 'lines’. People just shove in wherever they want. The subway, restaurants, bike lanes, lines at the store. 
  • Anyone who decides to move to China is a bit weird in their own right, but I’ve met a lot of socially awkward Americans who play WOW, wear socks & sandals and never go out. It seems to be a common theme for many foreigners in China, but hey, live your life
  • Parents let babies poop on the street. If you think I’m kidding, ask anyone who has lived in Beijing. This is probably due to the fact that most parents don’t put diapers on babies. They just free-ball it in an oversized tee. 
  • The Subway
  • People stare, A LOT. I understand that I’m the foreigner, but just because I don’t weigh 60 Kilos like most Chinese guys doesn’t give you the right to eye fuck me everywhere I go. I used to turn to people and say, “ Can I fucking help you?”, but it happens so often that I’ve just come to accept it. 

Degen Hill

About: Degen Hill is a travel junkie, gym enthusiast, and avid writer who currently resides in Beijing. He is a 28-year-old graduate of Eastern Washington University where he studied Spanish & Communications and quickly learned that life's too short to not travel. Degen is aggressively realistic, open-minded, sarcastic, curious, and results-driven.

Currently: Degen graduated from Tsinghua University with a Master's of Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy in Beijing. He is now a reporter and editor for the political magazine China Today (今日中国). His Chinese language ability is a work in progress and enjoys the challenge. He is currently living in Andingmen (Right above the Forbidden City).