Ask Beijing Today is our weekly attempt to make life in China less confusing. Whether it’s tracking down the papers to apply for a Chinese green card, dealing with KTV-crazy neighbors or finding the best buy on saffron, we are happy to help.
Q. So what’s Halloween like in Beijing?
A. It is like any other city with a large expat population. There will be Halloween parties in places like the popular Sanlitun Bar Street. Some restaurants and stores will decorate their windows with cardboard cutout pumpkins, and you will see Halloween masks for sale in supermarkets. You shouldn’t expect any kids knocking on your door, yelling “trick or treat,” and if you were to do it, you certainly wouldn’t receive any candy.
Q. How can I find a job as a Russian translator or teacher in Nanjing?
A. You have several options available, depending on how much effort you want to put into it. You can research the education institutes and companies that might need your skills and contact them by phone, email or through social media. Write a resume in Chinese and approach Chinese companies that do trade with Russia. A more time-saving option is to find a job-matching website and post your CV on it. Just keep in mind that finding a good job takes time and effort.
Q. Can foreigners on their work visas take part-time jobs here?
A. I’m afraid no. It is illegal to have a part-time job on a work visa. You need to be employed full time to stay in China on a work visa.
Q. I want to go to Beijing and visit my fiancé. How do I get the 72-hour pass or permit to spend time with him in Beijing?
A. You will need a tourist visa. The 72-hour stay is a transit visa, which means you have to be on your way somewhere and just stop over in Beijing on the way.
Q. Where can I find cheap furniture in China? Specifically, I am looking for a computer desk. Are there any places that sell used furniture? I am looking to spend no more than 600 yuan.
A. You seem to not have accessed Taobao yet. Online shopping in China is much cheaper than most furniture stores. You might find a well-equipped computer desk for no more than 200 yuan.