About

As I walk the streets and roam the web of China, I share snapshots from my fieldwork on Bytes of China. My list of longer thought pieces can be found on my Writing Page

I am currently living in China, following students and migrants as they process information and desire, remaking cities and rural areas. I investigate media and memes in their collisions with markets, governments, and local thugs.   [More about Bytes of China.]

Here's a video of the most recent talk I gave about my research at LIFT in Geneva, Switzerland, "Dancing with Handcuffs: The Geography of Trust in Social Networks". In this talk, I analyze the changing conceptions of trust through the story of a college student who threw shoes and eggs at the government official who oversees internet censorship in China. 

Read more about my research. My analysis of culture and technology can be found on Cultural Bytes. And my personal blog is Hi Tricia.

The views expressed on this blog do not in any way reflect the position of any of my funders, past employers, the Chinese government, the US government or the Fulbright program. 

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My research is generously funded though a mix of university grant programs, state initiatives, or industry research.

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Monday
May162011

Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time!

Fieldwork: yes! After 3 weeks of running around, I have my permanent residency card! 长住证 done!

I've finally accomplished 2 very important things after a month of being here - I have my permanent residency card and am officially registered with Wuhan University. Neither of these things were easy. They required tons of running around and tons of bureaucracy. After all the quarantine health checks, cab rides, unclear answers, unexplainable long breaks, and missing officials - I am happy to say that I've learned a lot about my city. I think this advice is also useful for other cities in China.

  • You need a lot of stamps for anything official, and if one person isn't there, you're screwed. There is not alternative person to stamp your card, you need to wait until they return.
  • In Wuhan, the entire city stops between 12pm and 2pm, and for anything related to the police office and the university, the break starts at 11am and doesn't end until 2:30pm.
  • The 2-3 hour break in Wuhan is equivalent to the Spanish siesta. People sleep at work, eat lunch, run errands like shop for clothes and food, and go online. Although I have found out that a good portion of people use the time to gamble or play games. I have spent time watching what these city officials or administrators do during their break, and most of them who were publicly sight-able were playing mahjong, card games, or games on their cellphones.
  • Do not interrupt policeman or any administrator at any time of the day when they are at their computers watching an online viral video of traffic accidents or anything silly. They will not answer you and will become very upset if you disrupt their viewing time.
  • Though you can definitely interrupt them if they are doing their work - they are more than capable of stopping their work or multitasking to help you.
  • Do not be secure for one moment if you are the first person in line or are already speaking to an administrator that another person won't just cut in front of you, push you aside, or shove their paperwork over your head. You must be prepared to be ousted from your position at all times. So this means that you must speak quickly and be prepared to push someone aside if they try to cut in. Be on the defensive. People are pushy here and will scream at you.
  • If you are cutting it close to their mid-day break, if people care about getting your work paperwork done they will stay until 11:15am, but if they don't, then you have to come back at 2:30pm.
  • Take 30 passport photos of yourself at a mall or photoshop before you take care of any bureaucratic paperwork. Each place will want 4-6 photos. If you don't do it ahead of time, you end up having to pay 3x's the costs and you have to spend additional time in line taking the photo, which then could delay your entire day. RISK
  • Do not trust what anyone tells you, even if it's a policeman telling you info about the police station or a university administrator telling you about how to register at the university.
  • Always say thank you and hello with a smile, even if you never hear anyone else say it. I still believe that a genuine thank you and hello can go a long way - you always will be surprised at who actually smiles back when you smile at them.

So what are your tips for settling into China?

References (23)

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    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
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    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
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    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
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    Response: www.net4study.com
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Response: such a good point
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Response: yamato-huerth.de
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Response: seo
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
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    Response: seo melbourne
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
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    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Response: Aarika
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Response: Seo Australia
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Response: trafic organique
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets
  • Response
    Some things that I learned about my new home in China - settling in takes a long time! - Bytes of China - Tricia Wang, Global Tech Ethnographer transforming research, specializes in China & emerging markets

Reader Comments (2)

Along with dozens of passport mug shots - definitely also do bring copies in large amounts of all documents you have that are even remotely official.

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterandreas moeller

习惯就好!中国怎样?

June 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter路人

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