Life & Style Weekend - - ESCAPE -

A trip to China could also be the best so­cial me­dia detox of your life. The world su­per­power’s com­mu­nist gov­ern­ment has blocked ac­cess to so­cial net­works and some of the big­gest web­sites Aus­tralians use ev­ery day. Say good­bye to Facebook, Twit­ter, In­sta­gram, Google and the search en­gine’s as­so­ci­ated prod­ucts (Google Maps etc). You can com­mu­ni­cate with fam­ily at home via email, iMes­sage, and Skype, while Ap­ple Maps works even if not con­nected to the in­ter­net. A few more things: MONEY Ac­cess money from any ma­jor ATM, just be sure to se­lect the cor­rect lan­guage be­fore pro­ceed­ing. STAY OUT OF TROUBLE U.S. col­lege bas­ket­ball star LiAn­gelo Ball re­cently made head­lines as he avoided a decade-long stint in Chi­nese prison for shoplift­ing. Re­spect their laws, and their higher pun­ish­ment, and you won’t have a prob­lem. LAN­GUAGE Com­mit “Bu, xie xie” to mem­ory. The Chi­nese equiv­a­lent of “No, thank you” is a pri­mary weapon against po­ten­tial scam­mers. You can al­ways visit po­lice, who are highly vis­i­ble in pop­u­lar cen­tres. FOOD Chi­nese McDon­ald’s staff whipped out a photo board the mo­ment this Westerner ap­proached the counter, but it’s worth learn­ing ba­sic Pinyin. If you know ba­sic words and com­plete a trans­ac­tion – even by point­ing – you won’t starve.

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