Expat Abroad: Bridget Pikes takes China

Bridget Pike is a Mozambican-born South African personality who decided to spread her wings. Since moving to China, Bridget has also expanded her career to the Arts.

Read more about her journey below.

BJ: Briefly explain how you ended up in China
BP: I needed a change, I was tired of the same things, the hopes and ideas I lived with daily. I felt like opportunities in South Africa were not in my favour and it was time to completely turn it around. I enrolled with an agency, had a skype interview which I passed and so I sold most of my valuables and headed to China to teach English.

BJ: How long have you lived there?
BP: I have been here for 7 months.

BJ: What was your biggest cultural/political adjustment?
BP: Language plays a huge role in how one adjusts to a new country, this has been my most difficult challenge yet.

BJ: What do you miss most about South Africa?
BP: The vibrancy of our people, the sun, blue skies and smiles. The variety of flavours. I miss my friends and those closest to me.

BJ: Was China always on your bucketlist?
BP: No it was never initially part of the plan. It was the last place I imagined myself being.

BJ: What is your favourite holiday destination in China?
BP: To be honest I have not traveled outside of the Sichuan Province as yet but I would like to explore it more this year.

BJ: Favourite place to eat and favourite food?
BP: The street food in China is really good and is also very affordable, but here in Sichuan the cuisine is known for its spicy flavours and of course the world famous Hotpot! I would be lying if I knew any names, but as long as you’re on a busy street you’re sure to find a street vendor cooking up something delish! I’d recommend the BBQ – this way you can select what you would like and they will pop it on the grill and serve it right up!

BJ: What do you love most about the Chinese?
BP: That they eat together, that they have family values and are always active.
I love how they remain true to their culture and heritage. They religiously drink hot water, I’ve been told it cures all aliments, I’m still experimenting with this theory. I drink a lot of hot water.

BJ: Share your list of must-see places for any Chinese visitor travelling
to South Africa?
BP: I would definitely say for wildlife, The Kruger National Park, Knysna and the Garden Route. Coffee Bay is a personal favourite, it the perfect place to get away and unwind. I would say hire a vehicle and roadtrip your way along the coast, stopping along the way. I won’t be specific because anywhere you travel to in South Africa is beautiful.

BJ: What in your opinion, is the biggest misconception about Chinese people?
BP: That they live like prisoners and are controlled by their government. The Chinese live a fairly free life and are not as stiff as everyone assumes they are. It is an efficient country where things work. They are curious and open to understanding the rest of the world.

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