From Italy to Shanghai: Expat Cucina
My name is Daniela. I’m from Italy (Lecce – south) but I live in Shanghai (china) since 2008.
1. Why did you move abroad?
I moved to china after graduating from collage. My major in uni was Chinese so I thought It was necessary for me to do some work experience abroad for improving the language.
2. How do you make a living?
My “day job” is being an alliance manager for a Swiss company, Kaba, we sell security systems and data collection devices. I spend most of my free time cooking, blogging about food and giving cooking classes.
3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
Quite often. An average of 2 times a week via skype.
4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Shanghai?
Life is never boring here. There is always something new to learn and experience, new people to meet and new places to visit. It’s challenging and it’s definitely making me grow up a lot.
5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Shanghai?
Having to deal with the pollution, traffic, and millions of people everyday.
6. What do you miss most?
A blue sky
7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
I’m a pretty social person, I’ve always been. Making new friends has never been an issue for me. I do a lot of sport (from dancing to running and cycling), that helped me meet new people.
8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
Making noise when eating. Drives me nuts
9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
That Chinese people are hard workers…
10. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
Before moving to China I was living in Italy. I’d say that nowadays there are things here in Shanghai that are cheaper than back home (like having a maid costs only 2 euros/hour, or taking cabs is way cheaper), but there are also many things whose price is as high, if not higher (like imported grocery, dining out, rent)
11. What advice would you give other expats?
To never be afraid to open up to the new world they are living in. To experience as much as they can, to enjoy the expat experience fully and to always bring business cards!
12. When and why did you start your blog?
I started blogging about 2 and a half years ago cause I love cooking and people say Im quite good at it. So I decided to put myself out there to see what I could do. Im glad I did. Since I started my blog I’ve reached out to so many ppl that share my same passion, and we have learned so much from each others.
Daniela blog, Expat Cucina
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