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Throwback Thursday: Moving Towards Independence - The challenges of transitioning to middle school


If you talk to parents of middle school-aged children, you are likely to hear an exasperated story about how different their child has become after just one year. Some tales are funny while others are frustrating, but they all reveal that middle school can be a tough time. With increased responsibilities at school, issues such as time management, organization, and prioritization are often encountered for the first time. Finding the right balance for success can be challenging for both children and parents. To gain some insight, beijingkids talked to school counselors and parents for their take on the subject.

Food at Your Fingertips: Ordering food the easy way

Delivery Services

This company’s familiar orange scooters can be seen across the Chaoyang and Dongcheng districts. It was founded in 1999 and has a large selection of restaurants which have partnered with them, such as Home Plate BBQ, Wagas, and Tandoori Kitchen. There’s a minimum delivery amount of RMB 100 at dinner hours from 6pm.

Helping Hands: How to hire an ayi (and other help)

Affordable domestic help is one of the luxuries of expat life in China. Not only do ayis (as nannies and cleaners are known in Beijing) provide invaluable help for any family, their services can be downright liberating for new parents and those with limited mobility. Many families develop a bond with their ayi beyond that of employer and employee; time and time again, long-term expats have told us that the hardest part of leaving Beijing was separating from their ayi.

Beyond domestic chores, ayis can also soften the effects of culture shock by helping families navigate some of the more challenging aspects of living in Beijing: dealing with repairmen, tracking down missing parcels, sourcing hard-to-find ingredients, etc.

The Bottom Line: The basics of banking, mobile payments, and money transfers

Just a few years ago, conventional wisdom held that China was a cash society. However, that is rapidly changing with the growth of mobile payment platforms like Alipay, Baidu Wallet, and WeChat Wallet. These cashless payment methods are now accepted not only on e-commerce sites, but also an increasing number of brick-and-mortar stores, supermarkets, and restaurants. That said, using them still requires setting up a good old-fashioned domestic bank account.

Setting Up a Bank Account
Opening a bank account requires only a passport, a proof of address, and a minimal deposit, though you will need to bring a Chinese-speaking friend or colleague since most banks still do not have customer service in English.

Any Drop To Drink: What you should know about drinking water and shower filters

Everyone knows about Beijing’s notorious air pollution, but many newcomers forget that clean water is not a given in China.

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