You Reap What You Sow

LOCKDOWN. What do you think when you read this word? Not allowed across the city? Not allowed across the country? Yes, that’s correct, but the lockdown that I felt in China is different than in my hometown or another country, where we still can go to the supermarket or traditional market to buy our supplies or needs or maybe there is a restricted hour to go out and after that time not allowed be in the outside. Today is my 30 days lockdown in Shanghai on Saturday, 16 April 2022, where we can’t go out of our building and compound. 

I know this lockdown is not easy for everyone, especially for little vendors and some workers that need to work on-site. I don’t know how they are surviving during these difficult times. I saw a video on social media, there is a man-eating instant noodle every day because he can’t effort to buy vegetables, fruit, and meat. This is the irony of this lockdown. I don’t want to complain, but the management is not ready enough to face this epidemic, even if it became a pandemic 2 years already. When other countries are already free can travel go anywhere they want, China still closes their border strictly. And this is what makes me confused, why even if they already use “The Dynamic Zero Tolerance Covid”? This virus still can spread inside of China. 

And on April 8, 2022, I got sick where I never been got fever this high before (psst… not covid), I have been four days got a high fever and reached 41 degrees on my third day. The volunteer in my building helps me to contact the hospital to send an ambulance to pick me up. But, going to the hospital is not an easy task during this epidemic in Shanghai and even if you are in an emergency situation, they will reject you if you did not have 48 hours of the nucleic acid test. Because I don’t have a nucleic acid test report within 48 hours, I can’t go to the hospital. So, I canceled my plan to go to the hospital. And actually, I’m also afraid to go to the hospital because my Chinese is not really good, and then how if they are not patient enough to hear what I said in Chinese? And also, the risk to get infected with Covid is so high if we go to the hospital at this time. 

And fortunately, on the fourth day, my body temperature drops until became a normal temperature, thank God for your blessing and protection. And when I’m sick, I have someone that is always patient listen to my worried, and always told me to positive thinking and nothing is impossible with God. I also have my mom that always prays for me to be healthy again. I have a good housemate that takes care of me. She cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner for me until I’m fully recovered. I just knew her when we got lockdown. The first time talked with her was when I called her to go for the nucleic acid test because the committee told us to take the test together based on the flat. She looks so scary at that time. And the second time talk with her when I want to share veggies that I got from my company, my company gave us so many veggies and I definitely can’t finish them by myself and when my company gave us the second package again, I shared again to her and my Poland’s neighbor. Because of this the connection between me with my housemate and my Poland neighbor become good. 

And my boss gave me a red packet (RMB 200) to give to my neighbor. But she rejected it and said, “we are all under the same roof and I just moved to Shanghai, and our neighbors are so good and kind. Especially you, you showed me the kindness and what I did is nothing”. Same with Poland’s neighbor, she gave me watermelon, banana, banana pancake, veggie pancake, tuna pasta, an ice bag for my fever, and honey. The volunteer (Penny) that help me to contact an ambulance, make sure to the committee that I still can back to my apartment if I go out to the hospital, and help to buy medicine for me. And I also want to say thank you to my neighbor 704 for the paracetamol, because buying paracetamol during this lockdown is not easy. We need to put our data and they will be thinking we get Covid.

I’m really so blessed because there are a lot of good things that happened in my life during my difficult time, and many peoples take care of and are good to me. So, keep humble and kind to other people, because you never know what will happen in your life and you reap what you sow. 

Lockdown in Shanghai 2022

Yeah, I know it’s been two years already since Covid19 came to us and changed our life. From we need to wear a mask when we go out, social distance, make sure everything is hygiene. And traveling around the world became so difficult, such as so many procedures that we need to follow, many of us even need to separate with our family or LDR with our partners, because of this travel restriction. Many of us also lost our family, partner, job, business, etc. These two years become so difficult for all of us.

From 2020 until now, China is so strict and hard to work to fight this Covid19, so at that time in 2020, they only need 1,5 to 3 months to recover from this covid.  And I think only China that still closed its border until now. Only someone who has a PU letter (permit letter from foreign immigration in China), and a working visa/spouse visa can come to China. But the flight ticket is so expensive, for example from Jakarta to China can be around RMB 40000-50000 (around USD 7000-8000), we also need to quarantine for 14-28 days depending on the city you arrive and you need to pay it by yourself. 

I still remember I’m stuck in my hometown Indonesia from Jan 22, 2020, until Sept 23, 2020. Because China closed the border, even for those who still have working visas and resident permits. And I’m so lucky at that time because I took my office laptop with me, so I still can work from home for almost 9 months. I almost every day read news about China to find good news about when they open the border for those who have a resident permit and working visa/spouse visa until I feel tired and tried to enjoy my time with my family in Indonesia. 

And on July 2020, my ex-colleague in Chengdu told me China started to open the border to another country such as Singapore, Japan, Korea, and finally Indonesia on August 2020. I’m so lucky because my resident permit and working permit are still active until Nov 2020. If my visa expired, I don’t know at this time if I’m still working in my current company or not. Because to get PU letter is not easy, you need to have an important position to get it and need a long process and expensive to get it. I still remember Aug 2020, before China opened the border to Indonesia, my company want to try to make a PU letter for me, and the fee around RMB 15000 (USD 2300), but not sure will get it too. So, if they reject it, you will lose your money.

They also have a strategy called “The Dynamic Zero Covid19” to handle this pandemic. For example, if there is one positive case in your compound, they will do massive testing for that compound. And for those who did not live in the same building with a positive person, only need to quarantine in their apartment for 2 days. And for life in the same building will be locked in their building for 14 days and a doctor will come to their room to give a test, someplace needs to do everyday nucleic acid test, some only 4- 8 times within 14 days.

And March 2022, Covid19 came again to China, there are outbreaks again in China starting in Jilin, Changchun, and Shanghai and then spreading around China. But the other cities are not serious as these three cities, especially Shanghai. Shanghai has been in a difficult position right now, new cases per day have been reached 355 for confirmed cases (have symptoms) and 5298 for asymptomatic cases (report for March 30).

I have been locked in my compound since March 18, 2022, until now, even if my compound did not have a case. And on March 26, they announced they will do a half area lockdown, first starting from Pudong’s area on March 28 at 5 AM – April 1, 2022, at 5 AM and then continue to the Puxi area from April 1,2022 at 3 AM until April 5 at 3AM. It is so difficult to buy vegetables, meat, and your needs during this lockdown. But fortunately, today (March 31, 2022) I got veggie from my management compound and got news my company will send us a “care package” (veggie, meat, etc.). Since this lockdown, every time I eat my food, I don’t know why that food becomes so tasty like your heart can taste it too. Maybe because so difficult to get it, like I need to spend my half-day time refreshing delivery apps to buy food. So many blessings come into my life during this time and make me appreciative and feel more grateful for every little thing that I got. Keep safe and health all of you! :).

New Year, New Goals, New Dreams. Welcome, 2021 :)

Today is the first day of 2021. Let’s start this year with a smile and positivity because you did so well in surviving 2020.

We know 2020 has been difficult for all of us. Many peoples lost their job, lost their families, lost everything in their life. But 2020 has taught us many things, such as about ourselves, our relationships, our passions, and our values. Besides the bad things that happened in 2020, we also have many good things happened such as make us closer with our family, because we spend the day with them during the quarantine. And make us more grateful for what we have than we don’t have. Make us appreciate little things happened in our life that can bring happiness for us.

Everything happens for a reason and there is something that we can learn from that. It all depends on how we look at things. We can be stress and sad for that and it is normal, take time to heal. But don’t let that thing drag your life down.

Forget all the bad things that happened last year and focus on making 2021 better for us and the people we love. Make your dreams come true, keep positive and optimistic. We can do it :).

2020: Many Things Happened in My Life

It started on Jan 22, 2020 in the early morning, when i took a flight to go to my hometown from China to Indonesia for holiday. And I bought this ticket since Oct 2019, so I don’t know will be there is coronavirus in 2020. When i took this flight, we are still don’t know coronavirus will be so dangerous, still many peoples didn’t wear a mask in the airplane. And when arrive in Malaysia for transit, I also open my mask. Because I thought will be safe in Malaysia. And after I arrived in my hometown for a few days, I read a news the virus already spread in Malaysia since Jan 21, 2020. I got panic and paranoid and make me stress. Because I’m afraid get infected by this virus and put my family in dangerous situation.

At that time my throat also is not feeling well, the feel is like want to get cough. But actually maybe because my gastric and the weather in China and Indonesia is different. And because my anxiety I had short breath for a few days. Every time I read the news and want to checking my flight is free from virus or not, I can’t breath so well. And this make me more stressful again. After 3 weeks in Indonesia and suddenly my friend told me, she is so stress until had short breath. And I immediately asked her ” Ow, too stressful can make us have a short breath?” And she said yes. After that I’m feeling more relax and calm and not have short breath again.

Long story short, I’m stucked in my hometown for almost 9 months from Jan 2020 – Sept 2020 and I never been stay in my hometown more than 2 weeks or 1 month before, after I went to the University. So maybe God have another plans for me, to make me closer with my family and especially my little nephew, spend time with them. And I also met my girlfriend when I’m stucked in Indonesia. So it is like a blessing in disguise. I wish I can traveling back to Indonesia in 2021 easily and meet with my girlfriend and my family. Actually not only me, but for peoples around the world can traveling easily without this coronavirus again 🙏 🙏 🙏. And wish everything goes smoothly in 2021. Stay safe, healthy, and happy guys!!! 🍻

China Reopen Borders For Some Countries

China started to closed the borders on March 28, 2020. Since that time who issued their visa before March 28, 2020 can not entry China. And after 8 months being stuck in my hometown in Indonesia. Finally I got good news on August 22, 2020, China finally open the borders for who still have working permit and resident permit still valid. And below is what we need to prepare to back to China and this is can use for all countries, not only for Indonesian.

Working permit and resident permit still valid

If your WP and RP still valid, you can apply it online without PU Letter (Invitation Letter) and free. Step by step as below :

  1. Open China visa application service center http://bio.visaforchina.org/globle/
  2. Choose in which country and city you want to renew your visa and submit it.
  3. After submit it, please send email to visa application service center your passport, working permit, resident permit, photo 3,3 x 4,8 cm, and application form.
  4. After that you will get appointment via email to give your passport, copy of passport, copy of stamp enter your country, copy of WP & RP, application form, photo 2 pieces 3,3 x 4,8 cm (the newest one).
  5. For normal process you need to wait 3-4 working days to get back your passport with visa.
  6. Take a nucleid acid test 3 days or 5 days before your flight (some countries still have rule to take it 5 days before flight and some countries 3 days before flight), but i suggest to you to get the result 3 days/ 72 hours before your flight. After that you need to fill health declaration form, just for name, passport number, signature, and date. And you can download the form in here http://id.china-embassy.org/eng/sgdt/W020200820644930248027.png
  7. After that scan your Z/M visa, nucleid acid test result, and health declaration form, passport to embassy. And they will send you back with stamp in there. And please print it out and bring it with you when you flight.

How if working permit and resident permit expired?

If your resident permit expired already, you need to ask your HR to make PU letter / invitation letter for you to make Z visa / M visa (business visa). And for working permit your HR can renew it via online. After you get the PU letter, you can follow step by step same like if WP & RP still valid.

I’m so sorry if there is mistake, i just want to share to everyone. Hope my blog can be useful. Good luck and keep healthy and safe guys 🙂

Happy Pride Month 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈!

Happy Pride month🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈! So sad this year I also can’t join pride in Shanghai, because of COVID-19, I still can’t entry to China until now. But I wish one day or next year I can join pride in Europe. And this one of my dream and I will be so happy, with a rainbow flag in my cheeks haha.

In this blog, I will share with you about when the first time I realized I’m into a woman and about LGBTQ+ in my home country.

So when I realized I’m lesbian?

I realized I’m lesbian in August or September 2015, when I’m 26 years old. Hmm yeah I know this is too late to realize it. And how I realized it? Maybe some of you also have the same experienced as me. I coincidently bought DVD lesbian Thailand movie “YES OR NO”, I don’t know this DVD about a lesbian movie. And after I watched I suddenly thinking and asking myself “Am I lesbian? Am I into a woman?”. And I throwback in my past life, when I’m in junior high school in my first year, I like my senior, And in the senior high school, in the university, and in the office I also have people that caught my intention, but keep not realize it. Yeah yeah, looks stupid haha. Because of a lack of information about LGBT at that time in my home country until I watched “YES OR NO”.

How LGBT in my home country? Is there many pro and contra in here?

Hmm… Pro and Contra? I think in my home country too many peoples have contra with LGBT. Because LGBT still taboos in Asia. Especially in my country. But since 2016, so many peoples brave to come out and speak up about our rights. We also HUMAN, we have the right to live in peace in our home country like the others and be ourselves. But the government still not approve of us, and even there is one police and he is gay. When his leader knows about him, he got fired from his job. So sad and tragic, but this is the reality we need to face in here. And in 2019, there is a rumor, if see there is LGBT people or couple in my home country. They will get punishment and said LGBT the same as adultery. When I knew this news, I’m so sad, angry, anxious, and feel not safe in my home country at that time.

And because being lesbian is so difficult in my home country, and this became one of my reason for living abroad. And because of that, I moved to China, where I can be myself in here, without people judging me and feel safer. I tried so hard to get a job in China, and as you know nothing is impossible in this world, as long as you brave enough to dream, and never give up to make it come true.

And I just want to tell you about wrong statements about LGBT around the world. Many peoples thinking LGBT is related to drugs, alcohol, free sex, criminal, and etc. But this is a really wrong statement about LGBT, because of our circle is so small, so they only saw bad things that TV or news exposed. They didn’t see the other good things, many LGBT peoples also have a good carrier, success in their young age, have their own company, and make many achievements. We are the same as you all, we have the right to live in peace and to be a success in our life. Love is Love. Peace✌️❤️❤️❤️🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈.

Why I come back to China again???

After going back to Indonesia in June 2014, I started working again in Jakarta, Indonesia. But after worked for 1 day or 1 week or 1 month I always felt uncomfortable worked in that company and make me changed 5 companies within 1,5 years until I got a job in China. And I’ve ever jobless for 3 months until I get stressed so much because I didn’t have a job. Everyday I always opened a website for jobs, such as indeed, jobstreet, jobsdb, monster.com, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and many websites again. At that time, I know I don’t have a good Chinese skill to work in China, but I never give up to get it.

I feel I’m already falling in love with China, with all convenient access for transport, cheap and delicious food, the unique culture they have, and many things that make me really want to back to this Bamboo country. And I had interviewed many times with companies in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Philippines. I’ve been rejected many times because my Chinese isn’t too good or I reject the offering because of the benefit and salary that they offered to me not too good. Until Jan 2016 before CNY, there is a big 5 international company in Chengdu that gave me a call want to process an interview with me. And I passed the interview with HR and continue the interview with GM(the last interview), and I think this is the easiest and the most simple interview I’ve ever had. GM didn’t ask me many questions, almost 30 mins I listened to her explain about the job and China.

And after CNY 2016, I got called again that made me really shocked and surprised. HR said you passed the last interview and will send me an email about the offering. And without thinking too much, I said “YESSSSS” for this job. And on Apr 25 2016 I moved to China. I’m so happy I can come back to China again. By the way, I got that job from LinkedIn. So things that I want to say never give up for something that you really want or your dreams, as long as you try your best to make it come true, and believe it, you can get it. Success for you all.. 🙂

About Me

Hiii!!! Just call me Bella, this is my initial name. I”m from Indonesia. And want to try to write a blog to make documentation about my life and journey.

I’ve been living in China more than 3 years already. The first time I came to China in Feb 2014, I came to Beijing to studied Chinese language for 1 semester. And in June 2014 I back again to Indonesia, to working again. And after 3 months came back to Indonesia, I felt I falling in love with China. Because of that i changed my job until 4 times, because i’m not comfortable to do that job. My heart in China, I like live in China. And then I tried so hard to find a job in China for more than 1 year, might be there are total 150-200 job vacancies that I’ve applied. And in Feb 2016 I’ve got email that said Hi WXL, you success through this interview and would you accept this offer? And can you on board in April 2016? and i said YESSS!!! of course i want to accept this offer.

OMG!!! Finally I’ve got this job and I’m so surprise got this job. And in April 2016 i bought a one-way flight ticket to Chengdu, China (Yeayyyy..!!!). I lived in Chengdu for 2 years and 7 months. And Chengdu is really nice city and gave me a lot of memories (sad and happy). And this city have so many spicy and delicious foods than others city in China. Chengdu is known as the happiest city in China and suitable for life. Because of the stress level work and life in here not same like Beijing and Shanghai. And also known as “homeland of pandas”.

In Oct 2018 I’ve got my new job in Shanghai, and moved to Shanghai on Nov 28 2018. And yeahh my new journey is began..