My name is Darius Coetzee. I am from Boksburg South Africa and I have been living in China since early 2017.

To my fellow South African’s: China is the place to start living. We often joke and say that we are 20 years behind everyone else, but there is some truth to that. When I first arrived, I kept telling people that I am living in the future. Clean streets, security and high-speed internet is that future. The people of this great country are very friendly; you will often find yourself taking selfies with them and trying to explain that you are South African (Nanfei ren) and not American (meiguo ren), either way they are still happy to meet you.


A big concern for me was safety, as we are often told horror stories about people that go abroad. In this country crime is almost unheard of, as ridiculous as that seems. In my experience and to the experience of everyone that I have met, this is the safest place to be. I go for walks late at night into early hours of the morning; I leave my phone and wallet on bar tables unattended for hours at a time; on more than one occasion, I have forgotten to close my apartment door before going to sleep. China is truly wonderful.

Nothing can compare to the blue skies of Africa, but our streets are another story. China prides itself on the cleanliness of its roads, as well as, its maintenance. We often need to drive 4×4 to get anywhere in SA and just as the journey begins it is halted due traffic. The east is not free of traffic, but unlike our country, it has many alternatives e.g. the metro (subway), a working bus system, e-bikes (an electric scooter) and bicycle sharing. And that’s just in the city. City to city travel is super easy too.

If you are planning to take the plunge, believe me when I say: “China is the place to start living”.