Rupesh Regmi Peter: A veteran expat in Jiangsu, a newcomer to tech start-ups
2017-02-09 12:37:00

Peter (C) won an award at a start-up competition held in Nanjing last year. (Credit: Rupesh Regmi Peter)

Peter is from Nepal. He has been living in Nanjing for 11 years. When he came to study at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA), he was only 17 years old. Now a lecturer at NUAA, and manager of a consultant company that is developing an app platform for the foreign students, he shares his 11 years’ experience in Jiangsu.

Compared with the first time when you came to Jiangsu province, what is the biggest change now?

The infrastructure has been developing so much, and so fast. In 2006 when I first came to Nanjing, I was living in Jiangning District, It was nothing compared to how it is today. There were no metro lines, no shopping malls and to get to the downtown, I’d have to change at least couple of local buses. During the winter holidays, it was a challenge just to buy things for day to day survival. There were no supermarket like Suguo or 24x7 department store. We could not cook in our dormitory. Fast forward 11 years, I can see several subway lines here, the facilities in the same area I stayed has completely gone through a big change. I should have bought a house then when I came to Jiangsu 11 years ago or at least after I graduated when I saved some money working part time job.

In terms of the internationalization, it has also developed a lot, because Jiangsu is the coastal area in China, and a lot of foreigners want to move here for work or study. It’s easier for them to establish a company. The rules for foreigners to get the visa after the graduation have been improved. After your postgraduate study, you can directly work for a Chinese or a foreign company. It’s welcoming foreign people.

The worst change is that it gets more polluted and populated. It’s difficult for the kids to breathe. Sometimes the PM 2.5 index cannot even monitor the amount the pollution in the city as it will go “beyond index”. I will have to seriously consider if I want to have my child in Nanjing.

Do you feel any inconvenience living here? What improvement should be made in the years to come?

It would be the substandard quality of food and some products. It is the problem foreigners are facing, but I’m sure in the future it will be better. The restriction for the quality should be maintained for the food. That’s the top priority.

The quality of life is going a little down. People are fast here. Suppose I’m just couple of seconds late starting may car for the green light, people would honk like “come on. Go! Kuai dian!” Some grandparents taking care of the children do not care of the traffic light. They just cross the street, carrying the kids!

How would you introduce Jiangsu province to your friends or family?

To call a spade a spade, I only have good things to say about Jiangsu. It’s not because I’m living here. I have visited more than 30 countries. For me, Jiangsu is probably like a home. I came to Jiangsu when I was only 17 years old. Now I have grown on to become an adult here.

Jiangsu is one of the richest provinces in China, and safest. It has risen to a high level, organizing the Youth Olympics, and attracting a lot of Fortune 500 companies.

Every time I visit places in Jiangsu, I find something new. The culture here is pretty intriguing for any “laowai”. I would say to other foreigners try to experience Jiangsu. Author:Wei Xin Editor:Dylan