What is it like living and working in rural China for a foreigner?
Figo, works at Cathay Pacific
In the east of china you will be a funny guy. In the middle of china you will be a tourist attraction. In the west of china especially in Xinjiang province or Xi zang, you will be a trouble by XIANZHANG(county magistrate)..........LOL
Lesly Cheung, software tester
Communication with native people is the first problem.Most of them did not speak English,and even many old people did not speak mandarin.
Oh, interesting idea.
1. I think maybe you can not communicate with native people well. Because nowadays in rural China there are many old people and they may have some traditional Chinese lifestyle that you may not understand. Although you may know Chinese, you don't know the culture. So, you might feel lonely. I think this is the biggest problem. (Young Chinese people usually would not stay home when they grow up, so it's a challenge to get well with native people. You know, old people usually don't have open minds.)
2. In rural China, it's not so convenient for you to get what you need for living. So maybe you should do some farm work manually.
3. Dialect. In China, there are kinds of old dialects especially in rural area. Therefore, though you can say putonghua probably, you could not understand what others say.
For now, I just get these 3 points.