Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT
When I came to live in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province two years ago and my Chinese husband told me about the price per square meter to buy an apartment, I was shocked! For the price of a small apartment in Shenzhen, you can have a nice villa with a garden in Europe.
I grew up in the countryside in Belgium, so I never lived in a big city before. When I came to Shenzhen, I had great difficulties. I am getting used to it, but maybe that is also because we live near a couple of parks, so I can escape to nature whenever I feel that the city is getting under my skin.
My husband always said that he will work hard and that we could probably buy an apartment in Shenzhen in a couple of years.
At first, I didn't want to say anything as I thought I needed to get used to Shenzhen, but I found it outrageous to pay that much to be in a small box in a tall building.
Whenever I complained about the noise, crowds and high-rise buildings in Shenzhen, my husband said that I will get used to it.
But after more than two years, I realized that I am not a city girl and I don't want to spend that much money on a small apartment in China. We don't know what the future will bring, and I want to have a house with a garden. So, we decided to move to Belgium in a couple of years. I am glad that my husband agrees with me and wants to move to Europe as it will be a big change for him.
My ideal is still not to give up on China - we have great opportunities here.
I think Shenzhen is an entrepreneur heaven, and I still want to do business there.
So, my ideal life is to live in China for a few months a year and to spend the rest of the year living in Belgium. A nice house with a garden in Belgium will be a great investment, and it will help me deal with the city life.
I know some people who still think buying property in Shenzhen is a good investment, but I don't agree. I think smaller cities like Huizhou are a better investment. If I ever earn enough for the down payment and decide to buy an apartment in China in the future, I'd start there.
This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.