6.16.2014

If you lived in China, you'd know...

-that indistinguishable smell walking up to a public bathroom.
-that awkward moment you walk in on someone using the squatty because they don't lock the doors.
-the frustration that comes when your VPN won't connect.
-the excitement that comes when you find that random American food that you never ate at home but are still ridiculously excited to find & purchase at least 3 of.
-the skepticism you have of anything brand named being sold on the street.
-the hope you have that the brand name is real because it's a great price!
-the feeling of being stared at all the time.
-the gratitude you feel from Chinese hospitality.
-that taxi drivers are like free Chinese tutors.
-there are so many places to see and things to do in China, some that you won't find in guide books.
-that moment when your Chinese friend, server, student, coworker, etc. farts really loud in front of you and you try to hold in a laugh, because nobody else seems to care or notice.
-that clausterphobic feeling you get when sardining onto a 8 am or 5 pm bus.
-the heat stroke you try to avoid when waiting in the 20 person check out line at noon, 4:00 to 8:00 pm or anytime on the weekend, at the supermarket.
-the delight that comes when you buy 4+ bags of groceries for less than $50.
-how to cross a street, with a gazillion cars, who do not yield for pedestrians, and not get hit.
-the sound of the knife sharpening guy or electronic repair mans magaphone chant attached to his bike.
-where to buy hard cheese, tortilla chips or avacado in your city.
-that with a bribe you could get anything done.
-with a bribe you could get out of any ticket.
(we don't do either of these, but everyone knows, if you really want something done, you could get it done with money)
-the frustration of renewing your visas.
-the paperwork involved with renewing your visas.
-that lines and who was "here" first don't really count in China.
-you'd sometimes pay an arm and a leg just to get good Western Mexican food.
-pizza is ridiculously overpriced.
-taking toilet paper to the bathroom is optional for your Chinese female coworkers and students.
-you always have to bring your own 'paper' to the bathroom.
-there is never soap in the bathroom.
-Starbucks is the place to use the public bathroom: hello toilet paper, soap AND toilet seat covers.
-that moment where you don't have a 1 yuan for the bus so you just put in the 5 yuan you do have so the bus driver won't yell at you for asking for change.
-that summer time is NOT the time to go to the beach in China, unless you want to be a sardine, in which case, it's the best time.
-clothes are expensive here.
-food is cheap here.
-the daily "eye exercises" song in Primary Schools. "yi, er, san, si!"
-that that sound of an American ice cream truck, that once got you excited, that now annoys you because of the let down.
-that that sound of an American ice cream truck is coming from a street cleaning car.
-there is no season wrong for Christmas music or the wedding march here.
-Maybeline is something fancy, like behind make up counters, here.
- your friends will educate you on the "most famous" singers and bands in America and be baffled that you don't know them. (Here's a little secret: You don't know them because they didn't make it in America.)
-the feeling of getting a taxi after you've waited 20 minutes.

Have you or do you live in China? Anything else to add to the list? 

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3 comments :

Rachel said...

hahaha--we'll learn what this feels like so soon!! Although, because I spent a good chunk of my childhood in Southeast Asia, I don't think I'll miss American food. Mexican food, on the other hand, is a completely different story.

Rachel said...

hahaha--we'll learn what this feels like so soon!! Although, because I spent a good chunk of my childhood in Southeast Asia, I don't think I'll miss American food. Mexican food, on the other hand, is a completely different story.

Sally Kessler said...

My favorite was the let-down of the American ice cream truck. That is SO sad that it is not for ice cream.

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