Once you lived in China your eyes will have been well and truly opened. Turning up in China was just the beginning! China being as far from the western world as could be, a steep learning curve quickly followed! Even now just over three years in, and pretty well adjusted to life here I still have WTF days quite regularly! So I thought I’d share 5 things you learn from life in China.
- Hot water solves anything! I’m not sure where it started, maybe with the fact that you can’t just drink water from the tap (it needs to be boiled to make it suitable for drinking) or maybe some random old lady, but the Chinese insist that “hot water good for healthy” and to an extent I can see why it might be beneficial to drink. But it seems to be pushed as a fix for everything, oh you’ve been run over by a car?! Here have some hot water!
- Privacy doesn’t exist! Literally you are never alone! Chinese people are very friendly on the whole, you can literally be anywhere and people will want to talk with you. It can get a little annoying when your tired or just not in the mood, and sometimes the guy that walks up and looks straight at the message you’re writing to a friend can get your blood boiling. But generally most of the time its kinda nice.
- Green means be careful!! Unlike England where the green man means the cars have stopped its safe to cross, here in China its not that the cars have all stopped, more often than not just that less will now be coming! Cross with caution.
- Convenience – Literally no other country I’ve visited has been as geared to making life as convenient as China. Theres an app for everything, tracking approaching busses, paying in just about every shop, ordering online, ride sharing and much more! You can get Macdonalds and KFC delivered!! I go for weeks without taking actual money out from a bank because I can just pay with my phone. And taxi’s are literally amazing here, not like England where you have to book one first, it takes ages to arrive and then you pay through the nose. Here no matter what time of day or night you walk out into the street and you will be in a cab within a few minutes. And to top it off their cheap, an hour long taxi journey the other night cost me the equivalent of three pounds (GBP)!
- Celebrity status achieved! Unless you choose to live in a major city like Bejing, Shanghai or Hong Kong where its super international everyday you will attract a lot of attention. It can get a little annoying at times and its always funny watching the shy ones trying to “pretend” their doing nothing whilst taking a selfie right next to you so it looks like you’re together. Other times you may be asked to take a picture together or as I find from time to time, hold their baby or stand with their kids whilst they take a picture…ha! Also if they say hello and you simply reply back in Chinese (你好 ni hao) then you are met with “oh wow your Chinese is so good”. Mostly its all kinda cool to be honest.