When you are planning on going to China there are certain things you need to be aware of or some habits and attitudes you need to adjust to. Since you are a guest in this country you clearly cannot behave like in your own country. Here are my top 5 things you need to get used to when you live in China.
1. China Smell
One thing you will notice, even though China is a very clean country, some areas might not be most appealing.
There are certain “smells” that cannot only be found in China, therefore at first you might not be used to this but soon develop the so called “China nose”.
2. Cellphone Zombies
All around China, but especially in big cities, cellphone zombies can be found. Those are people walking around focusing on nothing but their cellphones and then bumping into you not even saying “对不起”. Some of them will look up though and when they see you are a foreigner they will throw out a “sorry” or 不好意思。
What I usually did when I saw a cellphone zombie was walking straight ahead right into them to make them realize they should pay better attention.
Like I already said, China is a very clean country, but there are some types of restaurants that would definitely be closed immediately where I come from. A typical small Chinese street restaurant looks like this: you sit on small stools at a tiny table which is usually cricket. The “cook” fries its stuff in the same pan the whole day and sometimes, there’s rats walking by.
I remember one day, I ate at my favorite small restaurant near my apartment and suddenly a rat ran around and the restaurants waitresses wearing only flip flops killed the rat stepping on it! Then, they put the dead rat on a pile of waste next to the restaurant. It was hillarious.
4. Unfriendly Daily Life
Ususally, Chinese people are not very friendly in daily life. They don’t help people with big luggage getting on buses or something like that. However, if you are a foreigner in China, you will usually be welcome anywhere and people are happy to talk to you.
One time, I ordered ice-cream at McDonald’s and the girl working there gave me and my German friend twice the portion of the normal ice-cream! Totally awesome 🙂
5. Weird Flavors
To a Western mouth, China is full of weird flavors: pea flavored ice-cream, Gangnam Style chips or green tea ice-cream oreos. As crazy as some of these flavors may seem, some actually taste really good.
Before I came to China, I was very picky with food. But ever since, I tried so many new awesome fruits, dishes and flavors which made my taste buds evolve.
So don’t be afraid and just try your way throuh the world of China’s weirdes flavors! It’s worth the try.
When moving to a different country, you as a “guest” need to accept the new cultures. Especially if you grew up in the Western world, the Chinese culture can be especially different to your home country. However, if you have an open mind and are willing to try new things, you will have the time of your life in the Middle Kingdom.