Archive for October, 2006

Published October 17th, 2006 by Mliesie

Did you know that…..

As I see so many things happening here that I still haven’t told you about, I decided on doing a ‘Did you know that…’ page this time.

Hope you enjoy the ride!

Did you know that:

- All the toddlers have slits in all the clothes they wear, so they can pee and poo whenever and WHEREVER they want. It seems to be the Chinese way of ‘potty training’.

- All the people you see sleeping or resting on benches in parks and on the sidewalks are NOT beggars. Just people who happened to need a rest right there and then.

- The left door of taxis do not open as it’s probably too dangerous to get in and out off the taxi on that side. Guess in the old days a lot of taxis did not have a left door after a while…….

- People uninvitedly walk all through your house when they visit you. No room will be skipped!

- The Chinese have very special driving abilities…. Cars, buses, and any other vehicle will move from left to right and back again. The one who honks his horn the loudest will win the ‘race’. Bicycles and bikes seem to be allowed to drive on either side of the road and on the sidewalk. All are very good at avoiding pedestrians, who never seem to look at the colour of the traffic lights. They just cross the road, constantly looking left and right and zigzagging to avoid being hit by a car, bus, bicycle or tricycle, trying to avoid them. Yes, I’m already very good at crossing this way; and as you can see I still live to tell you this story. It’s a little more difficult at night though……

- You have to drop off your bag, before you enter the supermarket. All you can take inside is your wallet. We are obviously also allowed to take our very precious little dictionaries…..

- When you arrive at YuLin airport, your luggage is loaded onto a lorry from which you will be handed your suitcase just outside the ramp area. You point at your bag, give your little receipt and it’ll be handed to you…..

- Life seems to stop during the 2 to 3 hours’ lunchbreak one has here. Except for the restaurants ofcourse….it seems like nobody does their own cooking!

- This is truly a 24-hour economy. The Americans get all the ‘credits’. Believe me….the Chinese truly know the meaning of 24-hour economy!

- As a Westerner in a YuLin supermarket, there will always be at least 3 to 4 people wanting to help you, following you and pointing out to you what you should buy. I tend to start walking really quickly from one department to another one, so they’re not abe to keep up with me (they all have their own departements)…Sorry!

- The key cutter is able to cut keys of which I thought could NEVER be used……Guess what, they really do just open that 1 specific door.

- The people on the market still refuse to bargain with me……………….although my Chinese is a lot better and very well understood by them! I’m a Westerner, so I have money.

- Even in local shops you are able to bargain. Especially when you bring a student with you, or when they start to get to know you.

- The Chinese toddlers are absolutely adorable and that they are the best way to get a friendly smile from the parents or grandparents, instead of just again being stared at.

That’s it for this time folks! Maybe you now understand what sort of things I walk in to every day and how every day seems to bring a new surprise to me. Despite their squat toilets, the smoking, the spitting, the ‘guan shi’ and all the other things I find hard to get used to, this is absolutely a wonderful country. Worth living in and worth visiting!

Take care!