Sunday, October 19, 2014

Culturally wacky

Ni Hao! For this post I decided I wanted to share the culturally wacky things I've come across here. Not that these things are necessarily bad, they are just different from life as we know it in good ole 'murica.

So here's my list.

1. Some women dress normal, some really fashionable, but the majority of the women dress really young. And when I say young, I mean I could picture a 15 year old girl wearing the same outfit. It's normal to see a mom of one of our students in a mini skirt and heels. Also! Platform shoes. It's a huge trend here in Asia.

2. For meals we eat rice, veggies, and meat. And as far as the meat goes, sometimes this means large chunks of pure fat. Yum.

3. When I go out to eat it's not very difficult to decide what to get, as my options are between rice and noodles.

4. People have really bad aim getting their trash into a garbage bin.

5. Employees at clothing stores will stand at the doorway and clap their hands to get your attention and thus possibly attract new customers.

6. Motorbikes and motorcycles are huge here. And it's not a rare thing to see a family piled onto one riding down the street. And by that I mean dad is driving and mom is seated right behind with the baby in her arms.

7. Kids are in school all day and even on the weekends.

8. You all are probably aware that squatter potties exist. But I don't know if you are aware of the complete and utter disgust one feels as they enter a public bathroom China. I will never again, in the my whole lifetime, complain about a dirty bathroom at a gas station in America.

9. Lots of people own motorbikes, lots take public transportation, and a majority own cars. But if you do own a car---lemme tell ya---it's a nice car.

10. Employees at stores almost always have matching uniforms, shoes, and hair styles.

11. Yes---you can get pizza here (thank heavens!) But did you know that when you order a pizza, you will also be given plastic gloves? They completely disregard the joy of stuffing ones face with their own bare hands.

12. Pale skin is da best. In China the women do whatever they can to stay out of the sun's rays. This means using umbrellas, hats, and these arm covers (or sleeves.) And not to mention, their beauty/skin products have "whitening" effects!

13. If you have one child, that's okay. If you have another one, you have to pay extra taxes. You can sometimes gauge the financial status of a family depending on the number of kids they have.

14. Bargaining is key when wanting to purchase souvenirs and the like! But be prepared. If you go up to a stand of clothes or souvenirs you can't just casually go look, or ask what the price is. If you act in the least bit interested, you are the seller's next target and they will literally chase you down the street, offer lower prices, and just about beg you until you cave in to buy something.

15. Hot water is drunk more than cold.

16. KTV (karaoke businesses) are everywhere! No matter where you go you'll find a KTV. You rent out your own private room and everything is all lit up and cool looking, and you sing to your hearts content!

I feel like there's so much more that I could share, small things that just go on in everyday life. And then there's big things, like kids going to the bathroom right there on the sidewalk. Definitely a cultural difference! And what's funny is that these things become normal for us. Living in a foreign country is an adventure. You have to keep an open mind and find humor in the wackiness.  :)

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