What is it like to live in China? The answer varies, but if you have lived in China a long time it has an effect on your worldview. I don't know who made up this list but from personal experience I know it to be true. From an Unknown Original Source comes this list (to which has been added some of my own) of ways for a foreigner to recognize that he has lived in China too long.
|Outdoor Tea Pouring Ceremony Chengdu City 2007|
You know you have lived in China too long when:
All white people look the same to you
You think that a $7 shirt is a rip-off
You have no reservations about spitting sun flower seeds on the restaurant floor.
You think it's silly to buy a new bike when it'll get stolen soon and stolen bikes are half the price.
You no longer wait in line, but go immediately to the head of the queue
You no longer wonder how someone who earns US$ 400.00 per month can drive a Mercedes.
You look over people's shoulder to see what they are reading.
When shopping at Carrefour some laowai stares you down for catching you looking into his basket while you wonder to yourself what laowai's eat.
You have a pinky fingernail an inch long.
You start to watch CCTV9 and feel warm and comforted by the governments great work.
You have absolutely no sense of traffic rules.
You start calling other foreigners Lao Wai.
You start cutting off large vehicles on your bicycle.
Someone doesn't stare at you and you wonder why.
Firecrackers don't wake you up.
Forks feel funny.
You and a friend get on a bus, sit at opposite ends of the bus, and continue your conversation by yelling from one end to the other.
You cannot say a number without making the appropriate hand sign.
Even you start messing up "he" and "she" in English and also don't get what the big deal is when you do
You can't decide if you love or hate the country you living in
You get your haircut on the sidewalk.
You have grown used to the picture quality of pirated VCDs.
You draw characters on your hand to make yourself understood.
You can't put a proper sentence together in your native language.
You use the word "Ayyiieeaaahh" every few sentences to convey surprise, pleasure, pain or anger.
You watch an american movie on HBO, with sub-titles, and try to read them.
You find that it saves time to stand and retrieve your hand luggage while the plane is on final approach.
You ride around on your bicycle ringing a bell for some unknown reason.
You haven't cut you finger nails in 8 weeks.
You forget that the other person needs to finish speaking before you can start.
You start picking at other people's dinner plates before they even offer you a taste.
You eat family style at any and all restaurants, Chinese or not.
You talk louder than is necessary.
You ask fellow foreigners the all-important question "How long have you been here?" in order to be able to properly categorize them
You can swear in 3 different dialects.
You get used to having a before dinner, during dinner, and after dinner cigarette
When you think it's alright to stick your head into a stranger's apartment to see if anybody's home.
You get offended when people admire your chopsticks skills.
You think your nose IS kind of big
You don't blink an eye when a complete stranger wants to take a photo of you with his family.
When you go back to your own country it feels odd wearing a seatbelt and you think its strange that you cant smoke in a taxi.
When you can't imagine a meal without yi wan mi fan! (a bowl of rice).
As someone who has lived in China eleven years I can vouch for the verity of the statements and can add some more.You know you've lived in China too long when you go back to your home country and find yourself having to ask people (like the telecom guy who was reciting my new SIM card number) to slow their speaking speed because you are not use to English.
Or when buying something in a store you find yourself asking: 'Duo shao qian?'
Or you are staring at a sign written in Latin script and are trying to work out what it is trying to say, because in your mind you are reading 'pinyin' - Chinese converted into English letters.
And Finally, when you feel very uncomfortable around and distrustful of white folk.
Stories from China written by:
|Chiara Braccagni in front of the Old City Gate Suzhou City 2007|