China Expats

Blog Post
This comes to us from a friend of mine who lives in China. You can’t really appreciate this list unless you’ve lived there or gone there for an extended period of time. I told this friend that the only way to become a millionaire in China was to start out as a billionaire. He didn’t believe me at first, but five years later — he thinks that I’m prophetic.
How do you know if you’ve been in China too long?

If this dinner looks good, you need to leave China NOW.
If you answer yes to more then 70% – you’re in deep.

1. You’re at an expensive western restaurant and don’t even notice the guy at the next table yelling into his cell phone
2. You enjoy karaoke
3. You walk backwards in the park listening to a transistor radio
4. The China Daily is your source for hard hitting, fast breaking, investigative journalism
5. You smoke in crowded elevators.
6. All white people look the same to you
7. You like the smell of the bus.
8. You find state-employed retail staff helpful, knowledgeable and friendly
9. You no longer need tissues to blow your nose
10. You find western toilets uncomfortable
The Great Wall is one of the Seven Wonders because it’s
the only Chinese product that lasted longer than a month.
11. You throw your used toilet paper in the basket (as a courtesy to the next person)
12. You think that the heavy air actually contains valuable nutrients that you need to stay healthy
13. You think a 30 year old woman who carries a Hello Kitty lunch box is cute
14. A sexual pervert is a man who prefers women to money.
15. It’s OK to throw rubbish, including old fridges, from your 18th-floor window
16. You believe that pressing the lift button 63 times will make it move faster
17. You aren’t aware that one is supposed to pay for software
18. You are not surprised to see your tap water run dark brown
19. You tell your parents their house back in your home country has bad feng shui
20. You think that a $7 shirt is a rip-off
21. You always leave tray and trash on the table when you are in Starbucks because you insisted it is the way to keep everyone employed
22. You buy an XXXL T-shirt in store when you returned home
23. You take large sum of cash whenever you go hospital in home country
24. You have no reservations about spitting sun flower seeds on the restaurant floor

25. You think it’s silly to buy a new bike when it’ll get stolen soon and stolen bikes are half the price.
26. You’d rather pay the 10 yuan for an all night stay at the internet cafe than the 30 for a taxi home.
27. You feel cheated if you don’t receive a full head and shoulder massage when getting a haircut
28. You blow your nose or spit on the restaurant floor (of course after making a loud hocking noise)
29. You no longer wait in line, but go immediately to the head of the queue
30. It becomes exciting to see if you can get on the lift before anyone can get off
31. It is no longer surprising that the only decision made at a meeting is the time and venue for the next meeting
32. You no longer wonder how someone who earns US$ 400.00 per month can drive a Mercedes
33. You accept the fact that you have to queue to get a number for the next queue
34. You believe everything you read in the local newspaper
35. You have developed an uncontrollable urge to follow people carrying small flags
36. You regard it as part of the adventure when the waiter correctly repeats your order and the cook makes something completely different.
37. You are not surprised when three men with a ladder show up to change a light bulb
38. You look over people’s shoulder to see what they are reading
39. You honk your horn at people because they are in your way as you drive down the sidewalk
40. Car accidents become a source of heartwarming humour

41. Shopping at Carrefour some laowai stares you down for catching you looking into his basket while you wonder to yourself what laowai’s eat
42. You have figured out that it is actually the Taiwanese who are running this country
43. You have a pinky fingernail an inch long

44. You burp or fart in any situation and don’t care
45. You start to watch CCTV9 and feel warm and comforted by the governments great work
46. You think Pizza Hut is high-class and worth queueing for
47. You have learned how to detect someone is in a hurry behind you, and now have the ability to not only walk very slowly but also grow eyes in the back of your head, so when they start to overtake on the right hand side, you automatically cut in and walk very slowly directly in front of them
48. You start calling other foreigners Laowai
49. You are able to jump the queue because the idiot Laowai left 2 centimetres between himself and the person in front of them
50. You have absolutely no sense of traffic rules
51. You start cutting off large vehicles on your bicycle
52. The last time you visited your mother, you gave her your business card
53. You think no car is complete without a tissue box on the rear shelf and a feather duster in the trunk
54. You go to the local shop in pyjamas
55. Looking out the window, you think “Wow, so many trees!” instead of “Wow, so much concrete!”
56. Pollution, what pollution?
57. You think “white pills, blue pills, and pink powder” is an adequate answer to the question “What are you giving me, doctor?”
58. Someone doesn’t stare at you and you wonder why
59. Firecrackers don’t wake you up
60. Your family stops asking when you’ll be coming back
61. You wear out your vehicle’s horn before its brakes
62. You buy a top-of-the-line karaoke machine
63. Forks feel funny
64. Chinese remakes of Western songs sound better than the originals
65. You get homesick for Chinese food when away from China
66. You realise that smiling and nodding is Chinese body language for “Go away and leave me alone”
67. All the top-level government officials you befriended for ‘guanxi’ (relationships network) purposes when you first arrived are retired and living in your country
68. After being in an accident, you tell the ambulance driver which hospital to take you to
69. Your company offers you a job in your native land, and includes regular “Home Leave” to China as an incentive

70. You think of “salad” as diced apples in mayonnaise
71. You don’t bother to take the sticker off the lenses of your fake Ray-Bans
72. You only wear a suit when you dig ditches or do home repairs
73. Your handshake is weakening by the day
74. You compiled a 3-page list of weird English first names that Chinese people of your acquaintance have chosen for themselves.
75. Your collection of business cards has outgrown your flat
76. 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
77. You cannot say a number without making the appropriate hand sign
78. You like the taste of Green Tea and Chivas
79. You start recognising the Chinese songs on the radio and sing along to them with the taxi driver
80. You feel insulted when you enter a restaurant and only three waiters welcome you
81. Your desktop computer (or your Chinese friend’s) has more and bigger dust bunnies then under your bed
82. You actually think the broken pottery and broken broom handles, etc. look nice out on the stairway
83. You stop wondering how the post deliverer ever finds any place
84. You have super powers to read through the cell phones sprayed across bus stop signs
85. You make sure you even get the correct fen in your change
86. Maps or red Chinese scrolls cover up pealing paint nicely
87. You thank the French for Carrefour
88. Your local friends have eaten at KFC & McD’s more than you ever have (and they actually have a preference of one over the other)
89. Your friends can’t understand why you haven’t memorised your QQ
90. Majiang Youmaicai is your favourite food even though it is just Sesame sauce on “Youmai” lettuce, because it is the closest thing to a salad you can find
91. You know more beer names than soda names (because there are!)

92. Even you start messing up “he” and “she” in English and also don’t get what the big deal is when you do
93. Back in the western world you don’t care when a restroom has no toilet paper…you always know how to make due
94. In an internet bar, Chinese people like to turn their webcams to you to show their QQ friends
95. Beggars go for your first at the bus stops
96. You know the bus routs and bus stop names better than your Chinese friends (well, my foreign friends also don’t know, but still find it funny that I can name more stop names than Chinese who ride the buses more than me)
97. You don’t mind that TV’s numerical channel numbers are not the same, not even in your own home since you find it not worth searching on the band waves to program the TV…and even TVs in your own home don’t get the same stations…. like one gets CCTV9 and the other doesn’t…
98. You got on the plane with temperature set to 26 degrees and first thing you do is ask for a blanket
99. You go to a nightclub and jump on stage, go crazy dancing because the locals think you are a movie star… and so do you
100. You think ok leave verbs, pronouns etc out sentences. Oh and expect other people understand
101. You don’t mind when at the hospital you have to carry your pee (in an open container) the equivalent of 3 blocks and up 2 flights of stairs and the whole time other people are trying to put their faces in it to see if it looks different to theirs
102. You forget what clean smells like
103. You haven’t eaten anything baked in months
104. You spend less than 10 yuan for a satisfying lunch, but might end up eating at a table with 4 strangers
105. You eat soup with chopsticks
106. You drink warm sodas and find them refreshing
107. You can’t decide if you love or hate the country you living in
108. Get on the bus and sleep right away
109. Your Chinese friends allow you to pay the bill at the karaoke bar
110. You can drink faster and more than them
111. The crazy dice games start to make sense and they are now the ones drinking
112. A taxi driver can’t rip you off anymore and he become your friend
113. You don’t get upset at the bank by doing 10 different signatures in 10 different forms to get your own money
114. The guy next to you on the bus is examining his booger while rolling it between his fingers and you don’t mind.

9 thoughts on “China Expats

  1. Some of this sounds familiar even for a Californian. Perhaps it's a Pacific Rim thing.

  2. The "Yellow Peril" has been in California ever since Huntington started building a railroad over the Rocky Mountains.

  3. It's a dead squid – tail cut off. When the soy sauce is poured over it, the salt reacts with the muscle receptors, causing them to contract and the tentacles to move.

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