Wow, it has been a while since I have updated. I do apologize but in my defense, I have done nothing but study for the last week. It was midterm week this week. That meant hours of studying aided by chocolate bars and Nutella sandwiches. As far as I know, I have done well on my midterms so far. I still have one left but the professor will not tell us what it is. All he would say was that it will be a “fun team building surprise.” This of course makes me worried as I cannot study for it. I guess I will just have to wait and see how it goes.
Since I have nothing spectacular to talk about, I thought I would share some fun (and not so fun) facts that I have learned about China and the Chinese culture. Hope you enjoy!
Not so fun fact #1: The traffic here in China is outrageous. Everywhere you go, there is a traffic jam. The Chinese government has actually had to put a lottery into place to determine who is allowed to own a car. Each family that desires a car must purchase a license plate and wait until their number is drawn before they can actually own a car. Although this may seem unfair, when you see the amount of cars and traffic China has, you will understand.
Not so fun fact #2: Anyone remember the old game Frogger? This is what the pedestrians play here, every day of their lives. I have come to the conclusion that it may actually be safer to run across the road when I have the red light than walk across when I have the green light. At least I can anticipate the cars when it is their light. When it is my light, they can do some crazy stuff. There are four rules to walking across the street here in China:
- Don’t mess with the busses.
- Never hesitate. If you do, you will be hit. The cars do not stop.
- Always have someone between you and the cars.
- Walk with purpose or as if you owned the place.
If you do not follow these rules, the chances of you being hit are increase by quite a bit.
Not so fun fact #3: There is a rule in China that if a person hits a pedestrian or biker and injures them, the driver is responsible for paying medical for the rest of that pedestrian or biker’s life. However, if the driver hits them and kills the pedestrian, they only have to pay one flat fee. Moral of the story, drivers tend to go for the kill.
Now moving on to the fun and happier facts!
Fun fact #1: 90% of the black Audis in China are government vehicles.
Fun fact #2: If you have ever seen Chinese architecture, you may have noticed that all of the doors have a piece of wood or stone that one must step over in order to enter the building. Usually they are decent size and if you are not watching where you are walking, you will end up falling face first into the ground. The reason for these lips is so that the demons that hang on your feet when you are walking cannot come into the house. They will get stuck on the lip, will lose their grip on your feet and fall off. Or so say the Chinese.
Fun fact #3: Magpies are very common here in China. They are, in a way, like the pigeons of China. However, they are bad luck and thus, if one is seen, the person who sees it must solute it in order to get rid of the bad luck that it brings.
Fun fact #4: My mother always told me that eating with your mouth full and/or eating loudly were bad manners. Here in China, both are perfectly acceptable. In fact, eating loudly is actually encouraged as it shows the cook that he/she did a good job cooking the food.
Fun fact #5: Another eating fact: sticking one’s chopsticks out of one’s rice is very bad for business. For Chinese people, this represents death.
Well that’s it for now but I am sure that I will come up with many more facts over the next few months. I would like to point out that the facts that I write here are facts that I have heard from Chinese people, not Americans. This, in my mind, makes them even more interesting.
Anyway, tomorrow I am off to the Forbidden City so there will be more updates to come!