15 things I learned about after living in China for two years
Masha Pipenko, originally from Ulyanovsk, who lives in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, writes: “With China, I had love at first sight. After two years of passionate romance, when you see only positive qualities in the object of adoration, our relationship became more like a marriage. We got used to each other, put up with shortcomings and very comfortably exist together. I'll tell you about some of the features of my beloved country. "
The concept of "own" for the Chinese is crucial in relation to man. If you are a countryman, each other, a friend and certainly a relative - no matter what the distance - you can expect a special relationship. If you are “yours,” they trust you, they give you the best price, they will always help you, but, of course, they expect the same from you. China is a community based on mutual support. Here it works better than money.
In a conversation with the Chinese context is very important.“Yes” sounds rarely here, and “no” even less often. If you are told “maybe”, then depending on the situation, this may mean “yes”, that is, “I will try very hard, but only the heavens know if it will work out”. “No” - “I definitely can’t, I just don’t want to offend you with a refusal” or “maybe”, “I would like to do it, but I’m not sure if it will work out”. Such a multiplicity of meanings leads Western Europeans into a state of constant stress, but for people who have grown up in Russia, which, no matter how cool, but still Asia, becomes easier after a while. Well, in any case, to me personally. (Although lining does happen anyway.)
According to my observations, all Chinese people have a rare ability to sleep at any time and anywhere, completely ignoring the noise or light around them. It feels like they have an off button. By the way, afternoon afternoon sleep is practiced by almost everyone, with the exception of residents of large cities. For example, in a small town where I lived, almost from 12:00 to 14:00 almost all shops are closed and certainly all public institutions where the lunch break lasts from 11:30 to 14:30: an hour to eat and two hours to sleep .
There is no such thing as “Chinese food” in China.There are very specific regional traditions. Depending on where you are in China, different products, different spices and different cooking methods will be used. Sichuan Province is famous for its spicy dishes, the north - dumplings, the city of Wuhan - noodles with peanut sauce and spicy duck necks, etc. Culinary tourism is one of the most common leisure activities among Chinese people. Regional cuisine is the same attraction as the mountains, temples and museums. When I asked what we would do in Chendu, a city known for its huge reserve and panda breeding center, my Chinese friends looked at me with amazement and said, “How what? There is!"
The most common drug of traditional Chinese medicine is hot water. It doesn't matter if you have a cold, stomach or headache, you will be advised to drink plenty of hot water. Everyone drinks hot water here, regardless of whether they are sick or healthy. Large titans with boiling water can be found in all public places - from airports and railway stations to parks. Therefore, public free toilets here at every turn, including the subway.
In Chinese trains, linen does not change with each new passenger.If, say, you sat on an intermediate, and not at the end station, then the best thing you can count on is a bed that was tidy up with a conductor. But it is completely unknown how many people slept on this very bed before you.
In Chinese restaurants, dishes are often served packaged in plastic wrap - it all looks very hygienic. But Chinese friends always begin to rinse this “clean dish” with boiled water (which they immediately serve you) before they begin to eat.
Diapers for babies - a sign of a very large city. In all other places, Chinese kids wear pants with a cut on the priest (in any weather) and, if necessary, send their natural needs aside on the sidewalk, of course, under the strict supervision of parents.
Describing the appearance, the Chinese disassemble the face into its component parts. They say: "You are beautiful because you have big eyes / high nose (high bridge) / small mouth / white skin." An ancient Chinese proverb says: "White skin erases three deformities." Local ladies (and often young people) make incredible efforts to whiten their skin, and in every way avoid exposure to the sun.To do this, they wear umbrellas on a sunny day, wear caps with a mask of dark glass in the manner of a welder and constantly use bleaching creams. The idea that there are people somewhere who specifically spend time and money on making the skin darker seems absurd to the Chinese. As you understand, there are no tanning beds in China.
Relationships always start with the idea of marriage. For the overwhelming majority of Chinese, family and children are the main goal in life. Chinese men are incredibly caring and love children very much. A crowd of twenty-year-olds, squeezing kids, is a very common sight here. As my Chinese girlfriend says, the Chinese boyfriend is expected to clean the room, cook food and peel the grapes. And it's not a joke.
In traditional China, it is not customary to publicly show your feelings and touch each other. Couples holding hands in big cities - rather the influence of the West. Public hugs and even more kisses are considered indecent. Moreover, if a man touches a woman, then everyone will think that they are in a relationship. Chinese friends (even of the same sex) do not embrace each other: the Chinese do not like being touched at all,crush in the subway is not considered. The words “I love you” are very rare even between husband and wife and between parents and children. Feelings are expressed in care and in the reinforced feeding of the object of the senses.
Chinese women’s skirt and shorts can be arbitrarily short, there's nothing wrong with that, while the chest and shoulders are always closed. The neckline is not worn here, but during the heat, Chinese men wrap T-shirts in the style of short tops, opening their bellies. Such is the national sign: “If the Chinese men exposed their stomachs - the summer has come.”
Learning Chinese with a Phrasebook is the most useless thing you can think of. Not to mention the fact that Chinese sounds are very different from Russian, the main problem is that Chinese is a tone language. This means that the same word, pronounced with different intonation, can mean completely different things. Trying to explain what you want, using such books, is about the same as trying to sing an unfamiliar song whose words are before your eyes. Sounds may be similar, but you don’t know the melodies, and without a melody that you sing there, it’s impossible to understand. With the same success you can speak in Russian.In big cities there is a good chance to meet those who know English a little, but step to the left, step to the right - and nobody understands you. It is better to immediately accept. Speech will be useless. The good news is: they really want to understand you, so they will try their best.
The Chinese explain all their problems by the number of people. Is the ecology bad? Because a lot of people. Rules of the road are not respected? Because a lot of people. And so on to infinity.
Russian love in China. Russia is a friend and neighbor. Everything that the Chinese know about Russia, they explain with one phrase: “Because it’s very cold there”. In Russia, they drink a lot. This is because it is very cold. After the girls get married, they always gain weight (there is such a stereotype about Russians in China). Because it is very cold. But Russian girls are very beautiful. Big eyes, high nose and white skin.