Tuesday, September 25, 2012

China Moments

I've been here a few weeks and things are still going pretty well. I'm settling into a {sort of} routine {I'll be in a hotel for awhile} and learning a few key words and phrases {dumplings, water, I need to get off the train, etc.}. Just like anywhere you're not used to, there are definitely moments that make you shake your head and laugh because, Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore. 

Here are my top ones so far:

  • I was in the supermarket near my hotel grabbing the essentials {Peach Fanta, Pocky, water} and saw some apples. In the States, you grab the apple and they check you out at the front with a produce code, right? Not so much at this supermarket. Not only would the nice lady at the check-out counter not let me buy the apple {from her gestures, it was missing a scan tag. Upon further investigation, yes you must take the apple to the special weighing station where they put the scan tag on for you} but she openly laughed at me. Sigh. No apples for me.
  • While walking around near the Wangfujing subway stop we were stopped by a group of students on a scavenger hunt for foreigners. Seriously. They were super sweet, and asked us all sorts of questions {what did we like about China? where were we from? etc.} and then took our picture. Glad we could help!
  • The bus. As I mentioned earlier, the transportation here is cheap. This means that EVERYONE takes it. You think the busses are crowded at A&M? No, they're not {for the record, I never really thought they were}. Take the most crowded bus you've been on, and add about....40 more people. And be prepared to meet some new friends {or, in my case, have people stare at you}. 
  • Split pants for small kids. Google it.  
  • A few girls in my group constantly have their pictures taken. Some people ask before they snap the photo, most don't, but it happens everywhere. Subway, supermarket, on the street, everywhere. This doesn't really happen to me {we think because of my dark hair/olive skin color}, but it's a bit unsettling for everyone else.
  • Chinglish. That is, English translations. They're are often, erm, interesting. On my bus route home there's a sign for "Jinsong Oral Cavity." We think it's for a dentists office. Another sign near a bunch of food vendors says "hero chicken."
Despite these {frequent} moments, I'm still enjoying it here. Any fun moments where you live?


  1. Wait until it's time to buy eggs by the half kilo. Have fun carrying them home loose in the plastic bag! China, always exciting.

    I'm blonde. Nice people used to ask if they could touch my hair. Mean people used to just wait until my back was turned and then start pulling it. Not fun! One afternoon at the Summer Palace my ponytail was getting pulled so much that I was in tears.