Monday, April 7, 2014

You Know you are in China When…

Pay 1RMB and ride the bus till you are tired
This is not an invitation to a joyride, you Tom Sawyer!

The guy on the traffic light moves when it turns green
And there is also a bike, whose wheels also spin when green

The ground floor of the building is the first floor
Here, your first floor is actually the second floor; the ground floor is first floor – Which actually makes sense.

Someone picks their phone and they say ‘Wei?!’
At first I was like, this Wei guy is making too many calls…and then it hit me, no hello out here.

The year starts one month after the year has started
People act normal on 1st January or Christmas, hell breaks loose 30 days later.

On some day you walk into the street and some people burn ‘money’
It’s some festival, the naïve data I have gathered says it’s a way of getting blessings by sending some money’s to the ancestors. So here it’s not ‘make it rain,’ like Lil Wayne, its ‘make it burn’

You can go grab dinner at 3am
In my country, even at a five star hotel (ha, am such an optimist, there is no five star hotel in my country) you cannot get a meal after nine. Out here, brothers sit on mini chairs in the alleyways and eat away at 2am without even being creepy.
I have fallen prey to the window; I go out at 3 to grab something from this 24-hour shop. I mean this shop with no security and women attendants, the robbers of Malawi and St. Louis and Birmingham must be salivating for a Chinese visa.

The night clubs are strange…
You walk into a night club, you have to pay for a seat…no dance floor… the club’s paid entertainers who entertain you while you just sit and watch and drink

At universities, it’s normal to find students pacing about memorizing and reciting schoolwork
It’s shocking. Think of a math test; now think of that test in Mandarin. Yeah, I kind of understand why students literary have to recite their work.

Cars drive on the right
Back home cars file on the left and the steering wheel in a car is on the right, here…it’s the exact opposite, imagine the idiosyncrasy.

Silent motorcycles everywhere
I read somewhere that there are 121 million electric bikes in China, that is 10 bikes for everyone in my country and that is without counting the traditional bicycles. Its strange how there are no accidents here with silent bikes whizzing on pavements.

You can walk into the supermarket and get a live and edible frog, scorpion or turtle
In West Africa you can buy a bat in the market in my country you can buy some mice for dinner, nothing to freak about,

There is a minimum fare for a taxi
8 RMB for you lazy karangas who want to get a taxi involved in all travels.

You can wear a hoodie and a mask and enter a shop at 2am and still get a smile from the attendant
Don’t try that in Florida

The sound ‘Nigga’ is not offensive
Sounds like Nigger, but it is ‘Nerge’ it’s Mandarin for ‘that’ and is also used as filler in oral speech. So you would hear someone say to you: ‘You are nigga nigga…ah, how to say…ah, you are new in Jinan?’

Your fish gets killed after you buy it
You want a fish, you point one from the tank, they kill it while you watch, smash is skull and remove scales and hand it to you, calmly.

Banks open on a Sunday and Saturday
So do some schools and many offices, Sunday and Saturday are not a Chinese thingy.

No free water in a restaurant
You want it, you buy it, but you can get free soup. You have water from taps but people don’t drink it.

You want water? Here is some hot water, its good for your stomach

I have a fetish for cold drinks, unless they are tea and coffee, everything must come in chilled. Not here, water is generally served warm, in winter or summer, some corridors actually have water heaters on standby. 

When you are out of credit, your phone number cannot be used or reached
Not even SMS

Your internet speed’s up and gets cheaper
I pay 40 RMB for a month of unlimited internet, first month I couldn’t believe it and downloaded over 300 GB of stuff before slowing down.

Good luck finding a church...
It’s not the Vatican; I only know one church in my city, after all 40+ % of the Chinese are atheists.

Cornflakes? Mei you!
Well, the little things we dig in the west are hard to come by. Cornflakes, Vaseline, Afro combs, folks or even black tea.

Baby pants come split at the crotch
To make it easy for babies to poop and pee…funny how I have not seen a diaper here and I have seen many babies.

Wanna spit? Fear no one
Yes, you can’t get past a street without meeting over ten people that spit or seeing sputum on the pavement, it’s a free country.

You want some tea? Here, green and without sugar
Tea is big in China, only it’s green, herbal and comes with no sugar or milk…much to the chagrin of yours truly.

Am 30 and am still living with my parents
And I will move out the day I marry,’ a girl would say. Or better still; a son would live with a parent until they buy him a house, what a lucky people!

Do you know Jet Lee? ….No
Apparently the Chinese stars have to change their names when starring for the international screens so its Li Lianjie not Jet Li, Lǐ Xiǎolóng not Bruce Lee and Chéng Lóng not Jackie Chan…I mean would Lǐ Xiǎolóng have been a hit outside China if he kept his real name?

The beds are hard
Ancient China people did literally sleep on nothing but wooden beds, the rich even had jade pillows, apparently it was good luck and good for your spines. So the hard we have today is very soft.

Toilets are sunken
Last used one of those before 1997, they are still in commission here; in places I have been to…squat to poop.

You can buy beer from anywhere
In Uganda or Malawi, beer is restricted to bottle stores and yet we have almost epidemic levels of boozing, here in the middle kingdom, you can get beer off and hawker or restaurant and what more, the glass bottle is non-returnable!

*As you will notice, this is based on my country and the part of China i have seen, its not exhaustive 

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