10 Things I Need To Get Use To In China

We’ve been here for two weeks and I’m slowly learning the new culture and things I need to adapt to whilst here. Here’s my top ten:

Hot water with flowers = tea
Hot water with flowers = tea

Tea

I’m British. Nothing beats a lovely tea (with milk!), in the morning and when coming home after a long day. Although you can buy lipton black tea here, milk isn’t so frequent and quite the same. What’s more, when someone offers you tea, it’s not what you think. Yesterday I had a cup of tea, which was basically hot water and flowers. Not bad though.

Roads

The roads are mental. Traffic is awful. On a good day, I can get into town via bus or taxi in 30-35 mins, on a bad day it can take an hour and a half… Yeah. I spend my days cycling so it’s not so bad, there are well designated cycle lanes (totally separate from the mental traffic and pedestrians).

Noodles for Breakfast 

This is not unfamiliar to me as it was very common in Vietnam too. I could never bring myself to eat noodles at 7am and I still can’t really. However, when I get to school after cycling and it’s there for breakfast… sometimes the hunger gets to me.

Umbrellas whatever the weather

When the sun is beating down on a hot day, whack that umbrella out to protect you. One day it rained in the morning so I used my umbrella. I then got it out in the afternoon in the blazing sunshine too. Did a good job of keeping the sun off me.

Squatting

Again, I’m not unfamiliar with squatting toilets. They were frequent when I visited South East Asia, but now I need to get use to them more. My school has them and a lot of restaurants/bars do too. I feel very un-lady-like when I use them.

WeChat

China’s equivalent of Whats App/Messenger/Facebook. If you don’t have WeChat, you don’t have a clue. In fact, this is pretty much how we got our jobs, connecting with people on WeChat. It’s how I talk to teachers and our teaching agency. You can send voice messages instead of typed ones and this is very popular.

Funny Looks

Mitch and I live in a very local area so we stand out a lot. We walk down the street and people look, children point, and restaurant owners try and take sneaky photos of us.

Meat

I like meat but I’m quite picky. I need to get rid of that right away. Most meat served is either on the bone or with a lot of fat. I have to eat around it often but I just need to get stuck in some more.

Eye Exercises

Twice a day at school, over the speakers comes a chant/song. The children listen and do eye/ear/face exercises – basically massaging their eyes and face. I’m not sure if its to try and make them more attentive and awake but they all do it. The tune really gets stuck in my head.

Shops with bad English names

I think this photo sums it up: IMG_2636

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