Day 8 – Top 10 Things I Don’t Understand About China

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Day 7 was kind of emotional and based on the responses I’ve gotten from some of you, I think you agree.  I’m running a couple of days behind because of travel and pure exhaustion, so today we will lighten the mood a bit.  For those of you who don’t know me well, this may give you a glimpse into my slightly warped sense of humor and perspective.

In tribute to the great David Letterman (also a native Hoosier,) I have devised a top 10 list.  

The top 10 things I don’t understand about China:

#10 -Scooters

We were warned multiple times in Beijing and again in Zhengzhou about the traffic in Zhengzhou . You cross the street at your own peril.  Nothing in western culture prepares you for it.  So imagine, my dear friend as you view the photos below that you are crossing the street pushing a baby stroller, holding the hand of a  5 year old and being accompanied by two family members with hearing issues.  I finally decided that if a car or scooter didn’t kill me, a heart attack would!  God was good and we did live to tell about it.

 

Traffic Lanes? Who needs traffic lanes?


There is no such thing as pedestrian ‘right of way’ in Zhengzhou


Obviously the hands-free rule has not been implemented here. The only thing hands-free appears to be the steering column


No car seats with 5 point harnesses in Zhengzhou!

#9 – The Water

Even in the major cities (maybe even more so,) you cannot drink the water.  China’s population and economy are booming (for the most part), but there are elements of the infrastructure that lag behind.  Water is a primary example.  You won’t find microwaves in the room here.  You find water kettles for boiling water in order to purify it. 

Our water kettle

#8 – BYOTP

Yes,  it is a BYOTP culture in China.  (Bring Your Own Toilet Paper.) I guess with over a billion people, that’s a lot of tp that would have to be restocked by attendants.  However, the trees must be sacrificed either way!  I came prepared for this particular issue by creating my own water proof tp dispenser from my favorite dollar store, Dollars N’Sense in Casey, IL .  (www.Facebook.com/DNSense )  Cost me a whopping $1 !

Never Leave Home Without It

 

#7- Air Quality

This is not a very green or politically correct thing to say, but I am going to say it anyway.  I think its great that we worry about the ozone layer and air quality in the USA.  We should be good stewards of God’s creation.  It is the right thing to do.  However, after having been to China, I really don’t think me not using aerosol hairspray is going to offset the fact that people in Beijing see a blue sky a few days a year. This side of the world has got a problem folks, and we better hope they get it fixed because the planet seems to be getting smaller and smaller.  We haven’t needed masks yet, but I downloaded an air quality app just in case!

This is not fog

 

#6 Budda

As a Christian there are many things I don’t understand about Buddhism (even more so now that our newest family was somewhat affected by the Ying/Yang concept.)  I do, however, honor the heritage, beauty and longevity of the culture.  We have seen many breath-taking temples while here.  At one, we saw the only female Budda.  Our guide told us that rubbing her belly was good luck for fertility.  He asked us if our group wanted to pay to rub her belly.  We all looked at each other and said “No thanks!” Many people will also bring her offerings of peanuts which are good luck for having more children.  (One child in our party, who shall not be named, brought me a peanut and said ‘look mommy, free snacks!’ We had a brief discussion about why the peanuts were there and returned the peanuts to their proper place at the alter.  It was also a good time to talk about never taking money OUT of the offering plate at church…)

Are there any peanuts missing from that plate?


Man praying using incense

 

 

#5 The sidewalks

In the USA, the roads are for driving and the sidewalks are for WALKING.  There is no ‘in-between.’  The same rule does not apply in China.  Notice the people, cars and scooters on the sidewalk?

#4 – No Coffee

Yes, its true.  Tea reigns supreme over here.  I packed coffee singles for three adults and thought it would last 2 weeks.  They lasted 3 days.  Walmart to the rescue!  Our hotel in Guangzhou has a Star Bucks.  Praise the Lord!

#3 – English signs not proof read for English.  

I’ve worked on labels for countries all over the world and learned my lesson a long time ago that you need to ensure proofreading by a native speaker to ensure accuracy.  One of these was in CarreFour which is bigger than Walmart.

 

I love good Coocking


What more can I say?

#2 – Split pants

Many baby’s in China do not wear diapers.  They wear split pants.  I will not go into the implications here, but you can use your imagination.  The photo below is from www.cupofjo.com .

#1 – The bathrooms

Public bathrooms deserve their own post.  Mom and I have begun rating our experience based on the bathroom.

Below are 3.  One was at an airport, one was at an attraction and one at a hospital.  Can you guess which is the hospital? Read on..

Squatty Potty


Western Style Toilet

 

Trough Style Toilet

 

The trough style bathroom with the garden hose was the hospital and by far the worst we have seen.  My mother and I will forever be bonded by the experience of taking little Hulaloo to the bathroom there.  (But we have vowed to speak of it to no one…EVER!)

Until next time!

Your friend,
Meredith

LLI 

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