40 Things I wish I knew Before Moving to China

It has been a while since I spoiled you with interesting posts. I had problems with my blog, then I was busy with summer vacation. 
Now that we are settled back to school I hope to bring you more of interesting read, craft, and other stuff.

Today a bunch of Multicultural bloggers are gathered together to bring you lists of 40 things to celebrate Leanna’s – our founder – birthday.

Naturally, I would like to share with you 40 things I wish I knew before moving to China. I had few friends chip in with their things!

1. I would move to China. In my list of countries I wanted to visit, or live in, China was not a priority.

2. I would marry in China. My husband is actually from Tanzania.

2. I would give birth 3 times in China. 

3.  I would stay here for over a year. It’s been 15 years, and still counting.

4. I would marry in China. 

5. Chinese laugh when they are nervous or uncomfortable. It would save me a lot of energy getting upset over people laughing in stressduk situations!

6. If you ever try to be polite and say you liked something, you stall be given that something and your Chinese friends will remember it and go out of their way to get it!

7. Public spitting is a norm. And with the time you simply stop noticing it. And then you laugh at the reaction of those who witness it for the first time.

8. Everything is met with “mei wen ti” (no problem), even when it is a huge problem.

9. You will not easily find your usual items of hygiene around here. May be some imported shops. Stock up on yours!

10. Things can be fake. Even if you bought them in a reputable store. I once bought a fake perfume from a very big store in Beijing. Oh well!

11. Bring tissues whenever you go.

10. Carry tissues or a roll of toilet paper wherever you go.

12. You can’t, apparently, publicly blow your knows in a tissue, let alone stick that tissue back in your purse. 

13. But you can clear your nose and throat into a nearby trash can. Or into the ground. (Gross for you – not gross here).

14. Learn to squat. It will be a great skill for time pass at the train station; and in the loo. 

15. Learn to use wechat ( a very popular messenger/mobile social network).

16. Don’t trust wechat translation. You will definitely stumble upon sentences that are nowhere close to the original.

17. Pedestrians yield to buses trucks cars bikes and motorcycles. So watch your steps!

18. Zebra crossing is no guarantee for an accident free passage. Learn to manoeuvre.

18. Sometimes red light means green light. And green light doesn’t mean all cars stop moving – you really need a crash course in understanding local road system.

20. You can sometimes find the biggest counterfeit market right under the immigration boarder control.

21. Chewing with mouth open shows you enjoy the food. The more you enjoy – the loud your chewing should be. I got over my pet peev of people chewing with mouth open here. 

22.  Mooncakes are mostly a tradition. They are given away in large quantities. They are rarely eaten.

23. “Guangxi” (useful relationships) are an important part of the culture. You have no idea how many times this wonderful cultural trait has helped us. 

24. It is a big sign of respect to be called “brother” or “sister” here. 

25. The term “ayi” (auntie) which may be offensive in another culture when addressed to a young female, in fact a respectful term here when addressed to a stranger.

26. Calling a woman “mei nü”(beauty) will warm up her heart to you. It is also used to call a waisteass or a sales woman, which is a very very polite term. 

27. Chinese are very curious people. They can ask you about your salary and cost of rent without any malicious or envious thoughts. 

28. Be prepared to carry a map around showing everyone exactly where you are from. 
29. Be prepared to answer various questions on leaders of your country. 

30. Avoid talking politics. It is really not a very comfortable topic.

31. People may tough your skin or hair. They can even attempt to touch your eyelashes. See #27.

32. People will be watching you and make a very direct eye contact. See #27.

33. People may march through your apartment and open your fridge to see what you eat. See #27. 

34. People usually talk very loud here. 

35. 10pm seems to be the time when everything quiets down here. If you make noise after 10 pm your neighbours can call the police on you.

36. Between 12 pm and 2.30 pm everyone takes a nap. However, shops and hospital emergencies work.

37. When people see that you can’t understand them speaking, they start writing for you. Because in China even if you don’t speak, you can usually still read. 

38. Chinese are very pure-hearted. I think the whole concept of “face saving” was created because of that.

39. Body language doesn’t work here. 

40. TAOBAO is the place find everything you need and more!

Bloggers share their lists of 40 favorite things

To celebrate her 40th birthday, Leanna from All Done Monkey has organized a virtual party, where each blogger shares her list of 40 favorite things, plus we are giving away a big cash prize to a lucky winner! Don’t miss these creative Top 40 lists, and be sure to enter the giveaway, which is open internationally. (Thanks to the Piri-Piri Lexicon for designing this beautiful series button!)
All Done Monkey: 40 Ways to Celebrate Turning 40

The Piri-Piri Lexicon: 40 Tips for Parents of Bilingual Children

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: 40 Things to Do with Kids in Puerto Rico

Play Dough & Popsicles: 40 Paper Plate Crafts for Kids

Hispanic Mama: 40 Books for Hispanic Heritage Month

Pura Vida Moms: 40 Best Cupcake Recipes

Globe Trottin’ Kids: 40 Ways to Go Global in the Elementary Classroom

Spanglish Monkey: 40 Dishes from Around the World You Should Try

Peakle Pie: 40 Free Family Fun Things to Make and Do

Witty Hoots: 40 Amazing Books to Read Before You Get Old

MommyMaestra: 40 Ways to Have a Multicultural Homeschool

MarocMama: 40 Things to Do in Morocco You Haven’t Thought Of!

Multilingual Parenting: 40 Ways to Motivate Bilingual Children to Speak the Minority Language

Creative World of Varya: 40 Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving to China

Pack-n-Go Girls: 40 Fabulous Travel Tips

Enter below for your chance to win!

PayPal cash giveaway is open internationally! Giveaway closes at midnight Pacific Time on September 19, 2016.

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4 thoughts on “40 Things I wish I knew Before Moving to China

  1. So true! I’ve been here 10 years, and had both my kids here. Only in China do kids keep rolls of toilet paper on their desk and women carry packets of tissue in their purses…but not for their noses. 🙂

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