When I say China, there are a lot of things you ARE expecting.
LOTS of people, rice, cheap shopping, and delicious dim sum.
But there are a few things that shocked me and others during our time in China.
So here are the Top 5 Shocks of China!
1. That’s kinda…Dirty
Like most cities around the world, trash, litter, and the sort are common problems but China takes it to a whole other level. The lack of trash cans I have grown used to because finding a public trash can in Korea is like finding a unicorn that poops rainbows. However, the big shocker was the public urination and defecation (and they aren’t just isolated incidents). There are MANY pictures and stories on the internet of it happening. The one most stuck in my mind is a picture of an average middle school boy crapping on the train with toilet paper in his hand (WTF?!) The babies are in on it too: not only will you see them emptying their bowels in public for yourself, but your eyes will constantly be treated to their ass-less pants.
*And on a random fashion note, soooo many men walk around with their shirts half up exposing their bellies. Like…yes it’s hot but…WHY?! :p
2. NO English
Before you blow up- YES. I know China’s native language is not English. I am very aware I am in a FOREIGN country. But because I have traveled a lot and currently live in Korea (which is VERY English friendly) I was expecting a little bit of English here and there in China (more so in Beijing because of the Olympics) and I feel that others might be expecting that too. Most places have signs in their native language + English because the majority of tourists do speak English. However, outside of my hostel I didn’t find much English anywhere. So when traveling either carry a language book, master the show and point, or use that body language!
That being said, even though we didn’t know Chinese and they didn’t know English it wasn’t hard to get around and we still had a very good trip 🙂
3. Bitch-I’m Famous!
Basically if you don’t look Asian, in China you are a super star.
Oh-wait! You’re black or have blonde hair? Double Star Power for you!
No matter where you go in China you will always run into other Chinese tourists who have never been outside of China before and have never seen a foreigner. Don’t be surprised if you are asked a few times to have your picture taken with a couple of “fans.” Even with my black hair, brown eyes, and white skin, I was approached quite a few times. Even if you aren’t approached you will have watchers!
4. Umbrellas – Umbrellas Everywhere!
This is mainly for the summer time, but I was shocked at how many people were out carrying umbrellas! Coming from Korea I know what being worried or even obsessed about your skin health and color looks like. Koreans really like white, un-wrinkled, no sun spots, clear, and beautiful skin. And to be totally honest, China didn’t strike me as that kind of country. I have met plenty of Chinese with tans and when it comes to fashion they take a lot from western style. So, imagine my shock upon walking up to the forbidden city and just seeing a sea of umbrellas. If you’re going in the summer, I recommend going to tourist spots during the slow times. If you don’t, you may just lose an eye.
5. It’s a foggy day in-Oh wait a sec…
You might be thinking it’s a foggy day BUT no no….that’s all pollution.
China has some of the worst pollution I’ve seen…literally! You can actually SEE the pollution.
“…Chinese scientists have warned that the country’s toxic air pollution is now so bad that it resembles a nuclear winter…”
One of the great things about traveling is that you will always be surprised about what you were expecting and what you weren’t expecting. But, hey, that’s all a part of traveling and seeing new places!
I’m sure if you go to China, there will be many more things that will either pleasantly or unpleasantly surprise you haha.
Which ones do you agree or disagree with?
What were some shocks you got in China?
This is the Traveling Kimchi!