Monday, 9 December 2013

Do's and Don'ts China Pt. II Don’t be fooled by the Chinese Dragon, instead Ride it!

Chinese Symbol in ornamentation

The second part is for those of you who will stay in Zhongguo for a longer period, either to  study or to teach English. Don’t be fooled by the Chinese Dragon,  ride it instead!



1. Show respect for their culture. That is valid, especially if you plan to spend more than a few days in the country. Knowing who Mao ZeDong, Qin Shi Huang or Kong Zi is will increase your chances of getting the contract or establishing a strong business relationship.

2. Use the train for long distance journeys. You may realize the fares are quite reasonable and, apart from this, some destinations offer first class conditions (for example Shanghai - Lhasa). I will reveal you a secret. Sometimes, when the compartment  seats are fully booked, the westerners are told there are no more tickets available. The truth is, if you can say in Mandarin ,“I want No Seat” (Wu Zuo), you are in. Think about it  next time you are in a hurry and don’t want to wait for five more hours at the railway station.

3. Order a lot of food in the restaurant without having the intention to eat it. Once again, do as the locals do.

4. Use chopsticks. Even when you eat soup (yeah, I know it is not so funny)! Invest some time in mastering the skill, you can do it! Don’t forget that when you go back home ,you can brag about it.

5. Try the strange looking fruit you have never heard of in the stores or the open market. Lychees, pomelos, dragonfruits, etc.



1. Travel by train unless you are a big fan of travelling with a lot of people. I know, I mentioned the opposite in the previous section However, you may get squeezed like sardine from time to time.

2. Be surprised at the sight of two people having a quarrel and a crowd of twenty around them watching . It is just part of this nation’s mentality. Don’t be judgemental; I am sure you are not proud of everything happening in your country.

3. Expect that you will make quickly friends around. Being a student is a totally different story! Bear in mind this Asian country is still a bit reserved towards the outside world. In fact, if you know what some western “friends” have done in the past to Hong Kong (opium wars), you should not be surprised.

4. Shout or yell in public places. Yes, it is true you will see the Chinese doing so, but keep in mind you are a guest.

5. Buy foreign currency on the streets.

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