It’s official: I have now lived and studied in Shanghai for 100 days. It’s amazing how fast the time has flown by. 50 days ago, I posted 18 little lessons that astonished me and made me giggle. So, today it’s time for 18 more!
18 (Additional) Things I’ve Learned in China so Far:
1. There comes a point when eating rice/noodles/any type of Chinese food with a knife and fork becomes sacrilegious. It tastes better with chopsticks.
2. Don’t be surprised when you see an elderly man walking his empty wheelchair around the neighborhood.
3. It’s normal for children under the age of 3 to pull down their pants (or have their parents do it for them) to eh.. release their bodily fluids in the outdoors. Even on the bicycle path. In broad daylight.
4. Disregard all pre-conceptions of the conservative Chinese couple. Young couples here all seem to be equally in love, with matching t-shirts, guys carrying their girlfriend’s bright pink handbags, and constant hugging wherever they go.
5. It’s considered strange for a girl not to be married by the age of 30.
6. That cough that you thought would go away with time? No, it’s not because you have a permanent cold; it’s because of the pollution. It won’t leave you until you leave Shanghai.
7. Glasses without lenses are in high-fashion.
8. Despite the government’s attempt to ban wearing pajamas in public in time for the World Expo in 2010, this comfortable attire can still be spotted in local neighborhoods. They’re lined with fur and other warming material. I’m very tempted to buy one for myself.
9. Houses with single-glass and look-a-like-marble floors get really really cold.
10. Smile at those you try to bargain with. They’re usually quite friendly. And nothing beats the satisfaction you feel after getting the price down to a third of their original demand.
11. Foreigners love pepernoten.
12. Shanghai has so much to offer. Bargain with the vendors at Yuyuan Gardens, drink a cocktail at Tianzifang, and stroll around Xintiandi. Visit the museums and walk on the Bund. There are millions of little streets explore and lost artworks to photograph.
13. Everyone wears their jackets inside.
14. Buses come first. Then cars. Then motorbikes and other electric scooters. Then bikes. Then people. Try not to get run over.
15. If you curiously glance and smile at the ladies playing Mahjong in your street, they’ll ask you to join so they can teach you.
16. The modern Shanghainese is expert at walking to the metro while reading a book/watching a show on their phone.
17. It’s best not to look in the kitchen of the local restaurant down the street where you go when you’re too lazy to cook (i.e. 3 times a week). If you haven’t been ill because of the food yet, don’t worry yourself about how it’s prepared.
18. Shanghai is gorgeous.