Opinion / Blog

10 things I dislike about China

By Youphoria ( Updated: 2015-05-06 10:47

Before you go and think this is a post bashing China, stop. Because it's not. Don't get me wrong, I love China. It's a great place, with really friendly people. But no country can be without its faults. So, take this as more of a study about a country and its cultural quirks. Let's dive in, shall we?

1) Bad Breath

Now this one doesn't apply to all Chinese. But China's population's huge, so just a small percentage is more than I can bear. Mostly it's the men who have it. It has this sickly, spicy tang to it. I'm not sure what causes it but my best bet is the food they eat. Could it be the garlic? Or maybe Jiu Cai ?

2) Public Toilet Stench

Oh my. What can I say? The public restrooms just reek of urine. While I do know that most public toilets around the world smell bad but even the ones in malls here do too. That, my friend, is just unacceptable. The worst I've been to was at the Shenzhen Railway Station. The horror.

3) Packed like sardines

Although this one is annoying, I'm wise and lucky enough to avoid it. Crowds of commuters trying to get onto a metro/bus when there's clearly no more space is just disappointing to watch. You can wait for the next one, you know, however much of a hurry you're in. My advice? Avoid rush hour traffic and you might just arrive with your limbs intact. 

4) Picky Drivers

While we're on the topic of transportation, can I just say how annoying it is when some taxis don't stop for you? And sometimes you have to be going in the direction they find convenient. *Sigh* Fortunately, this behavior has declined somewhat.

5) Not giving way

Here in China, drivers are given priority over pedestrians, in terms of crossing a road. They simply do not give way to people trying to cross. It's not just the roads, it's also the entrance to an underground car park, gates, lanes, you name it. It's a tiny irk, but still there.

6) Foreign = Better than local

I don't know about you but I just simply hate how most Chinese view foreigners like they're gold. We're not all loaded with cash or greater, or more talented than Chinese people. Take us as your equals instead. 

7) Checking out your cart

Yes, seriously. Checking out your shopping cart to see what you've bought. When they notice that you're a foreigner, they glance at your cart. Probably thinking, 'What's that green stuff? They eat vegetables too?!'. There's just something about it that seems like a breach of privacy. I don't know. Maybe I'm just weird.

8) Being nosy

Now this one usually applies to the older generation. Most live a frugal life and hence, they try to make you do the same too, by somehow making you feel like a pig for buying so many groceries. They frequent the supermarket almost every single day. So naturally, they buy less. Once, my family and I bought a week’s worth of food and just as we were about to leave the market a neighbor spotted us and came over to say hi. Upon seeing the amount of stuff we bought she immediately exclaimed, "You bought so much?! Why did you buy so much?" While she was still eyeing our groceries and we were explaining how this was for a week or more, I noticed that my family and I were trying to shield it awkwardly from her prying eyes. It was not a fun experience. They are also pretty nosy in other departments as well. But they're mostly harmless.

9) "You're so beautiful!"

That trick is so old. Sales assistants telling you how 'beautiful' or 'handsome' you look in the hopes that you will feel flattered and buy their products. Do you think I'm stupid to fall for that? Also, those female assistants touching the arms of male customers is such a low move. 

10) Visa

They just can't seem to decide on their visa policies. One person might differ totally from another on a given policy. 

That's all I can think of right now. Let me know if I've missed out any. Also, what pushes your buttons in China? Be sure to look out for 'Things I like about China' in my future posts!

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