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Ten Random Habits I’ve Picked Up In China

June 15th, 2009 · 3 Comments

For better or for worse…

I never drink cold water.  Chinese believe it’s better for your stomach, and the belief has somehow rubbed off.

I pick my fruit and fruit juice based on whether or not it will lower or raise my body temperature.  Cucumber and watermelon juice have been favorites this summer.  I also know which fruits are in season because they’re noticeably more plentiful and fresh at the local fruit stands where I buy them.

I ask “Can you give me a discount?” everywhere from art galleries to high end department stores, and usually get 20-50% off.

When complimenting someone’s outfit, “Where’d you find it?” and “How much?” have been replaced by “ZhenDe HaiShi JiaDe?” (Real or knock-off?)

If I can see it being cooked over a fire, it’s sufficiently safe to eat.  I get sick a lot, but like to believe it’s hardening my system for the long term.

If my meal has soup, or noodles in soup, I don’t order a drink.  I often eat Chinese food without rice, as it’s just a cheap filler like table bread back home.

I used to feel lack of megastores like Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Staples was inconvenient, and then I learned how to buy all the same things within a few block radius for less money and with free delivery.

Sometimes, I find myself thinking about simple things in Chinese.  And when translating between Chinese and English, or when speaking Hebrew or Spanish, Chinese often comes out by mistake.

Once I discovered the concept of “Chinese food” is as diverse as “European food”, I’ve had no problem eating it 2-3 times a day.

Upon returning to the US I make an effort to remember to buckle my seatbelt, leave tips, say excuse me, and make personal space.  Upon returning to China I make an effort to remember to look both ways crossing the street or otherwise risk sudden death.

Tags: Miscellaneous

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Alex Porter // Jun 16, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I like that you can just ask for a discount!

  • 2 鞋子 // Jul 12, 2009 at 8:00 am

    #4 cracked me up

    ohh, i cldnt agree more with u on the last habit!

  • 3 思敏 // Jul 22, 2009 at 12:55 am

    i love reading your entries! probably cos i pretty much experienced the same encounters while trying to get used to this diverse metropolitan huge town.
    will read your works so keep ’em going!

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