So today we had our first Chinese test! The theme was basically the title of this post so I found it suitable to blog about this. The test wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. I’ll let ya know how I did on it but I am feeling pretty confident about it. So I’ve noticed quite a few differences between life in China and life in the USA. Here are just a few:
1. When someone sneezes, people don’t say ANYTHING. It is so hard for me to get adjusted to just because in the USA, every time someone sneezes and no one says anything, I feel bad. So I always make sure to say “Bless you” even though it has such a weird meaning behind it.
2. Next, people in China wear their outfits more than once a week. It seems like a strange custom but I asked my new friend Peiyu last night. She said it was because if you didn’t get it dirty, then you can wear it again. Of course they shower and then just put the same clothes on, it is just different than in the USA.
3. Going off of the topic of clothes, we have to hang dry them because the dryers are awful. I wasn’t expecting to have any dryers, but we do. Someone put their clothes in there for four hours and they still weren’t dry. So we have to hang them up on our lovely balconies. This is so common here and you can see clothes hanging up ALL over the city in such bizarre locations (even off of power lines)
4. Free space in Shanghai is used so efficiently. Not only are the buildings well planned out, but the locals seem to have claimed out sidewalks and spaces in subway stations in order to sell their goods. Walking back from the subway station to my dorm, I have to walk on the roads at times in order to get around all the sellers.
5. Walking in the road is dangerous. People don’t have the right away here like they do in the USA. You really have to make sure that there are no cars, motorcycles, mopeds, bikes, taxis, OR BUSES coming. Buses seem to always be the ones that want to run us over.
6. Hot drinks is what we have been drinking allll the time which I have been fine with thus far because it warms me up, but I’m wondering how I will like it once it gets hotter. Milk tea is huge here and it’s one of my favorites. I’m going to have to find somewhere in the USA that has it because it’s becoming an everyday drink for me. My roommate and I bought a water heater for the room so we can have hot water whenever we want!
7. Before you shower, you have to turn on a switch for the hot water at least 10 minutes in advance. This is extremely energy efficient but causes a nuisance on occasion when people want to quickly shower. I haven’t had too much of an issue with it yet, I actually love the idea.
8. Shower stall doesn’t exist here. It’s just a drain on the floor of the bathroom. So after you shower you kinda got to mop up the water a bit. This one bothers me a little, just because you have to wear shoes in the bathroom if someone has recently showered. I’m used to never wearing shoes and so it will take me a little bit to adjust to this difference.
9. Toilet paper does not exist in every bathroom here in China. Most public bathrooms are squatters and require you to bring your own toilet paper. And after using that toilet paper, you do not put it down the drain. This goes with any toilet here; trashcans are always located next to the toilet to put the paper in.
10. Rooms aren’t centrally heated. If it does have a heater, it’s on the wall and is controlled with a remote. In our classrooms, this has been a bit of an issue. There hasn’t been one class yet where we haven’t all worn our coats during the entire class. The buildings seem to be colder than outside. It’s a bizarre concept but I have heard that the other dorms on main campus don’t have any heating at all.
If you have any questions/comments on what I just mentioned, feel free to let me know. I’d love to hear what your opinion is on all of this. I’m sure there are more differences but those are the ones that have stuck out to me during my two and a half weeks here. That’s all for now, folks. Today, I plan on getting a lot of my homework done so that I can be ahead of the game for this week.