you know you’ve lived in china too long when…
– You find yourself crying over a menu in a western restaurant because they serve potato salad
– You eat every kind of meat off the bone, and then spit those bones on the table
– Squatters make you dizzy, but you now believe, despite the smell, they are cleaner than western toilets
-You are tired of explaining that Africa is a Continent, not a country.
– You see nothing wrong with standing on a white stripe in the middle of a highway while cars whiz past you at 90kph
– You don’t blink an eye when a complete stranger wants to take a photo of you with his family
2. You enjoy karaoke
3. You walk backwards in the park listening to a transistor radio
4. The China Daily is your source for hard hitting, fast breaking, investigative journalism
5. You smoke in crowded elevators.
6. All white people look the same to you
7. You like the smell of the bus.
8. You find state-employed retail staff helpful, knowledgeable and friendly
9. You no longer need tissues to blow your nose
10. You find western toilets uncomfortable
11. You throw your used toilet paper in the basket (as a courtesy to the next person)
12. You think that the heavy air actually contains valuable nutrients that you need to stay healthy
13. You think a 30 year old woman who carries a Hello Kitty lunch box is cute
14. A sexual pervert is a man who prefers women to money.
15. It’s OK to throw rubbish, including old fridges, from your 18th-floor window
16. You believe that pressing the lift button 63 times will make it move faster
17. You aren’t aware that one is supposed to pay for software
18. You are not surprised to see your tap water run dark brown
19. You tell your parents their house back in your home country has bad feng shui
20. You think that a 70RMB shirt is a rip-off
21. You always leave tray and trash on the table when you are in Starbucks because you insisted it is the way to keep everyone employed
22. You buy an XXL T-shirt in store when you returned home
23. You take large sum of cash whenever you go hospital in home country
24. You have no reservations about spitting sun flower seeds on the restaurant floor
25. You think it’s silly to buy a new bike when it’ll get stolen soon and stolen bikes are half the price.
26. You’d rather pay the 10 yuan for an all night stay at the internet cafe than the 30 for a taxi home.
27. You feel cheated if you don’t receive a full head and shoulder massage when getting a haircut
28. You blow your nose or spit on the restaurant floor (of course after making a loud hocking noise)
29. You no longer wait in line, but go immediately to the head of the queue
30. It becomes exciting to see if you can get on the lift before anyone can get off
31. It is no longer surprising that the only decision made at a meeting is the time and venue for the next meeting
32. You no longer wonder how someone who earns US$ 400.00 per month can drive a Mercedes
33. You accept the fact that you have to queue to get a number for the next queue
34. You believe everything you read in the local newspaper
35. You have developed an uncontrollable urge to follow people carrying small flags
36. You regard it as part of the adventure when the waiter correctly repeats your order and the cook makes something completely different.
37. You are not surprised when three men with a ladder show up to change a light bulb
38. You look over people’s shoulder to see what they are reading
39. You honk your horn at people because they are in your way as you drive down the sidewalk
40. When car accidents become a source of heartwarming humour
41. When shopping at Carrefour some laowai stares you down for catching you looking into his basket while you wonder to yourself what laowai’s eat
42. You have figured out that it is actually the Taiwanese who are running this country
43. You have a pinky fingernail an inch long
44. You burp in any situation and don’t care
45. You start to watch CCTV9 and feel warm and comforted by the governments great work
46. You think Pizza Hut is high-class and worth queueing for
47. You have learnt how to detect someone is in a hurry behind you, and now have the ability to not only walk very slowly but also grow eyes in the back of your head, so when they start to overtake on the right hand side, you automatically cut in and walk very slowly directly in front of them
48. When you are able to jump the queue because the idiot laowai left 2 centimeters between themself and the person in front of them
49. You have absolutely no sense of traffic rules
50. You start calling other foreigners Lao Wai
51. You start cutting off large vehicles on your bicycle
52. The last time you visited your mother, you gave her your business card
53. You think no car is complete without a tissue box on the rear shelf and a feather duster in the trunk
54. You go to the local shop in pajamas
55. When looking out the window, you think “Wow, so many trees!” instead of “Wow, so much concrete!”
56. Pollution, what pollution?
57. You think “white pills, blue pills, and pink powder” is an adequate answer to the question “What are you giving me, doctor?”
58. Someone doesn’t stare at you and you wonder why
59. Firecrackers don’t wake you up
60. Your family stops asking when you’ll be coming back
61. You wear out your vehicle’s horn before its brakes
62. You buy a top-of-the-line karaoke machine
63. Forks feel funny
64. Chinese remakes of Western songs sound better than the originals
65. You get homesick for Chinese food when away from China
66. You realize that smiling and nodding is Chinese body language for, “Go away; leave me alone.”
67. All the top-level government officials you befriended for guanxi purposes when you first arrived are retired and living in your country
68. After being in an accident, you tell the ambulance driver which hospital to take you to
69. Your company offers you a job in your native land, and includes regular “Home Leave” to China as an incentive
70. You think of “salad” as diced apples in mayonnaise
71. You don’t bother to take the sticker off the lenses of your fake Ray-Bans
72. You only wear a suit when you dig ditches or do home repairs
73. Your handshake is weakening by the day
74. You compiled a 3-page list of weird English first names that Chinese people of your acquaintance have chosen for themselves.
75. Your collection of business cards has outgrown your flat
76. You and a friend get on a bus, sit at opposite ends of the bus, and continue your conversation by yelling from one end to the other
77. You cannot say a number without making the appropriate hand sign
78. You like the taste of Green Tea and Chivas
79. You start recognising the chinese songs on the radio and sing along to them with the taxi driver
80. You feel insulted when you enter a restaurant and only three waiters welcome you
– You actually put some thought into which live snake you want cooked for
– You eat soup with chopsticks
– you use Kleenex for table napkins
– You drink warm sodas and find them refreshing
– You are accustomed to seeing people’s heads popping up and down in the VCD
you are watching
– You no longer use articles when you speak
– you bargain with the grocer over the cost of a head of lettuce
– You no longer check the expiration date on the milk you just bought.
– You buy a movie that hasn’t been released theatrically yet at home.
– You comment that the pollution “isn’t really that bad…”
– You start wearing a face mask on windy days and wonder at the “silly
foreigners” who don’t do the same
– You complain about that price difference of DVDs/VCDs/CDs bought in the stores and on the streets
– You start to wonder if the chocolate ice cream you find in the store is even chocolate… sure it is brown, but…
– You can’t find face lotion or cleanser that does not bleach your skin whiter….
You have a collection of Umbrellas
-You have actually gone shopping in your pajamas
-You give a beggar a handful of fen and he gives them back
– You have trouble sleeping when you go home for a visit because it’s just too darn quiet
– You point out foreigners to your Chinese friends even though you’re foreign yourself.
– You know words in Chinese for which you don’t know the translation in English
– You answer ‘China’ when people ask where you’re from
– You pick your nose, burp, fart, and scratch so much even your Chinese friends get embarrassed
– You get a discount if you speak English, but you pay more for Putonghua (Mandarin)
– You call home and your family tell you to speak faster and stop correcting their grammar
– You eat cake with chopsticks
– You constantly wonder if everything has been boiled long enough.
– You answer ‘So is mine.’ when people say their English is so poor
– You answer ‘Into what?’ when people say China is developing
– You convince yourself that it doesn’t matter how dirty the cooks’ hands are, cooking will fix it
– If there are only 4 screaming children running around the classroom, you consider it a good primary class.
– If there are only 4 students sleeping, you consider it a good middle school class.
– If there are only 4 cell phone addicted college students messaging its a good class.
– You love tofu because there’s nothing to spit out and it doesn’t have any taste
– You start saying things like:’ ‘I very like’
– You hold hands with others of the same sex and think nothing of it
– You avoid touching those of opposite sex like they have bird flu
– You’ve got a pre-paid ticket with a reserved seat on a train or
plane, but you still run like mad to to the get there first
– You forget that vegetable soup is actually pesticide broth
– Smoking is doing less harm to your lungs than breathing
– You’re beginning to like fruit salad and mayonnaise
— Everyone wants to be your friend – all you have to do is teach them English for free
– Everyone wants to teach you Chinese by speaking to you in English
– Your Chinese lessons consist of 50 words your teacher wants to know in English
– You tell people you don’t understand, so they write it for you – in Chinese.
– Your boss thinks you’re a stupid foreigner if you let him cheat you, but thinks you’re a bad foreigner if you don’t
– Your boss speaks really good English until you ask for more money
– You have no qualms that someone who thinks you’re stupid and gullible has total control over your life.
– You too think that the ugliest western man always has a beautiful Chinese girlfriend.
– A hike up a mountain calls for a plastic grocery bag full of junk food.
— The more you listen to the news, the more uninformed you are
– It fascinates you that when the national news is on, your forty TV channels magically become the same channel.
– Absolutely everything that can possibly be eaten is in some way good for
– Only five minutes of prep time for a unannounced class no longer fazes you
-Your housekeeper throws out the chicken breast you have marinating in garlic and olive oil but organizes your empty beer bottles and cans and you understand
– You leave your laundry hanging up for more than a day its dirtier than it was before you washed it
1. Before asking someone’s age, you ask what animal they are.
2. You start picking at other people’s dinner plates before they even offer you a taste.
3. You eat family style at any and all restaurants, Chinese or not.
4. You would rather wait on the street for an extra ten minutes for a small cab, than pay the extra for a big cab.
5. You don’t have to speak to taxi drivers. Every cab in town has taken you home at least once, so they all know where you live.
6. It seems entirely sensible to take a cab across town for 12 yuan in each direction to buy something that costs 4 yuan, and they sell right outside your house anyway.
7. You have absolutely no sense of traffic rules.
8. You invite friends over for dinner, and serve thousand year old eggs as an appetiser.
9. You buy a round trip air ticket in China.
10. You no longer need tissues to blow your nose.
11. You start calling other foreigners Lao Wai.
12. You think singing Karaoke on Friday nights is fun.
13. Other foreigners seem foreign to you.
14. You consider McDonalds a treat.
15. You ask how much people are making and expect people to answer.
16. You talk louder than is necessary.
17. You are the last of your first group of friends still in China.
18. You prefer using chopsticks.
19. Chinese fashion starts looking hip.
20. You no longer notice the hooting on the streets.
21. You start cutting off large vehicles on your bicycle.
22. Your body no longer needs dairy products.
23. You think Yangshou is a nice place for a holiday.
24. The last time you visited your mother, you gave her your business card
25. You start to enjoy the taste of bai jiu.
26. You go back home for a short visit, get in a car and start giving the driver directions in Chinese.
27. You have to pause and translate your phone number into English before telling it to someone.
28. Your idea of a larger home is an extra 10 square meters.
29. You get used to having a before dinner, during dinner, and after dinner cigarette.
30. You think no car is complete without a tissue box on the rear shelf and a feather duster in the trunk.
31. You go to the local shop in pyjamas.
32. You wouldn’t think of buying any appliance that doesn’t come in lime green.
33. You wonder why none of your friends back home have VCD players
34. You see some real cleavage and think WOW!
35. You ask fellow foreigners the all-important question “How long have you been here?” in order to be able to properly categorize them.
36. You speak putonghua better than the locals.
37. You buy the local newspaper because you forget that you can’t read Chinese.
38. When looking out the window, you think “Wow, so many trees!” instead of “Wow, so much concrete!”
39. You seriously contemplate putting bathroom tiles on the outside of your house back home.
40. You can swear in 3 different dialects.
41. Pollution, what pollution?
42. You think squat toilets are more sensible
43. You notice you’ve forgotten how to tie shoelaces.
44. You start wearing long thermal underwear on October 1st no matter what the temperature is.
45. You stop wearing long thermal underwear on May 1st no matter what the temperature is.
46. You phone an English-speaking laowai friend and somehow can’t bring yourself to get to the point for the first 3 minutes of the conversation.
47. You stop enjoying telling newcomers to China ‘all about China’.
48. You think “English literature major” is a polite way to say peanut brained bimbo.
49. You are not surprised to wake up in the morning and find that the woman who stayed over last night has completely cleaned your apartment, even though you’ll probably never ever meet her again.
50. You develop a liking for corn flavoured ice cream.
51. You think the best part of TV are the commercials.
52. When you think it’s alright to stick your head into a stranger’s apartment to see if anybody’s home.
53. You think that you can impress foreigners by drinking Budweiser.
54. You have run out of snappy comebacks to compliments about your chopstick skills.
55. You think “white pills, blue pills, and pink powder” is an adequate answer to the question “What are you giving me, doctor?”.
56. Someone doesn’t stare at you and you wonder why.
57. 70 degrees F. feels cold.
58. You see three people on a motorcycle and figure there’s room for two more.
59. “Squid” sounds better than “steak”.
60. There are more things strapped to your cycle than you ever put in a car.
61. Looking at a dog makes you hungry.
62. Firecrackers don’t wake you up.
63. Your family stops asking when you’ll be coming back.
64. You don’t mind when your date picks his/her nose in public.
65. You wear out your vehicle’s horn before its brakes.
66. Smoking is one of the dinner courses.
67. You (male) wear white socks with your business suits.
68. You (female) wear socks over your pantyhose in summer.
69. People who knew you when you first arrived don’t recognize you.
70. You speak Chinese to your foreign friends.
71. You buy a top-of-the-line karaoke machine.
72. None of your shoes have laces.
73. Chinese stop you on the street to ask for directions.
74. You leave the plastic on all new purchases.
75. Forks feel funny.
76. The shortest distance between two points involves going through an alley.
77. People who haven’t seen you for months don’t ask where you’ve been.
78. Chinese remakes of Western songs sound better than the originals.
79. The only foreigners who have been here longer than you are buried here.
80. You find yourself saying, “Oh geez, not ANOTHER Year of the Rat!”
81. You get homesick for Chinese food when away from China.
82. It becomes a tradition that at least part of Christmas dinner is stir-fried.
83. Other foreigners give you a funny look when you tell them how long you’ve been here.
84. The Statute of Limitations has expired and you still don’t go home.
85. You realize that smiling and nodding is Chinese body language for, “Go away & leave me alone.”
86. Metal scaffolding at construction sites seems much more dangerous than bamboo scaffolding.
87. The Lunar Calendar ALWAYS takes precedence.
88. Pizza just doesn’t taste right unless there’s corn on it.
89. It’s been at least 18 months since you used the word “tacky” to describe anything.
90. Summers are too short; winters too long.
91. 250cc is a REALLY BIG motorcycle. (You think moving from a 125cc to a 150cc makes you more macho.)
92. All the top-level government officials you befriended for guanxi purposes when you first arrived are retired and living in your country.
93. Eating at ‘Western’ restaurants, you wait until after dessert to drink your soup.
94. Your thumbnail is 2 inches long.
95. After being in an accident, you tell the ambulance driver which hospital to take you to.
96. None of CNN’s “China Experts” have been here as long as you.
97. You salt your fruit.
98. That unopened bottle of XO has aged longer on your living room shelf than it ever did in France.
99. Your company offers you a job in your native land, and includes regular “Home Leave” to China as an incentive.
100. Household furnishings are arranged for optimal feng-shui.
101. You can make elevators go faster by boarding first and taking over the controls.
102. You stop calling the Guinness Book of Records people each time you kill a cockroach.
103. You think of ‘salad’ as diced apples in mayonnaise
104. You don’t recognise a bowl of chicken soup unless there’s feet and a head in it.
105. Your favourite pizza toppings are corn and shrimp.
106. You don’t bother to take the sticker off the lenses of your fake Ray-Bans.
107. In the summer, you roll the legs of your pants up to your knees whenever you sit down.
108. (men) And you roll your shirt up to your nipples.
109. You only wear a suit when you dig ditches or do home repairs.
110. You have a purse and you are male.
111. You walk backwards in the park listening to a transistor radio.
112. You smoke in crowded elevators.
113. You like the smell of the bus.
114. You go to the hospital at the first signs of a cold.
115. You don’t notice your gastrointestinal problems anymore.
116. You draw characters on your hand to make yourself understood.
117. Your handshake is weakening by the day.
118. You would never think of entering your house without first removing your shoes.
119. You can’t put a proper sentence together in your native language.
120. You aren’t aware that one is supposed to pay for software.
121. Drilling on the walls in the wee small hours in the morning is considered acceptable behaviour.
122. You get offended when people admire your chopsticks skills.
123. You compiled a 3-page list of weird English first names that Chinese people of your acquaintance have chosen for themselves.
124. Your collection of business cards has outgrown your flat.
125. You know that leather shoes can grow leaves during the wet season.
126. You use the word “Ayyiieeaaahh” every few sentences to convey surprise, pleasure, pain or anger.
127. You speak enough Chinese to make your colleagues laugh their heads off (attempts with anyone else still only draw blank stares).
128. You and a friend get on a bus, sit at opposite ends of the bus, and continue your conversation by yelling from one end to the other.
129. You get on a bus alone and pretend to have a friend at the other end of the bus!
130. You always get a seat on a bus.
131. You cannot say a number without making the appropriate hand sign.
132. You cannot say “Call me.” without making a pretend phone with your fingers and sticking to your ear.
133. You eat at exactly the same time every day, whether you are hungry or not. Then eat again later when you ARE hungry.
134. You think a pedestrian crossing over the street is ‘beautiful’.
135. You start making lists like this.