You Know You Live in China When…

You stop drinking cold water and exclusively drink warm or hot. Because no one serves it and what’s the point. Feeling tired? Drink hot water. Feeling happy? Drink hot water? Want a promotion? Drink hot water. This is the answer to everything.

Sometimes you see a line and just go stand in it. I have literally seen a crowd gather and walked to it to investigate only to learn nothing is happening and we are all just crowding. Blind following the blind. Also, if there is a line for something like food it must be good. Obviously.

You have random chopsticks everywhere. I have them scattered and wrapped up around my room and a set in my purse. Because who knows when you’re going to be hungry. Also the food delivery gives you an excess so naturally one collects.

Your answer to everything is ‘Aiyo.‘ This is a trademark and maybe the national word of China. It is a good response to anything. Shock, happiness, disappointment, a funny thing…etc.

I also was squatting while taking the photo.

You pop a squat whenever your legs are tired. The “Asian squat” is somewhat famous and those western people even go to yoga to learn what they call “frog pose.” Sometimes on the metro there isn’t a seat, you feel like resting or really whenever.

You see a white person and wonder what their life story is. In China white people are special. If you feel like an average white guy, come to China and your stock/value sky rockets. I see a foreigner and want to know their whole story.

You drink a lot of tea. Herbal. Bubble and Bobba. Fruit. Milk tea. China can make tea out of anything. I have a favorite fruit tea with passion fruit I get delivered all the time in ten minutes flat from a man on a moped. Straight to my apartment door.

You forget what it’s like to use cash. With WeChat everything can be paid with your personal QR code on the phone. I always carry a small amount of backup cash but rarely use it. Paper money is not needed.

You go to the doctor for anything…even a paper cut. The amount of times I hear that people had to go to the hospital and it was for something that could have been fixed so easily….it may be due to most jobs requiring a doctor note for a sick day. But still. Drink some orange juice and get on with it.

I’m sure there a dozen more and endless ones to discover! Needless to say I love Shanghai so much and am so happy with the little life I have created here.


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