Experiencing China

'Experiencing China' is about ordinary life in China and the wealing and dealing of a Dutchman in the Middle Kingdom. Marc works for DuoArts Consultancy and the Empowerment Foundation, travelling between the Netherlands and China.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Small Talk

Chinese taxi drivers push their cars when they want to move their cars a little.

Chinese have little spoons instead of cotton pads to clean their ears.

Because cleaning ears is considered as difficult to do by themselves, men ask their wife or girlfriend to do the job. It’s considered to be an act of intimacy.

Even in shops with fixed prices you can say ‘pianyi dianr, keyi ma?’ (could I have it a little bit cheaper, please?).

Some male students are not allowed by their parents to have a girlfriend due to financial reasons. In China the man pays for the female and men tend to do this excessively when having a ‘fresh’ girlfriend.

The bigger cities in China do well on recycling bottles. However, this recycling is not enforced by law or endorsed by bottle producing companies, but rather a way to survive for the poor. For every bottle they receive a few fen, which equals the amount of a tenth of a dollar or eurocent.

Yi ping shui (a bottle of water)

When a Chinese remains vague, it probably means he is not interested or cannot provide in your demands.

Many Chinese children from the more wealthy families have serious eating disorders. They are to fat because they are too spoilt by their parents. The parents spoil the kids because they remember the hunger during the Cultural Revolution and because they are allowed to have one child only.

The Chinese from Shandong (a province) have a dish called ‘shy girls’, which is made of the unopened orange flowers of a plant related to the cucumber and melon.

In Yunan province they eat the skin of frogs.

Things we regard as Japanese are in essence Chinese, like Bonsai-trees, Zen Buddhism and the tea ceremony.

Garlic is eaten in large quantities and eaten both fresh and cooked in China.

The Chinese have cheese, made from Tofu (beancurds, soybeans).

Anhui jiu hua shan fou cha, one of the best tea

The Chinese love for green tea is similar to our appreciation for wine and cognac. The better the wine or cognac, the higher the price, up to hundreds of euros or dollars. The same is true for tea. A bag of tea (approximately 500 grams) may cost up to 800 yuan (85 dollars, 78 euro).

Oolong tea (wulongcha), one of the best

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Beware of the Sha Chen Bao!

Sha Chen Bao in Beijing! 

Aproximately every ten days a sand or dust storm (Sha Chen Bao) hits Beijing. The air contains the the yellow clay soil frequently found in China (hence the name Yellow River). After that it is cleaning time! My whole appartment is covered by a layer of dust. Wo dei dasao fangdian!*

* I have to clean my room.