Remember that line “Life is just a bowl of cherries”? Well, I beg to differ. Living in China has taught me that “Life is really a bowl of Noodles”!
This is the second blog in what may become a mini-series that shares a few thoughts re: the question “What is it like living in China?” This time, I thought I’d share a few Things I Really Like and a few Things I Find Different.
Yes, I’ve heard from some of you that these entries may seem a bit random…but that’s exactly what living cross-culturally is like much of the time. Different experiences seem to come at you from all angles…unexpectedly! You may also notice a lot of these entries have to do with food…what can I say?!
Things I Really Like:
- Hand-pulled Muslim (wheat) noodles with beef for less than $1.50
- Chinese (rice) noodles with pork for less than $1.50
- College cafeteria noodles (wheat or rice) with something like pork for less than $1.00!
- Simpler, slower pace of life – Adequate advance notice (invitation) for getting together with friends is “now”!
- Fresh fruit for dessert (e.g., sweet, crunchy, juicy pear…or, just passing a partially peeled orange around the table so people can take a wedge for themselves…or just a bite of fresh strawberry…better than many candies or sweets?!)
Things I Find Different:
- Kraft Parmesan Cheese as a delicacy! (only available at the local “Western Foods Market” and possibly on the “western aisle” at Walmart.)
- Wearing the same clothes two days in a row…without your teacher or classmates noticing anything unusual (since there is a good chance they are also wearing the same clothes 2 days in a row!)
- Learning to look closely before buying face lotion, since many products on the shelf include active ingredients for whitening your skin (I’m OK with whitening my teeth, but my skin?!)
- These days, most trips to the nearby (larger) city include a special treat of visiting KFC! Can you imagine thinking of a trip to KFC as a special event?! (In our local valley of 500,000+ people, there are really only 3 visual signs of US presence that I can think of: 1 Walmart, 1 McDonalds and 1 KFC. That’s it. Well, I guess I need to add Hilton now, since they had a soft opening for the Hilton Dali Resort and Spa just a couple of days ago.)
- Cutting my wife’s hair (for the first time after 28 years of marriage). Now, that’s different! (She has curly, fine hair, but the local hairstylists specialize in cutting extremely straight, thick hair…not to mention the language barrier.) Good news is it turned out just fine.
Oh, there is one other thing that is a bit different here: No “live” coverage of the 2016 Presidential Primaries!
Copyright © Kevin Beaty, YUNEV and “Feet on the Ground…”, 2016. All rights reserved.