Remember this post?
Well, the time has come to actually GO TO CHINA!! This Friday I get on a plane for a mere 14 1/2 hours with 2 of my friends. Hopefully I am able to sleep (possibly with the assistance of a glass of wine or a sleeping pill) so that we can hit the ground running when we arrive. China is after all the complete opposite of NJ so day is night and night is day-EEK.
To prepare for the trip I have been watching Ni Hao Kai Lan with my daughter. I can now say hello, grandpa, good job, dragon, thank you, and you make my heart feel super happy, but have flash cards for some other terms that should come in handy-like ant, tiger slippers, jump, and worm among some others.
Below are some things that I have to keep in mind while there (after my trip I will clear up any of the below that I find to be untrue):
- The time difference is 12 hours, so if you don’t prepare your body you will be in for a RUDE awakening, try to sleep on the plane as much as possible so you are fresh as a daisy when you arrive.
- Blonde hair is odd-people will try to touch it and will want to take their picture with/of me (did I mention that one of my traveling companions is over 6ft tall-we will pretty much be a freak show)
- You don’t tip-anyone, anywhere
- The food in China is not what we call Chinese food in America, so don’t go looking for that. The food is still good, just not the same. I think this would apply to every country, I have yet to have any food in America that tastes like it does in the Motherland.
- Haggle, haggle, haggle what ever the asking price is take a zero off (for example, if they ask 100 you should get them down to 10) and be willing to walk away. The goal is to get the “Chinese Price”….Americans will never get it, but you can try right? Everything is negotiable…. everything
- Don’t plan on buying clothes off the rack there because the clothes are generally not “American-sized” and will not fit—if I even go in the store they will “Pretty Woman” me and then I will have to come back with tons of bags and say “big mistake, BIG mistake” in Chinese
- Personal space doesn’t exist in China
- Orderly lines don’t exist either, first come first served….hence the lack of personal space, everyone wants to be the first one there