Once again I’ve been tasked with posting the open thread, but this time I’m actually prepared. I realized posting the open thread is sort of like commenting in one. You basically just talk about whatever random stuff comes to mind.
So how about some stories from China?
I’ve been to China twice. Once for a couple weeks when I was in college, and once last summer for 3 months. Both times were certainly a learning experience. Unsurprisingly China is a lot different from the US.
The first time I went I stayed with my friend, and my favorite show to watch was a dating show that was sort of like The Bachelor in reverse. There are about 20 women up on a stage, and a man tries to win their affection through a series of videos and Q&A’s. At any point in the process the girl can hit a button to reject him. By the end the guy gets to choose from whoever’s left.
In watching this show with my Chinese friend I discovered a secret that Chinese people have been hiding from us Western folks for decades. Once I reveal this secret I will have to change my name to Carlos Martinez and move to a remote cabin outside Bozeman, Montana for my own protection.
Chinese people think American guys have ugly girlfriends, especially when they date Chinese girls.
It turns out that Chinese guys value clear, pale skin a lot. So American guys will date girls with freckles and whatnot because we don’t care, and Chinese guys think they’re ugly.
Speaking of dating, it’s so much easier as a white guy in China. I guess because we’re exotic there. It got to the point where I only dated girls who looked like super models because I could.
The first girl I met there and I went to a mall, and I noticed that the escalators were inconsistent on which one went up and which went down. Sometime the one on the right was up, and sometimes the one on the left. I asked her why this was and she said “because China”.
This phrase was very helpful for me for the next 3 months, as there was a new mysterious occurrence on a regular basis. For example, I went to KFC with a roommate of mine, and on the way we passed a restaurant that had two boxes full of live frogs that had gotten loose.
Another example is the shopping in person. Shopping online in China is great, but in person is a frustrating experience. Near the end of my trip I wanted to buy a scale to weigh my luggage so that I could make sure it made weight (I had bought a lot of books while I was there to help me practice when I got back home). It was impossible. I spent literally an entire weekend going to various stores and not a single one had scales for sale.
Early on I needed to buy deodorant. I tried to pack somewhat likely and figured I could buy some when I got there, but like the scale I simply couldn’t find deodorant anywhere. It turns out most Chinese people have a gene that makes it so they don’t smell so bad when they sweat, so they don’t need deodorant.
One last little story. If you’ve ever gone on a long plane ride you know how terrible the experience can be, and how planes have little entertainment systems in the back of the seats to help alleviate that. On my flight to China I sat next to this old Chinese guy who not only never touched it, he didn’t do anything except stare forward for the entire the flight, only interrupting his nothingness when they brought around that terrible airline food. That guy was a beast.