The nation of China is so different from the western world, and perhaps even anywhere in Asia, I am yet to see. There are so many things I read about that I thought couldn’t possibly be true but have now see for myself, and after a few days almost got used to. I can’t be sure if it is the locals or the tourists from smaller parts of the country but either way it definitely is occurring..
The most predominant of these is spitting. The older generation of loves to spit, when walking down the street you will regularly hear a ‘hocking’ noise crescendo behind you, resulting in a large spit on the floor. This I was semi prepared for, but it being done inside buildings and even in restaurants is the most shocking thing I’ve witnessed, though apparently they also throw down bones on the floor in restaurants I’ve yet to see it but spit and napkins regularly line the floor. Dare I say the five second rule should not be used here?
The men of Beijing are particularly fond of rolling their t-shirts up halfway so they look like a belly top, this is only the men though, I’ve yet to see a woman showing any more flesh than a standard t-shirt reveals.
Another thing which seems common practise is parents letting their small children, or encouraging perhaps, urinate on the street. This does normally happen at the side of the pavement but is still a little surprising. Even weirder than this, some children (up to two years) have slits in their trousers so their bum etc. is on display as soon as they squat down. I have also seen this in some small babies which makes me wonder what happens when they ‘go’ as babies aren’t particularly well toilet trained and the parents choose carrying their baby by hand over the use of a pushchair……
One money scam we faced, which we had already heard about is from one of the least suspicious groups, art students. They greet you and start a conversation, always first asking where you’re from, and then tell you they have an exhibition nearby and could you take a look. At this point you should just say you’re in a hurry as you will be taken to a small gallery room and given high pressure attempts to sell you artwork at an inflated rate. Their English is often very good so its good to get some help from them before they start their sales tactics, we found them quite helpful for directions!