Going back to your home country for Chinese New Year?
Prepare for the litany of dumb questions to be lobbed at you like unrelentling hell fire.
For some reason, a lot of people have a completely skewed sense of China. They see it as this monolithic, red spot on the map with billions of identical people. Unless they're well-educated or well-traveled. there's generally little understanding of Chinese culture, history, language, geography, or gastronomy.
Read some of my personal favorite dumb questions I've been asked about China over the years.
Image: Word Press
Do they have ______ in China?
Just insert any noun into the above blank.
- Do they have religion in China?
- Do they have gyms in China?
- Do they have pizza in China?
Yes, they have religion in China. It's just more closely monitored than in most Western nations. In fact, members of religious groups far outnumber members of the Chinese Communist Party.
Yes, they have gyms in China. How do you think I am so swole? They have an elite Olympic team - how do you think they train the athletes?
Yes, there is pizza in China. Do you think Western cuisine hasn't made it's way into Chinese culture. Sure, the pizza here isn't great (unless you go to a Western-owned joint) but they still at least have a Pizza Hut on every other corner.
China is a massive country with the world's largest population and second largest economy.
If it exists on this planet, it probably exists in China.
Hell, it was probably made here.
Do you eat a lot of _________?
Usually the above blank is filled with dog, cat, or monkey.
Sure, by Western standards, Chinese people eat some strange stuff.
Over the past few years in China, I've tried almost everything from silkworms to pig brain.
However, not every Chinese menu reads like a trip around your local zoo.
Most Chinese people eat fairly normal things, and you need to make an effort to find the stranger foods.
Do people drive in China?
Are you serious?? This is an incredibly dumb question that I've hear multiple times.
Yes, Chinese people drive! This isn't 1958.
China has the world's largest car market.
You think they just ride around on rickshaws all day?
And if they don't drive, they just take the public transportation. The buses and subways are great in this country.
Is China hot (or cold)?
I'm asked this question all the time. I always respond by asking, "Is America hot?"
Like America, China is a massive country. The climate changes from place to place.
In the South, it's pretty hot and humid, similar to Florida. In the Northeast, it become freezing cold during the winter months. The Northwest is more dry and arid.
One country doesn't equate to one climate.
Image: Deviant Art
But isn't it so dangerous in China?
This is one of my favorites.
For some reason many Westerners envision China being filled with chanting Red Guards or Kung Fu trained Triads waiting to mug you.
China is an incredibly safe country, especially for foreigners. Of course, as with anywhere, it depends on which city you live in.
But really, after three years in China, I can't think of one instance of feeling afraid of being mugged or attacked. I couldn't say that when I lived in America.
How many children brought guns to school last week in America? How many people got shot in Chicago? And you ask me is China dangerous?
No, China is a pretty safe place. That's one of the big perks of living here.
Aren't you tired of eating rice everyday?
Sure, Chinese people eat rice more than the average Westerner, but it's not all they eat!
That's like asking an American if they eat hamburgers everyday, or a German if they always eat Weinerschnitzel.
The Chinese have a diverse diet, and the food choices range from place to place. Northerners tend to prefer noodles and Southerners tend to eat rice.
How often do you go to the Great Wall?
How often do you go to the Statue of Liberty?
The Great Wall runs across Northern China. It's not like it runs through every town in China.
Also, there is no the Great Wall. There are many Great Walls built by several different dynasties.
Besides, the Great Wall is kind of boring. Once you get over the fact that it's really long, there's not much to it. As Karl Pilkington said, it's just the "Alright Wall".
I'd rather spend my time in China at some dodgy market, haggling over five kuai with a chainsmoking vendor. That's fun. Looking at walls isn't.
What are you running away from in China?
Just because I live in a foreign country doesn't mean I'm running away from something.
Perhaps I'm chasing something. Perhaps I want more life experience. Perhaps I don't want to spend my entire life working a 9-5 desk job and never really experiencing anything outside of my little corner of the world.
So when are you finally going to come back home?
When you stop asking me dumb questions.