Many short observations while in China

Many of these observations were from my time living in Jinan, Shandong Province (north).

  • As a foreigner, I've witnessed greedy and irrational behavior from
    two "landlords" (apartment owners).
  • I was welcomed with such respect & ravished with complements from both heterosexual
    men & women while working at a private school.
  • Babies and infants everywhere.
  • Occasionally, a person came up to me to speak with me while waiting for a bus.
    Kids were by the far the most talkative and enthusiastic.
  • DHL mail service in China is a rip-off: 6,761 RMB for 35 Kg which = $1,099 for 77 lbs
    PLUS the size dimensions. China Post was around 9x cheaper but much slower.
  • Need to carry pocket tissues when going to most restaurants (no napkins) and for public toilets.
  • Public toilets are common. Puts New York City to shame!
  • Toilet paper given as a gift when coming over to someone's home.
  • Airport security is not insane, and the people working are polite and will even say
    thank you on occasion.
  • Morning rituals of hand clapping for at least a half hour non-stop & dozens of people out at
    night doing their slow dance exercises.
  • Up-kicking burping woman outside mall.
  • People who rub their backs against trees...I've seen this in multiple cities.
  • Commonly seen dog in Jinan (city) is the small curly-haired chocolate-brown dog.
  • Infantile music played between classes at a middle school & at the end of school outside
    at a primary school.
  • Physical flexibility of most Chinese, even fat & elder people.
  • Baotu springs water craze where people collect water from a spring thinking that is has
    health properties.
  • Huge amounts of nonsensical English t-shirts.
  • Taxi drivers & bus drivers listening to a radio show of a grouchy-sounding older man
    ranting endlessly.
  • Older people playing pocket radios in hand or around neck.
  • People's various theories/beliefs about food qualities:  
      -potatoes not having any nutrition, only weight gain (claimed a doctor)
      -mushrooms good for the blood
      -eating blood gelatin as good for ?
  • A very skinny 13 yr-old girl said her favorite food was potato chips.
  • Dancing-stretching-chanting older women at malls, storefronts, and various open spaces
    in the afternoons & evenings.
  • Employees from insurance companies & other businesses pep rallying to music, an overall
    undignifying display IMO.
  • Yellow & blue, pink, orange exercise bars all over Jinan for exercising. Some are useful
    and others not.
  • Large German business influences in Jinan.
  • Volkswagon as the default taxi in some cities.
  • A 16 yr-old male said not eating meat affects your memory.
  • A "human rooster" (man) who shouts from under the bridge at 7:30am & does strange low
    tone opera sounds
  • $2M Tibetan dog.
  • Lack of playgrounds.
  • People who have long fingernails as a public display that they do not have a job
    involving physical labor.
  • Some people are insulted if you get in their car and put on a seat-belt because you are
    telling them they are not good drivers.
  • Large use of the word "handsome."
  • Poor air quality, many face masks used. Shandong Province produces the most face-masks
    in all of China.
  • Some people have poor restaurant manners; sometimes spitting inside the restaurant.
  • Poor manners at museums.
  • Lack of courses during meals.
  • Driving as more chaotic but with far less aggression and speeding than in big cities in America.
  • Infants wear split pants for peeing and pooping in public.
  • Water in ash trays.
  • Many people carry tea-leaf-filtering containers.
  • Artistic man-hole covers in Jinan.
  • A sewer overflowed from a manhole for 3 days near our apartment (but was repaired thereafter).
  • Need to buy large bottles of water for in-home use. They can be delivered to your door.
  • Many malls.
  • Two Wal-Mart's in Jinan, multiple Starbucks (like it or not).
  • Many coffee places with bad coffee, but a few places have decent coffee.
  • No kale :)
  • Self-service library in the center square of Jinan.
  • Size of the Jinan center square is incredibly large.
  • "Melina's" is a food and drink hangout in Jinan for both foreigners and locals in the square.
  • Fireworks for marriages & commemorating days are common, especially "Spring Festival" which
    actually occurs in January.
  • Questions asked of me by middle-school students:
     1. Are you a couch potato?
     2. What do you think about your government?
     3. Do you know kung-fu?
     4. Whose your best friend?

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