Travelling in China is an adventure for a westerner. You will find here the things i discovered and why i had so much fun there.
The very first experience you will have in China will be to get out of the airport, and you’d better be with a local to do that, because the traffic will look like that:
And in that situation you will have no choice but being assertive. Because if you are waiting for your turn… You will literally be here for EVER. You have to force your way in, even motorcycles can’t go forward. Here you have your first lesson. With such a competition you will have to fight to achieve something.
Once you got out of the most jammed roads you ever saw, when you can finally gain some speed, do not get distracted by the motorcyclist wearing cooking gloves.
Indeed, Chinese road not being the cleanest, little rocks can be thrown by other’s wheel and in that case, being ridiculous at least doesn’t kill you.
You will also have to integrate that motorcyclist are now pedestrians.
Motorcyclist cross the road by your side, are on sidewalks when necessary and since they are pedestrians do not be surprise, they will take elevators with you or overtake you at the 7th floor of a building. A classic.
Chinese food is definitely delicious. There is a huge variety of meals and each regions has its own. From the roasted duck of Beijing to the Chengdu Hot pot you will experience unusual flavors. You will definitely miss if these if you ever leave China. As a respectable food lover you will probably be eager to try everything. Good news, you will. In restaurants and sometimes at people’s place, there is turning tables, this ways everyone can take a bit of every dish (or dodge the seafood he hates)
Of course you will not like everything and you should expect to face some very reluctant dish: welcome to the marvelous world of Chinese food markets. If you thought eating pork feet, snails or beef tongues was strange then walk around 5 minutes in a Chinese food market. Who never dreamt of eating massive spiders ? Don’t wait a second more, take your tickets for Hangzhou
It goes beyond your imagination, what Chinese people would actually buy is on par with a Koh-Lanta trial
(Beijing night market).
Fried insects are common and it taste like chips after all, having a little shot of adrenaline on top of it.
If we could be surprised by what Chinese people eat, they eat much more healthy food than we do. Vegetables are omnipresent and cooked in so many different way you will never get bored of eggplants and cucumbers. Nevertheless they eat greasy but far less sweets than we do. Having dessert is not compulsory after diner and you won’t feel there is something missing as you already had 5 different meals in the same diner. After a while in China due to this diet you will feel like any fruit is very sugary, you will enjoy as you never did an apple.
Another thing that will make you love china is that you can find food anywhere and at any time of the day and night. Markets, street food and the best of the best the delivery service. Every restaurant can deliver you using their own delivery service or tier companies. When I was using the word “anywhere” I was meaning it. I realized my dream few days after arriving to china, eating a Mc Donald at a bar terrace, enjoying my junk food and delicious beverages.
Last but not least people have a very different and interesting culture. Known to be culturally collectivist, you understand this point once you witnessed the bound between people. After getting to know a person, she will helps you the best she can at a point it could seems overly nice to a westerner. Be nice to someone and you will have it back. You can count on the people you made links with and this has a huge importance in China. Relations and network will unlock you a lot of doors. You can go forward building trust with people and showing your qualities. So as a complete stranger it can be a bit difficult to build relationship but they have a real value.
I admire their ambition and how involved they are in their activities. They have a real competition spirit and work hard to reach their dreams. Their honor is important and they will do their best to reach excellence. Very young, parent push their children to have multiples interest and start artistic or/and sportive activities. This way they learn very young probably one of the most important thing in life, being curious and eager to learn.
So we have a lot to learn from Chinese people, their discipline, the way they help each other’s
and more importantly where they find their happiness from