Why China will win everything at the olympics
The Chinese people are ultimate competitors. Even just crossing the road, they will compete to get to the other side first. I recently took an internal flight in China, and amazingly 5 seconds after the plane had landed (not stopped), large sections of Chinese people were unbuckling themselves and retrieving their hand luggage so they could be the first off the plane. The air stewardess had their work cut out. This was not a one off, its happened on all five flights i've had through China. This also probably explains their incapability to queue in any situation.
At bus stops there are single file barriers to keep people in line. However this doesn’t shop Chinese people jumping in at the front when the bus turns up. It’s like being at a January sale. Where they come from I don’t know. This must be born out of missing buses when they were children.
There are white line markings on the road the same as the UK but that’s where the comparison stops. In china they are just paint markings and don’t mean anything, Crossing the road is literally like playing Frogger. Whilst in Guilin, I attempted to cross a road to the centre partition of a dual carriageway, except the gap in the hedge was a lower hedge. I was subsequently caught short and ended up diving on the a hedge (A bit like crowd surfing but painful), the alternative being mowed down by the oncoming competitive drivers (they are the same in cars). Also whilst in Beijing it is important to note that when the green man says go, this means you can go but watch out for cars that will still turn, and alway give way to buses because they wont give way to you!!
Don’t even think about it. Not even riding a bike. Imagine the queuing mentality, but in a car, bus, van, motorbike. It is insane, line markings for road users also count for nothing.
The most important words you will ever need to learn is Buyau xiexie pronounced “Boo yow she she” (Brookside “she” style) and means no thank you so I’m told. After 10 minutes in China you will be proficient in using this word having said no to watches, handbag, necklaces, ties, memory cards, massages, seal stamps, kites, incense, silk dresses, tablemats, chopsticks, buddas, belts, Strange jelly that remould back to its original form, dice, candles, sex, herbal tea, fans, budgies, silk knickers, scorpions, DVDs, socks, jade, paper cuttings, illuminating Frisbees, someone else art that’s being passed off as their own, dressing gowns with dragons on, skates, photo scenery of the photo you’ve just taken, pot pouri containers, girls that are learning English and would like to discuss it over a cup of tea?, monopoly in Chinese and you’ve just walked one block!
Food and drink
Remember that when ordering soup, it is served after the main course, the waiter looked confused when a complained.
The horrible smell that is always in close proximity to the fast food stalls is “stinky tofu” which I understand tastes very good, however, I’ve passed on it since I couldn’t get close to the stall, the smell is that bad.
Snake Wine is more a spirit than a wine so prepare for a shock when drinking it (a kind of cross between vodka and tequila. I hate tequilla)
The nice looking bbq pork rings on skewers are probably pork intestines, which have a essence of pork but that’s where the comparison stops. Not recommended
The strange golden fried balls on skewers are actually fish with a texture of swiss cheese like
Try the beancurd dumplings, they are excellent.
For some reason, the meat and birds delicacies in the restaurant are all of the parts that we wouldn’t touch. i.e. duck necks, chicken feet. I still haven’t found a place that actually sells duck or chicken breast on a menu.
in beijing you can buy anything on a stick. So far ive seen, Battered Prawn with shell, baby lobster with shell, Silk worms, sea horses, snake, Scorpion, Pig testicles and Dogs penis? I tried all but the later. Fortunatley whilst attempting the silk worm, A kind American girl (they do exist) brought me a Tsing Tao (pretty good chinese beer) to take the taste away. I will be eternally gratefull. I don't recommend any of them, althought the snake wasn't too bad (a bit like squid).
The Chinese are a nation of spitters. It’s part of their culture. It’s strange and slightly disturbing listening in 6.1 Dolby stereo to ten grown men trying simultaneously coughing up the contents of the back of their throats. But it’s their culture so you have to deal with it. HHhrrrrr