I publish this article today, February 17th 2015, although I wrote it back in November 2011.
Here you have some of the things that I learnt during a travel across China.
- Toilets are not western style, where you can sit if needed (confession: I never sit in public toilets). They are at ground level. See for instance picture
- Also, papers cannot be thrown to the WC, they have to be put on the paper bin. This makes the smell of the WC a bit unbearable…
- Some babies and toddlers wear Kaidangku, which are trousers that are open at the back, as you can see in image below. This allows them to freely pee/poo whenever necessary. This is something that shocks the first time you see it. However it is an old costume and it seems they are only seen in rural areas.
- Flavours of some food, particularly soy oil, are very strong. Some smells get into your nostrils and may make you feel sick.
- In Beijing there is a street where you can buy and eat insects such as silk cocoons, cockroaches, scorpions, sea horses, etc.
- Green pepper is sometimes hot. Really, be careful! in the same dish there may be slices which are normal and other slices which are really really really hot. It will make you swear and sweat 😉
- Chinese people drink tea every time of the day, everywhere. You can see them with thermos.
- Chinese airports have drinking fountains with hot and warm water, the hot is for them to make tea, or instant noodles while waiting for your flight…
- The good tea leaves are for them, the not so good are the ones they export (according to what we were told on a Tea Shop from the government).
- Taxis in Shanghai are even cheaper than rickshaws in Xian, around 20 yuans (2 EUR).
- The bus in Xian is even cheaper, 1 yuan or 2 yuans, if the bus has air coinditioning.
- «Kasimotos» is how our Chinese guide (Chuan) call those motos which are electrical and make no noise. In order to save battery, they drive by night without lights, sooo…be careful when crossing streets, as you won’t hear them coming.
- In some places the pedestrian pass are not respected, so you can pass it with cars and motos around you. It is better if you go slow, no need to run, they will avoid you better as they know much better your time of reaction when you walk than when you run.
- Chinese people are the main tourists in China. It is such a big country that their main tourist visitors are themselves. Also Korean and Japanese but you won’t be able to differentiate them.
- To distinguish them, Korean girls wear brilliant colours whereas Japanese people are more elegant.
- Chinese people from rural places visiting the big cities may want to take pictures with you if you are different (tall, red hair…), so smile and say cheeeese 😉
MARKETS AND SUPERMARKETS
- Cheese… believe or not, it was hard to find cheese in China. We went to a Carrefour nearby our hotel and the only cheese we found were processed cheese slices (tranchetes in Spanish)
- Compared to what happens in our stores, the youghourt section is really small. There are not much variety.
- You will find little birds in «pinchos», or duck heads and fingers to eat. This is not that strange, here in Spain we eat «callos», «pies de cerdo», etc.