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You know you have been an expat. in China for too long when . . . .

– you have a collection of umbrellas.

– you give a beggar a handful of fen and he gives them back.

– you tell people you don’t understand when they speak so they write it down for you, in Chinese.

when you visit home to see your family you have difficulty sleeping because it’s too quiet.

– at a restaurant you actually put some thought into which live snake you want cooked for your meal.

– you drink warm sodas and find them refreshing.

– you believe absolutely everything that can possibly be eaten is in some way good for your health.

– you forget that vegetable soup is actually pesticide broth.

– you begin to like fruit salad and mayonnaise.

– you love doufu because there’s nothing to spit out and it doesn’t have any taste.

– you comment that the pollution today “isn’t really that bad……..”

– you start wearing a face mask on windy days, and wonder at the “silly foreigners” who don’t do the same.

– you no longer use articles when you speak.

– you know words in Chinese for which you don’t know the translation in English.

– you reply “So is mine” when people say their English is poor.

– you telephone home and your family tell you to speak faster and stop correcting their grammar.

– you use expressions such as : “I very like . . ”

– your boss thinks you’re a stupid foreigner if you let him cheat you, but thinks you’re a bad foreigner if you don’t.

– your boss speaks really good English until you ask for more money.

– you have no qualms that someone who thinks you’re stupid and gullible has total control over your life.

– you bargain with the grocer over the cost of a lettuce.

– you see nothing wrong with standing on a white stripe in the middle of a highway while cars whiz past you at 90kph.

– you buy a movie that hasn’t been released yet at home.

– you complain about the price differences of DVDs/VCDs/CDs bought in the stores and those sold on the streets.

– you point out foreigners to your Chinese friends.

– you answer “China” when people ask where you’re from.

– you burp, fart, and scratch so much even your Chinese friends get embarrassed.

– you eat cake with chopsticks.

– you ask “Into what?” when people say China is developing.

– you hold hands with others of the same sex and think nothing of it.

– you avoid touching those of the opposite sex as if they have bird flu.

– you’ve got a pre-paid ticket with a reserved seat on a train, but you still run like mad to get there first.

– everyone wants to be your friend – all you have to do is teach them English for free.

– your Chinese lessons consist of 50 words your teacher wants to know in English.

– you too think that the ugliest western man always has a beautiful Chinese girlfriend.

– the more you listen to the news, the more uninformed you are.

– it fascinates you that when the national news is on, your forty TV channels magically become the same channel.

– only five minutes of preparation time for an unannounced class no longer fazes you.

– you believe you’re here to teach English.

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3 Responses

  1. How about:
    – You believe that playing basketball will make you taller.
    – When driving you will slow down for a dog, but not a person.
    – You now find it rude to ask for special preparation (ie: lettuce on your filet-o-fish) at McDonald’s.
    – You believe that driving with the headlights off saves gas.
    – You believe that drinking anything cold while sick will induce immediate death.

  2. Great list, but why did you have to bring up the pesticide broth?

  3. […] on Saturday, 2 August 2008 by 克莱夫 Here, on the Seven Castles blogsite, is list similar to one posted on some time ago on this blog but more comprehensive with 130 criteria to sort out whether or not […]

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