1. Supermarket trips are crazy on a whole other level.
Forget about your boring Sunday morning pootle around Tesco’s, shopping for your weekly groceries in China is more like a trip to the zoo. Frogs, turtles, eels, you name it, you can eat it.
2. It is not uncommon to see people napping in public places in the middle of the day.
The Chinese love to sleep and you will see them doing so pretty much everywhere. On mopeds, benches, in IKEA… The list goes on.
3. The transport is not only terrifying but bizarre.
Be prepared to watch whole families of four or five zip past you on the same moped and expect to see no helmets! Bikes are a great way of transporting literally anything in China; keep your eyes peeled for those heading to the market with bags of live eels and chickens. Anything is possible if you have a moped!
4. Being given hot water to drink regardless of how hot is outside.
So this is a thing. It is commonly believed in China that hot water is healthier than cold water. If you’re queasy, have some hot water. Thirsty? Have some hot water. Headache? Have some hot water. In China, there appears to be no ailment this steaming liquid can’t solve.
5. China’s ‘Dancing Grannies’.
It sounds too crazy to be true. As dusk falls, hoards of women take to public squares to dance the night away. Usually equipped with a boom box, the (generally older) ladies perform choreographed routines to traditional Chinese music in order to stay fit. How thrifty.
6. McDonalds delivery service!
Fancy a McDonalds breakfast or a taro pie after a long night singing in KTV? No problem! McDonalds delivery service has both a Chinese and English speaking line and delivers 24/7. Who said dreams don’t come true?
7. Everything about Chinese New Year is mental.
Prepare to witness the largest human migration in the world. In 2017, a staggering three billion trips were predicted to take place over the Chinese New Year period. Watch cities transform into ghost towns and familiarise yourself with the sounds of firecrackers, they will be all you hear for the next few weeks!
8. Being asked ‘Have you eaten?’
A strange question which people seem to ask in order to assess your wellbeing. Even if you say no, they won’t offer you any food. For more on Chinese conversation and what to expect, brush up on your etiquette before visiting!
9. Hilarious translations.
These signs are the gifts that just keep on giving. Whether it is confusing instructions that seem to make no sense or t-shirts with inappropriate slogans, the entertainment is endless. Check out this post by the Telegraph for a good laugh.
10. People wearing pyjamas out and about in broad daylight.
In the West, pyjamas are exclusively an indoor garment. You might take out the bins in your pjs but that is about it. Not in China. Sleepwear is a hugely popular trend which is not limited to: dog walking, grocery shopping, moped riding and street cleaning. Well, they do say that comfort fuels efficiency…maybe they’re on to something!