You know you've been in China too long when...
1- A few shots of maotai don't even give you a buzz.
2- You're at an expensive western restaurant and don't even notice the guy at the next table yelling into his cell phone
3- A June 2000 Great Wall Cabernet (mixed with Sprite) is your vintage of choice
4- You think of 'salad' as diced apples in mayonnaise
5- When someone says 'snack', you think: salted cuttlefish.
6- You don't recognise a bowl of chicken soup unless there's feet and a head in it.
7- You only drink beer from one litre bottles.
8- You invite friends for dinner and serve 1,000 year old eggs as an appetiser.
9- You crave salt...all the time.
10- You feel awkward using a knife and fork.
11- You think pork belongs as a flavouring in all foods.
12- Your favourite pizza toppings are corn and shrimp.
When travelling by Plane...
1- You always are first to retrieve all your carry-on luggage from the overhead bins between landing and arrival at the gate.
2- You think 3 separate security checks in an airport is acceptable.
3- You have carry on luggage made from red, white and blue nylon sheeting.
4- You sprint frantically from the tarmac to the aeroplane to ensure you get a seat.
1- you get your haircut on the sidewalk.
2- You leave the 'Garbano' designer label conspicuously on the jacket sleeve.
3- You like those Frankenstein shoes on women.
4- You don't bother to take the sticker off the lenses of your fake Ray-Bans.
5- You enjoy wearing flip flops on all occasions.
6- In the summer, you roll the legs of your pants up to your knees whenever you sit down.
7- (men) And you roll your shirt up to your nipples.
8- You wear a suit when you dig ditches or do home repairs.
9- You have a purse and you are male.
1- You enjoy karaoke.
2- You walk backwards in the park listening to a transistor radio.
3-The China Daily is your source for hard hitting, fast breaking, investigative journalism.
4- You have grown used to the picture quality of pirated VCDs.
5- Badminton and ping pong are your main forms of exercise.
6- You watch 'xiaqi' (Chinese chess) on TV religiously.
7- You find yourself "getting back to nature" in a park that contains nothing but concrete and a giant revolutionary statue.
1- You smoke in crowded elevators.
2- All white people look the same to you.
3- You like the smell of the bus.
4- Open spaces make you nervous.
5- You find state-employed retail staff helpful, knowledgeable and friendly.
6- People with bright white teeth look frightening to you.
7- You no longer need tissues to blow your nose.
8- Other foreigners seem foreign to you.
9- You find yourself exiting a major highway...on your bike.
In the WC...
1- You find western toilets uncomfortable.
2- You throw your used toilet paper in the basket (as a courtesy to the next person).
3-Those footprints on the toilet are yours.
1- You go to the hospital at the first signs of a cold.
2- You think that the heavy air actually contains valuable nutrients that you need to stay healthy.
3- Any discomfort causes you to think there might be something wrong with your 'Qi'.
4- You don't notice your gastrointestinal problems anymore.
5- Your body no longer accepts dairy products.
1- You draw characters on your hand to make yourself understood.
2- You ask people in what animal year they were born.
3- You measure distances in 'Li'.
4- You think you speak Chinese fluently.
1- Squatting becomes your favourite position, anytime, anywhere.
2- The last time you visited your mother you presented her with your business card.
3- Your handshake is weakening by the day.
4- You think a 30 year old woman who carries a Hello Kitty lunch box is cute.
5- You would never think of entering your house without first removing your shoes.
You think your nose IS kind of big.
1- You have paid enough rent to buy a moderate-sized North American or European town.
11- In a crowd or a queue, you learnt to stay away from frail-looking old ladies carrying umbrellas.
21- It's OK to throw rubbish, including old fridges, from your 18th-floor window.
31- You actually purchased a canto-pop CD.
41- Drilling on the walls in the wee small hours in the morning is considered acceptable behaviour.
51- You bulldoze your way into lifts and MTR trains before other passengers have a chance to alight.
Asia Journal Index
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P H O T O G R A P H Y
all images © 1995-2001 Paul W.H. Kan
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