Cultural observations

You rarely see a fat Chinese person.  I think this is because they do not eat a lot of processed food – their diet consists of mainly meat, vegetables, rice and noodles.  They are not big dairy eaters and dessert at most restaurants is usually fruit.  They also eat most of the animal or fish, parts that most westerners would not.

You don’t often see a balding Chinese man.  I wonder what it is about their genes that allow them to keep a full head of hair into old age.  If you could bottle that, it would make millions!  The beautiful straight dark hair seems to stay that way into old age too – I have not seen many grey haired ladies (perhaps they all dye it!)

The airline rules don’t appear to apply to Chinese.  It doesn’t matter if we are taxi-ing or just landed – they will get up, use the toilet, open the over-head bins.  The seatbelt sign is obviously just for amusement.

Queueing is an alien concept.  You just barge as quickly as possible to the front.  So, you don’t have to let people off an elevator first, before getting in – regardless of how many people are trying to get out.

Personal space is much more limited than most Westerners would like.  I think that because there are so many people here, you just get used to sharing less space.  It has taken me a while to get used to people walking so close to me (and each other) and just general crowding.  The only time I really object is when you hear the horrible noise of a Chinese person clearing their throat getting ready to spit.  I know that different beliefs and customs in a culture should be tolerated – but I really cannot stand that.

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