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On Getting {Culture} Shocked, Part Dos

For Culture Shock, Part Uno - click here.

Today I consumed entirely too much liquid in too short amount of time, and needed desperately to relieve myself. TMI, I know, I know, but there's a point to this - bear with me!

I was out in public and began to locate the nearest restroom, simultaneously reaching into my purse for a wad of TP because we never take TP for granted over here when using a public restroom. Puts a whole new meaning to the idea of small luxuries, amirite? 

Anyway, I finally see the sign directing me to the ladies' room, take a deep breath and hold it - then, I walk in briskly, kick open a stall door with might, and am met with with the very unsightly and much dreaded presence of ... a squatty toilet. Now, I know that there are benefits to squatty toilets {not quite sure what they are, but there must be a few}, and I've also seen my fair share of squatty toilets that come with all the fancy bells and whistles {sometimes, literally} but... IMHO, there's just a certain amount of shame that comes with literally having to pop a squat, to pop a squat.


when faced with a squatty toilet...

This is way, way, WAY too much information for a Tuesday morning, and I'm really sorry. It's just that when you're abroad, it kind of dawns on you that it's really incredible how different even our most basic practices are. We all use the loo. But, how? We all eat. But, what? We all go out to have fun and participate in social events. But, where? So on and so forth.

In smaller doses, these are a few other things that I've found shocking about the Chinese culture:


common beauty products found in Asia whiten and brighten

COMPLEXION \\ the standard of beauty over here is - the paler, whiter, "milkier" your skin is, the more beautiful you are. Basically, you're in the clear if you resemble a ghost. Once, I saw an infomercial for a cleanser that would whiten your skin and apparently it's a huge hit in America ... I call BS, you infomerciallers - clearly, you haven't done your research properly or you'd know that all we Americans need for a boost of pretty is a good bake in the Cabo oven. 

DRINKING WATER \\ in California, we are truly blessed to be able to drink tap water - this much, I've now realized and am thanking the heavens for every single day. Over here, when you are offered "water," you are given hot water or hot tea. Cold, plain water is a novelty. Forget iced water altogether. And you never, ever, ever drink water from the tap without boiling it first. Gotta get rid of the sick and nasties.


Water? Here you go.

TELEVISION \\ the Western concept of a TV show is an episode a week for a few months until the season ends, and then we wait for the next season to come on. It's very consistent. In Asian countries, TV refers more to "TV series," which is more like a drawn out movie. They only air a show when it's completely done filming, and then there are 2-3 episodes per night for a few weeks until the show is over. It's more cohesive. Rarely is there more than one "season."

Honestly, because I'm the worst when it comes to surprises and not knowing the end to things, I prefer the Asian way of television. I think it's why I'm not really a fan of TV shows that are currently filming/playing on TV - I mostly watch them when they've been off the air for a couple of years. Hellooooo, Brothers & Sisters! I think this is also why Pretty Little Liars gives me so much anxiety.

COMMERCIALS \\ on a similar note, commercials are also VERY different. USA = consistent commercials throughout an episode, and cheesus, I hate it so much when they cut to commercial right after a cliffhanger. China = at most, only one commercial (usually none) during the episode, but right when it ends and is about to go into another episode, they play a repeating infomercial for a straight 20+ minutes. Or, they'll have the same 2-3 commercials play for half an hour. I disapprove of both these countries' options. I like Netflix.

NO MEANS NO \\ or does it? In China, it's customary for you to say "no" even when you mean "yes," especially when it comes to accepting gifts or treats from others. It goes something like no! No, seriously! Seriously, no! No, stop. No, really, I don't need this. No, no! OK, fine, I'll take it, but you really shouldn't have. Don't do it next time! Seriously, don't!


...aaaaaand, thank you Jen.


Tomorrow is my last full day in Nanjing -
I'm half dreading it, and half willing it to show up faster.
Later, gators!

12 comments

  1. Your posts are always so fun to read!

    http://www.sincerelyval.com

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  2. Ha, that gif of Jen is fabulous! Love this!
    xo TJ

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  3. Damn that water part is crazy, I would die without easy access to regular water. I have a friend who just got a job out there and he says it's VERRY different!

    x
    Liz
    Indulgera Blog

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  4. hehehe i love this! i agree with a lot of things.. but honestly i prefer being as fair as possible hehe :) i think it's just a personal preference! :)

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  5. Ok. ALL of these made me laugh out loud! Even you're little "amirite?"

    xo Lisa
    Making Life's Lemons

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  6. Wow funny I thought everyone wanted to be tan!

    Ali of Dressing Ken

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  7. hah...this post made me smile!! =D
    xo,
    nancy

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  8. You are hilarious! We love reading your recaps of your time away. We think we'd have a hard time with the squatty toilets too. HAHA!

    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

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  9. Very interesting! That last one - so confusing?!! And the TV schedules, now I would have a terrible time trying to adjust to that!

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  10. I lived in Malaysia for several years, and I can relate to a lot of this. Especially the bathroom situation! :P I do prefer the TV method where you don't have to be in suspense for months while waiting for the next season. I can't really watch current American TV at all.

    The Random Writings of Rachel

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  11. So true about saying "No" when someone gives you a gift! My mom ALWAYS does that!
    xoxo

    www.cakeandcouture.com

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thank you!

xx Caroline