Facebook Status Update

In honor of Facebook, which has been blocked during our time in China, here are a few things that I have come to like, dislike, and am undecided about while in the great country of China….Facebook-style.

Mari has become a fan of….
1) Hostels in China – Contrary to popular and belief and all expectations, every hostel (and even cheap hotel) has been awesome. Surprisingly clean, as well as backpacker-friendly (with free wifi, book exchange, café/bar, free train/bus station pick-up, the works!)
2) Blue sky – never realized how much I love seeing blue, until going three weeks without (mostly due to smog and pollution as opposed to weather)
3) Street food – ‘nuff said
4) Signage in what has become known as “Chinglish”. Quite amusing. Here are a few examples: “Deformed Man Toilet” = Restroom for the disabled; “Slip carefully” = Watch your step; “Don’t stroke the works” = Do not touch.
5) Personal space – Not that I have ever NOT been a fan, but after spending any amount of time in lines/buses/malls/streets/etc. or having the lady next to me on the train put her nylon-clad feet all up on my legs and alternate that with using me as a backrest, I am all for personal space.

Mari has become NOT a fan of…
1) Spitting – especially in confined indoor spaces OR when point of contact is on or near my shoe
2) Long nails – Particularly long fingernails on men, and long toenails on women (this is not exclusive to China…just a general pet peeve of mine)
3) Macaque monkeys – see future blog on this subject
4) Censorship – I had almost forgotten some of the rights we have at home that get taken for granted. In addition to blocked websites, such as Facebook and YouTube, there are quite a few other websites that are not allowed/censored, but you only find out after waiting and waiting while it fails to load. Also, one of our fellow travelers gave us a copy of a banned book about China, but we have to hide the cover when reading in public places.

Mari has yet to make up her mind about….
1) Sleeper trains – entirely dependent upon one’s cabin mates and length of journey
2) Crotchless pants for tots – Not the cutest look, but functional.
3) The “half shirt” look – Men have no qualms about rolling up their shirts to expose the belly (and I have yet to see a six-pack). More power to them, I guess. It is hot, after all. But if they can, why can’t I??
4) Hot pot – so good, but soooo hot. Worth it?
5) Stairs (never had anything against them before, but they are everywhere….after climbing thousands of stairs, seeing them makes me cringe).

Posted: September 20th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: China | Tags: , , , | No Comments »