Lots of people keep saying “It can’t all be so great-you are only describing the wonderful things and leaving out the bad things” and I admit that I have a tendency to do that,being an optimistic person(though not according to Mr Piglet). So here goes with the things that can be taxing,trying or downright disgusting in China.
Of course the first one everyone is thinking about is toilets.Yes I know you all envision horrid holes in the ground and so forth. Now for me this has been a real eye-opener. I mean yes they are all squats,and no you don’t get toilet paper and towels.But actually I have found the squats to be frequently a lot cleaner than public toilets back home and frankly now I am used to it and go everywhere with tissues and wipes in my bag it really is not an issue. Plus,public toilets are in abundance in China unlike the West,and they are mostly cleaned on a regular basis. Compare that to France (5* hotel with crappy facilities out back) or our beloved Tahana Merkazit in Tel Aviv.
People fall asleep all over the place -just about anywhere
Spitting and other weird public “waste disposal”-okay I admit this one still grosses me out.I mean it’s not even so much the spitting but more the accompanying hoicking noise which I really hate. also little kids peeing in public I find a bit harder to take.
Pavements- (or for my US readers “sidewalks”) tend to be disastrous in China. I don’t know why they insist on having the guidelines for the blind down the middle of the pavement when I have yet to see a single blind person walking down the sidewalk using it to navigate.It is just bizarre.
Shoddy building and plumbing- buildings have no insulation and therefore get too hot and too cold,and frequently have an unfinished feel to them.The plumbing doesn’t work and of course the tap water is undrinkable,and here in Xiamen has a weird colour. Of course all these things have solutions,but this seems to be something that is hard to fix in China. I am not sure why.
Fireworks- well this doesn’t really bother me but some people find it hard to take,things going bang at all hours of the day and night especially Saturday morning 7am.
Language- well of course being a foreigner here and not being able to read anything or make yourself understood is a serious drawback.It can sometimes be frustrating, difficult and really annoying to feel like an illiterate idiot.But I can hardly blame China for that one,right?
Overcrowding and pushing- well again here there are SO many people it is really not the fault of the Chinese that there are so many of them and they are trying to fix this problem.
But the upshot of it is that when you go to get on the bus or train there tend to be a lot of other people there doing the same thing,not to mention at festivals and holidays when travelling is really not recommended.
Weird foods- well of course for me one of the attractions of travelling is trying weird foods. But in China some of them just don’t appeal to me- in fact breakfast here sucks in my humble opinion. Eating chicken feet,stinky tofu or durian fruit just don’t do it for me.
I am sure there are many other things that would bother others here,for me those are the main things.Hope this has enlightened and made you realize that i am not turning into a brainwashed Commie or anything. Stay tuned for the New Years’ Eve bash.
Weird sign on Gulangyu ferry boat -not entirely sure what they mean!