What surprised me in China

I lived one month in China, near Dalian(in the Kingdom of Discovery Theme Park, 40min by train  from Dalian).

I’ve witnessed  a lot of stuff that surprised me, amused me, disgusted or scared me.

These are the top things that I remember:

  1. The Chinese are absolutely crazy about white people. This is the main reason that 90% of the Kingdom of Discovery’s entertainers are white – to attract Chinese people. And it works perfectly. I  was asked lots of times by the locals to take a picture with them. And I am not that good looking 🙂  .  The usual formula you’ll hear is “Can I make a take a picture with you?“.  Very, very funny :))).  This can happen anywhere … on the beach, on the street, in a restaurant. It makes you feel good about yourself.
  2. The road infrastructure is impressing. Even the smallest cities are linked by highways… Good roads,  but the driving is absolutely crazy.  At one point we took a cab between two cities and that guy some how thought that we were in a hurry … We thought we were going to die. There is no driving conduit … everyone is driving with any speed on any lane … on the highway … There are no rules.  It’s really scary.
  3. In China  you have motorcycles as taxis. This is probably the most scary stuff I saw.  20years old motorcycles, most of them with no lights or any signaling, and nobody is wearing a helmet. And you can see them on the highway, day or night. Many of the friends I made there  had at least one motorcycle accident. The motorcycle taxi fare is half compared to a car taxi and they can carry up to 3people with luggage besides the driver, so they are popular.    For a car taxi, the price is 4Yuans per  kilometer.  The minimum cab fare is 12Yuans( that’s 3km).
  4. You will see many funny English signs. They have a lot of written signs and welcome messages also translated into English. Most of the times the translation is wrong. One of the funniest translation I saw was at the entrance of Kingdom of Discovery. There is big sign there that says:  “WELCOME TO HERE”.
  5. I had my first Starbucks coffee in QuaiFaChu . Relatively small , non-touristic city. I payed for a coffee 37Yuans, that’s 3.7Euros.  This is more than the minimum salary for a day’s work in China(normal people make 2-3Euros a day).
  6. So many malls.  There are malls just everywhere. In Dalian, all the center of the city has a big mall underneath, like 3-4 floors in the ground, that connects to all the malls in the area, that have 7-8 floors. You need more than a week to visit every mall.  There are 3-4types of malls/stores: First are the malls with the original big brands, that have European prices. Second are the malls with smaller brands, that have more accessible prices.  Third are the malls/stores with fake brands, that have written “No bargaining“. These are the malls that usually have good and very good prices for stuff. And last, there are the malls that have no prices listed and you have to ask the seller for the price. These are the “bargaining malls“. Read more about shopping in Dalian.
  7. Chinese people are scared of water.  I think about 99% of them can’t swim.  Almost everyone enters the water with a swim belt.

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