Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Signs You Like in an Expat Encave

And here we have yet another LLW repost, you can see the original (And the multitude of comments) here....enjoy!

"You know how every major city in the West has a China town? Well, I live in the opposite of that"

Yes, I hate to say it, but I am a resident of one of the many laowai ghettos that exist in the major cities all around China. Whenever my family or friends from home ask me about where I am living, I often have to answer with the above statement.

While I make many efforts to go and explore "Real China" as often as I can, I notice far too often that my friends and colleagues appear to be completely ignorant of their surroundings, and consider going to Starbucks to order their double-mocha-latte-something-or-other in English to be a genuine part of their Chinese experience. To assist these people (or anyone else in their situation) I have devised a surefire 25 point checklist to tell if you are not living in a section of "Real" China.

You might be in an Expat Enclave if:

  1. You give your fork back to get chopsticks

  2. You have no place to sate your craving for squid, starfish, or scorpion

  3. You have no desire to take a picture of any of the signs

  4. You have heard it pronounced “Nee Hey-oh”

  5. The Budweiser costs the same as Tsingtao

  6. There are more ads for Chinese Language schools than English ones

  7. Those Nike shoes, are actually Nike shoes

  8. The parks have 5 soccer games going on but only 1 Tai Chi group

  9. You start to ask Chinese people to take their picture

  10. You enjoy the coffee

  11. The toilets are inside the buildings

  12. You ask someone where the nearest bus stop is and they hail a taxi

  13. A sport other than ping-pong is playing on the TV (exception: Houston Rockets games)

  14. You get less than 5 strangers staring at you when you walk down the street (double if you have blonde hair and/or black skin)

  15. It's safe to cross the street

  16. You start to wonder where everyone is spitting, since it's clearly not on the sidewalk

  17. You wonder the same for using the toilet

  18. The pirated DVDs work

  19. You hear “I'll just have a pee jew” said a to a waiter on more than one occasion

  20. The locals can speak more than one European language

  21. There are multiple restaurants that sell good Western food (or Indian, or Thai, or....)

  22. The “No Smoking” Signs are frequently posted and adhered to

  23. The babies are only showing one pair of their cheeks

  24. Everybody knows your name

  25. None of the above seems strange to you

So if much of the above list applies to you, please, do yourself a favour and branch out, because you're probably missing out on a heck of a lot of this great country.

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