10 Things I Hate About China Posted by sasha on Oct 8, 2014 in Uncategorized
Have you ever seen that 90’s movie “10 Things I Hate About You”? It’s been a while since I’ve watched it, but it came up in conversation the other day and led to a discussion of “10 Things I Hate About China.” Having lived here for many years, I definitely have a love/hate relationship with the Middle Kingdom. This is natural – people love and hate things about where they live no matter where that may be. For those of you who may be pondering a move to China, I’m going to share with you ten things that I both hate and love about China. We may as well start with the bad and work our way up to the good, so here goes nothing:
1. Being a Zoo Animal
Many foreigners arrive in China and are surprised to find people constantly taking their photo (whether they agreed or not), yelling “Ha-lo!” in their face, pointing, and staring. When I first came to China I thought this was quite funny, and I’d humor people by flashing the peace sign (it’s actually “V for Victory” here, because they win?) and waving back with my own very brutal version of their common greeting (“Knee-how!”). After five years, though, I’m sick of being a zoo animal. No bumpkin from the middle of nowhere China on their holiday in the big city is ever going to stop and ask me how long I’ve been in China or try to make any small talk for that matter. Hell, half of the fun for many Chinese people visiting big cities is to see the silly foreigners and try to sneakily take cell phone pictures of them. I always wondered how Chinese people traveling abroad would feel if I did the same thing to them in my country, so one time I did. We found a huge tour group of Chinese folks in New York City, doing their usual routine of wearing matching hats and following a flag, when I yelled to my Girlfriend… “Look! Look! Chinese people! There are Chinese people!” We pointed and giggled and then awkwardly ran away, as they do to us on a daily basis. Something tells me they didn’t like it very much, but I can guarantee they’ll do the same thing the next time they see a foreigner in China.
2. You Will Always Be “Lao Wai”
A humorous look at the word “lao wai.”
This goes hand in hand with the point above. “Lao Wai” (老外 – lǎo wài) means “foreigner” in Chinese, but it’s not exactly the nicest way to say it. Plus, when someone randomly walking by you on the street, points at you and yells “Foreigner!”, you’re not going to have the best reaction regardless of what word they use. I’ve been called “lao wai” so many times in China that I like to joke around and tell people it’s my Chinese name sometimes. The word doesn’t bother me as much as it does other foreigners here, but after five years of constantly having it shouted at me, I’m fed up. It doesn’t matter how long you stay in China – you will always be “lao wai.” You can speak Chinese fluently, practice tai chi, prepare a mean plate of dumplings, and write Tang Dynasty era poetry in water calligraphy, but if you don’t look like them, you’ll still just be “lao wai.” Perhaps this is the reason that even though I’ve been in China for five years on and off, I refuse to make a long-term commitment here. I don’t study Chinese as much as I should, I don’t go out looking to meet Chinese friends as much as I should, and I don’t try to integrate myself in the culture as much as I should. This is most likely due to the fact that I know, no matter how hard I try, I’ll still just be another “lao wai.”
3. The Internet
An intro to the Great Firewall of China.
It’s no secret that China has a tight grip on the Internet. Commonly referred to as “The Great Firewall of China” and perhaps more impressive than the original, this drives both foreigners and Chinese crazy. At least there are Chinese versions of many of the sites that are blocked – WeChat is Twitter, Ren Ren is Facebook, Youku is YouTube, Baidu is Google, and so on. That’s great for Chinese people and all, but none of my family or friends in the States use any of those sites. If you’re hoping to keep up with people on Facebook, write a blog, use GMail, or post videos on YouTube, make sure you buy a good VPN before you arrive in China. There’s so much more to my hatred of the Chinese Internet than just a few blocked websites, though. Foreign websites that aren’t blocked load incredibly slow. Speaking of slow, get used to the turtle’s pace of your connection here. The worst aspect of the Internet here to me is without a doubt the insane amount of energy and resources that the Chinese government pumps into this whole operation. There are millions of people employed as “Internet police” around the country, spending their days censoring WeChat posts and blocking sensitive content. There are far more pressing matters in this country that deserve at least a fraction of the attention that policing the Internet gets. For more on Internet censorship in China, check this post from a few months ago.
4. Public Toilets
There are few things worse in life than being out and about in China and suddenly needing to go running for the nearest bathroom. With all that oily and spicy food, it happens quite often – especially to those fresh off the boat. Upon entering a guy’s public bathroom in China, you’ll be greeted by a few dudes squatting over holes in the ground with no doors in sight, usually smoking and yelling into a cell phone while they do their business. Hopefully you brought your own TP and hand sanitizer, because you sure as hell won’t find any of that here. While these things grossed me out beyond belief when I first arrived here, I’ll admit that I’m used to the squatty-potty and don’t really mind it at all. I also make sure to always carry tissues and a bottle of hand sanitizer, just in case. What I’ll never get used to, though, is the gut-wrenching stench that seems to permeate every public restroom in the country. Personally, I can’t take China seriously as a world power until they at least figure out how to somewhat mask the horrendous odor pouring out of every single one of their bathrooms. While we’re at it, some doors on the stalls would be nice.
5. Degradation of Traditional Culture
Maybe I had some romantic idea of China before I came here, that it would be pandas running around doing kung fu while old men with awesome fu man chu mustaches sat around smoking long pipes and women wore their colorful traditional clothes, but I have found it harder and harder to find ancient Chinese culture. Sure, much of it was purposefully destroyed in the Cultural Revolution, but Chairman Mao didn’t open all of these Starbucks and KFCs. Nor did he tear down traditional neighborhoods in favor of hideous shopping malls. Much of China is in such a rush to modernize that they willfully abandon their unique culture of over 5,000 years. In another millennium, I doubt anybody will be listening to the Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga songs that China goes crazy for now, but I’m sure that ancient Chinese music will still be sought out. That is, if it manages to survive. On a recent trip to Lijiang, I attended the Naxi ancient music concert – a full on orchestra playing traditional music from hundreds of years ago. Many of the group members are over 80 years old, and they had to bury their instruments during the Cultural Revolution to save them from destruction. What endangers this music today is not the Red Army, rather it is the army of domestic tourists who would rather take selfies in a bar blaring awful pop and techno than see this traditional show. It’s not that you can’t find real Chinese culture out there; just head to a local park and get your fill. What bugs me is the willingness to destroy it in favor of shopping mall and fast food culture. If I wanted to see that stuff, I’d have stayed in America.
6. Lack of Hygiene/Manners
Another big shocker to people who first visit China is what goes on in public places all over the country. People spit all over the place, and men seem to have no qualms with blowing a giant snot-rocket on the sidewalk. Littering is just another part of life here, as people throw bottles, cigarette butts and other assorted garbage everywhere but in a trash can. This isn’t just true in the city, though – go on any hike in China and you’re sure to find piles of garbage scattered amongst the trees. “Leave no trace” is not a policy here whatsoever. There’s also no such thing as a line in China, as people push and shove their way to the front whether it’s to get on the subway or buy vegetables. Perhaps most shocking of all to newcomers here are the children going to the bathroom just about everywhere. I get it – diapers are expensive and wasteful – but that doesn’t make it OK for you to allow your child to make a poo-poo on a newspaper on the airplane. At first I thought the split-pants were kind of cute, but now I just get grossed out when I accidentally step in a puddle because I realize it’s probably urine.
7. Drinking Culture
I love throwing back a few cold ones with friends, so you’d think I’d get into going out and drinking with Chinese guys. That’s not the case at all. Chinese drinking culture is painful, and that’s coming from a guy with 50% Russian blood, another 20 or so Irish, and a graduate of a Big Ten party school. There’s no such thing as casually having a few beers while chatting with your pals here in China. Instead, it’s glass after glass of rocket fuel (AKA Chinese bai jiu) and constant calls of “Bottoms up!” The Chinese word for “cheers” (干 – gān bēi) literally means “dry glass,” and they will accept nothing less. When drinking in China, it seems to be black-out or get out. It’s not just that, though – Chinese beer and liquor are absolutely horrendous.
8. Simple Daily Tasks Take Forever
Any time I need to go to the bank in China, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach. This is because I already know that at least two hours of my day will be wasted. Ditto for registering with the police, setting up the Internet, or any other mundane task that you would think should be quick and painless. It doesn’t help that most people take a 2 1/2-hour lunch break plus nap in the middle of the day. At my old place in Beijing, this was the insanely tedious process of registering:
• 1. Go to the basement and fill out a form in English.
• 2. Take said form to the office. Fill out another form with their help in Chinese.
• 3. Bring the form that’s in Chinese to another basement and have a lady stamp it.
• 4. Take everything to the local copy shop and make copies of it all.
• 5. Go to the police station, give them everything, and wait.
If stamp lady is out on her break, or the police are sleeping, you just have to come back the next day. This is merely one example, but I won’t bore you with any more.
9. Public “Holidays”
“Chinese Long For a Different Kind of Holiday”
For public holidays in China, the government likes to make people think that they’re getting a long holiday. As such, people will work extra days before and/or after the holiday in order to extend it a few days. During a recent Spring Festival, many people worked nine days in a row so they could have seven off, and they worked an extra day the week after the “holiday.” As a result, you’ve got millions of stressed out, tired people all trying to travel at the same time. It is complete chaos in bus and train stations, on the freeways, and in airports all over the country. People pay more for tickets and hotels during the holiday week, fight through massive crowds, and return home more exhausted than when they left. That’s why I’ve been doing absolutely nothing this National Holiday week and loving it. If you’re going to work in China, be prepared to deal with these absurd “holiday” schedules.
10. Chinese Tour Groups
“How to Survive a Chinese Tour Group.”
Speaking of traveling, there’s probably nothing I hate more in China than organized tours. After a horrible experience on a packaged tour from Shanghai that visited Suzhou and Hangzhou, I learned my lesson. A majority of the day was spent crammed on a bus, although we did make plenty of stops – a silk factory, a massive shopping complex, and an awful, overpriced restaurant were all on the day’s itinerary. We didn’t see much of interest at all, but thankfully I was with a few friends who decided to make the best out of a bad situation. Regardless, I vowed to never waste my time or money on a Chinese tour group again. That was until I got conned into them again… twice. This is the part about Chinese tour groups that really grinds my gears – their willingness to lie and rip each other off (you’ll rarely find foreigners on these things). If you found that you’d been suckered onto a tour bus, lied to, and cheated, you’d probably be pretty upset, right? Well, for the Chinese patrons joining us on the tour, they just sat back and took it. Although I heard them complaining amongst themselves, they wouldn’t dare speak up and voice their grievances. This just isn’t part of Chinese culture, which very much values the group and not losing face. I don’t care about face, though, so I let these “tour guides” have it with my mediocre Chinese abilities. Hey, at least I know how to swear in Chinese… Should you ever be propositioned to join a Chinese tour group, run as fast as you can. Otherwise, you’re guaranteed to spend a day sitting on a bus, seeing nothing but tacky “workshops” and knick-knack shops. Learn from my mistakes, and don’t let this happen to you.
With that off my chest, I’m excited to get to work on writing about the things I love about China. While this post may give the impression that I’m a miserable, jaded expat living here, there are far more things I love about this country than the few that I hate. In fact, it took me much longer to compile the list of ten things I hate than it did the things that I love.
Update: This post has received many comments over the years, some positive and many quite negative. As the writer, I must remind people to please read the entire post, as well as the follow up – “10 Things I Love About China.” Through the comments, it’s clear to me that many people didn’t even read the entire post, let alone the follow-up. Once again, I had an amazing six years in China and the good most definitely outweighed the bad. This post was meant to give a clear picture for aspiring expats of what it’s like living in China – the good, the bad, and the ugly. I could just as easily write a list for my home country, and also for Indonesia, where I spent the last year.
Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.
老外.. the chinese call foreigners lao wai not just in China.. Even being in Europe ( chinese exchange students ) call us ” foreigners “–
@Nadir harouche You’re not the only one, stop trying to be cool just because you’re Asian or something stupid like that, WHO CARES.
@Nadir harouche China-born Chinese are not nice people. They are very judgmental and treat people according to skin color and nationality. If they think you are Chinese, they will jump on you and try to get something out of you or they will be extra nice since you are one of ‘them’. When you show that you are not one of ‘them’, they are rude and racist/nationalist. They are just fucking inconsistent and ugly.
@h Hey! This sounds like a bit racist to me -_-#
@Retr0 he is telling the truth
@Nadir harouche Married to a Chinese man and regretting it so much!
I loved the history and colours of China but thank goodness I don’t have to put up with the foul smells and constant shouting that Chinese people seem to engage in. They shout into their mobile phones, they shout across the table in restaurants, they shout even when 2 feet away from each other. And that habit is exported to the West. Can’t stand it. No awareness of and consideration for other people’s personal space. Would I visit China again? Yes, when maybe in another 15 years when their manners and habits have improved. Or maybe earlier wearing thick eat muffs on.
Thank you for this article!
I am currently living in Beijing and I’m about 3 months into a 10 month stay as I teach ESL at an primary school for the school year. I am from Dallas, TX.
I was a TV producer for 12 years before I became a teacher and still have many friends in media. Your story is interesting to me; I’m sure you have many stories to tell.
I look forward to more of your articles. Thanks for making me feel understood just for a moment!
– Stacey P.
@Stacey P what if i tell you reality of chinese university and there abuse on student …. can we talk and would you help me..
You should also hate china because of their animal cruelty…
@Ashli Devi Hi, I am a Chinese exchange student in Canada now, but the reason that I am not agree with you is not only because I am a Chinese visa student, but also that I want you guys can see the problem objectively. When I first saw this artical, I think this is ture, it is exactly what happened in China sometimes, but! Why do you guys can only seiz the disadvantages as a excuse to slander my country? First of all, everything in the world all have dual character, China did has some drawbacks, but how come you guys cannot see the positive things happened in my country? Furthermore，doesn’t the occidental country do not have any terrible things? In your country, the racism problem are serious, does that show your people have good manner?!! As a foreigner in Canada, I know what’s the bad thing in Canada, but at least I can analyze it objectively than you guys. If you guys do not like China, it’s fine, no one cares, but you do not authority to criticize my country in such a prejudiced way. The last thing I want to tell you is that there are really a lot of misunderstandings among two countries, the word: Lao Wai is just an example.
@Jack Jack – First of all, you clearly didn’t read all of the post, or the follow up. I also wrote 10 Things I Love About China. Thanks for your comment, though. I hope you will take time to read the follow up and realize I actually love China and had a great experience there. There are bad things about every country, including my own! I could write you a long list of things I hate about the US!
Great blog! I haven’t been to China yet but a friend is teaching in a port city Guangdong and I’ve been working up the courage to go and visit. I laughed right out loud at your tour bus section because of a weird one that my friend got roped into going on (at the insistence of the parents of one of her students, or something). It was to visit a place bizarrely named (in English) Chicken Island. She had been assured they would be able to swim and/or observe a reef or exotic fish, but swimming was mysteriously not possible and instead they were shepherded into a gift shop. She began objecting in (I’m guessing) defective but pithy Cantonese operator relented and marched everyone up and down the beach for about half an hour before leaving and stopping for barbecue elsewhere. She described the bus as smelling like a giant diaper.
@James B Thanks for the funny story, James! I don’t know if you saw it, but there’s an accompanying article called “10 Things I Love About China.” It can be a weird and frustrating place at times, but the good definitely outweighs the bad, and you just gotta remember not to get on that tour bus!
Sorry, there were a few words that got left out…”a port city IN Guangdong.” “The tour operator relented.”
There are things Chinese need to improve but sometimes the bad sides are caused because there are too many people in China. It is easy to control the manners of people if it is a small population country. But because China is a big country with lots of people, it is very hard to control every person’s movement.
I loved reading this list and have found most of it to be true (with the exception of #1 & #2, which I haven’t personally experienced because I’m of Chinese descent). About the tour bus though, it’s really interesting because I actually took a similar tour in Shanghai to SuZhou and HangZhou in 2012. Aside from the dirty tour bus and the general nasty habits of many Chinese people, I actually really enjoyed some of the sites. It’s true that those tours are designed to get people to buy things though (I’m sure that the tour companies and those local shops have some sort of deal signed). My sister fell into the trap when she went on one with her friend and bought really expensive tea leaves (which I think might be genuine decent leaves but we never end up consuming them because we’re not big tea drinkers). I also have a friend who spend over ¥10,000 on silk quilt on one of those tours..
@Ann I’m a China-born Chinese. I marry to a European guy. I understand the problems listed here. It’s not easy, and foreigners don’t have much experience, only expectations, so it’s not so strange to see you and others are quite upset.
We have a lot to make our country better for sure. Telling others about your uneasy experience will help them get more prepared and give them better chance to enjoy a bit more their trip to China. But to be honest, it doesn’t help China improve the situation.
To make Chinese consider a foreigner as one of them, the foreigner has to contribute to the society regularly, get more involved in the community activities, the same as in the US. It has little to do with how many years one stays and lives in the country, nor with how well one can speak and read and write in Chinese, or even argue correctly in this language.
@Aube Very good points. Thanks for your comment! No matter where you live, as a foreigner it is always a bit tricky to get accepted and to become more involved in the local community. But yes you are right, people in China are definitely more accepting of a “lao wai” who they see as being an active part in the community.
I couldn’t agree more. I was working in the library for around three hours just now. With my paid VPN on and off continuously for the need to switch from google to local sites, and for better speed in non-censored site, and finally when i was using the local e-mail with the vpn on, the file was not uploaded properly(due to the VPN),when Im back home and trying to continue with the work, i found the files were not attached to the mail. It is due in part to my negligence, but the fact that had there not been this firewall, i would not have such thing happen at all, I start again to hate this stupid and selfish Chinese government. GO TO HELL, YOU IDIOTS!!!
@David you must be don’t understand China.
@Jaden Zhang As a foreigner to your country, I just want to say you are not better than any of the Chinese at all!!! Do you even have the basic polite? You just act like a buffoon!
@Jack What a loser you are, in China, you are just air, nobody cares about you at all. Go back to your stupid country, your are a yelling dog
Саша，like your article. Really interesting, thank you for sharing your opinion.
Uhmmm…I think you meant Weibo and not WeChat that is being heavily censored and being China’s equivalence of Twitter.
@iChinadian You’re right… I’m just so used to WeChat these days. None of my friends/students/colleagues here ever talk about Weibo anymore. Everyone is doing everything on WeChat!
I was born and raised in NYC and as an Asian American living in Taishan, Guangzhou for months now, I have to agree with most of what you say. Since I look Chinese, I don’t get your looks of novelty, but I’m not a fluent Chinese speaker and as soon as I start speaking some English, people would become closed off to me. For some reason, women are especially rude about this and act as if I’m a traitor and would not talk to me in a respectful manner (if at all). Also, I live in a pretty decent apartment in what is considered an “old country” village type of environment and sanitation is definitely not a priority! It was and still am a culture shock how some filthy some parts are. Also, a big complaint of mine you might not have experienced is the lack of pedestrian sidewalks, at least where I live, b/c they’ve been overtaken by motorbikes or have none at all. And very few crosswalks have street lights so I feel like I’m risking my life just crossing the street! Ok, I guess that’s my rant and needless to say, I’m eager to get back to a New York asap.
@Nance Thanks for the comment, Nanace! I know it’s rough for Asian Americans here, too. One of my good friends was born in China but grew up in America. She speaks fluent Chinese and her grandparents still live here, but people always refused to believe she was Chinese! You’re right about how China is also not great for walking. I gave up on that and ride an e-bike or cycle everywhere I go!
Grrr please delete my previous correction. I’m writing this on a iPad mini and since I bought a google chrome laptop with me here, it’s useless because China is at war with Google apparently.
Only ten? I think comparatively speaking China is one of the worst places you can live whether you are a foreigner or not. I mean you have one of the worst governments in the world and the poor are treated like trash whilst the rich are worshiped. They are more racist than you can imagine, if you are white they love you (and it disgusts me how much attention I got). If you are yellow, depends on how much money you got. Any other color and you are out of luck, they especially hate arabic and black’s, I dunno why but they are extremely xenophobic of these races.
Another thing is that the foreigners who do go to china fall into one of two categories; the under qualified lazy ESL teachers or the old expats who have a family/commitments. There are very few young professionals, so it kinda sucks for people like me. That is on top of all the issues you mentioned which all hold true. It’s far too crowded of a country and they have a poor quality of life that’s why they all want to move out. The only ones who told me they didn’t are the ones who are lying to themselves because they’ll never get the chance and the ones who the government have brainwashed into thinking it’s the best country on the face of the earth.
It’s a shame because the old china and cultural heritage they have is extremely good unfortunately what you are seeing nowadays is a shell of a country after chairman Mao and his party of animals had his way with it. Of course you aren’t going to get many people admitting to that inside of the great PRC.
@John Thanks for sharing, John. I can see where you’re coming from and understand a lot of your frustrations with China and the people here, but I can’t agree completely. As a teacher who works hard to ensure my students not only gain confidence to speak English, but also learn about other cultures and how to be open to other people, I disagree that all foreigners are either lazy ESL teachers or old expats. I have friends here who are: professional musicians, tour guides, restaurant owners, and chefs, and others who work for NGOs or even the US government. And these are all people under 30. There are plenty of slacker English teachers here (hell, I was one for my first year!), but to group all foreigners here under the age of 50 into that category is just ignorant and wrong.
I’m a Chinese but graduated from Missouri University.
I lost my job for not lying to my client in San Diego and now I came back. I’m really having a hard time trying to blend in.
People here are good at spitting on the street, yelling and smoking in restaurants.
Everyday in my own country is a torture to me!!!
I will find ways to get the hell out of here!!!
Thank you, guys!!!
I’ve got three years of experience in China.
For me it’s the callous disregard for employees. You’re disposable and your company strives to let you know this. You’re in a constant state of disempowerment.
During any given contract I’ve watched no less than 4 employees leave (Chinese and foreign) – one contract 12 in total left due to one boss, who is still there.
A bad boss in China is a cartoon character of a human being.
I hate chiness people. They live like savages. They anoye animals very much and enjoy it. I like behavior them like thire threatment with animals. Boiling in water alive. And frying them alive. I hate them. Hate very much. I like people of the word see my massege.
Couldn’t agree more …
Ｉ am living many years in China and one of the less “foreigeners” here who is living a “real” chinese-like live. With that I mean I didn’t come here to work for a foreign company or into an invironment where foreigeners are not that unusual. I went the hard way. I was in China first for visit and do some “abroad-experiance”. I stayed and am stayin in a city which is in chinese propotion a village. Not planned I stayed here and opened a company. I don’t have any foreign friend because here are practicly none of them.
I hate this country … but not based on the isolation I am in.
Nearly everything what is happening here is in our foreigener eyes (ok, still depend where your roots are though :)) is just wrong and strange and excruciating. Especially in case as a “foreign” company here. The people have an unbelieveable education deficit, are primitiv, discusting, disturbed, sellfish, dirty and have not even a little sense of ethics. There are not loyal, but liers, cheaters (especially in their partnerships) unfriendly, and fake people.
I hate the fact that in “our” countries the picture of china is totally fake! I came here the first time because I read and saw (in media) so much good thing about China – and was therefore very interesting in the culture and this country. But reality is even not close to the picture most people have. I put it to my personal task to show the reality of China and open it to the “public”. Their faked news and propaganda which is going out to the world is disturbing if one know the real truth. Economicly it is allready one (if not the) most important country in the world. But let them interact and come closer to our cultures and countries is just wrong!! The foreign governments should treat China same like the Chinese government treat them (unfortunatelly not known by out countries yet). We gave them to much power and if we don’t stop immediately we will get the consequences. I just hope they will not destroy the world (serious but with a smile)
I would really like (not alone) tell the world the truth about the devil we let in!
I must say that all these things are interesting.i really loved china and i felt that i should volunteer there in any district with any organisation. To experience a kind of love which i just got via media.china looks so beautiful on the outside but since people are like that,i think i should keep my hands to my pockets! are all asians bad? Something must be wrong somewhere!!!!!
Not all of this is true…
I agree with some of it, but I’ve never even heard of 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, or 9. This is kind of offensive to chinese people. (I’m not chinese, but I’ve been to china several times.)
@Karyna Hopper Are you sure you’ve been to China several times? I really find a hard time believing that if you’ve never had groups randomly take your photo or call you lao wai. And you clearly didn’t drink with Chinese people or try to do something like go to a bank. A Google search on Chinese holidays will also quickly prove #9 to be true. Today is National Day and people worked last weekend to “earn” their extended holiday.
They eat dogs , what more reasons should we know to hate damn chinese.
@Bhumik kewlani bro, fewer people are doing that, especially the younger city people.
either way, just because a number of them do eat dogs, that doesn’t mean the whole nation and the overseas chinese eat dogs too
Wow! This article is so accurate! Everything is so true and well I can tell you that it’s even worse if you choose to live in a smaller city. Let’s say daliang. Don’t get me wrong my girlfriend is Chinese and even she dislikes their habits! I think the most disturbing aspect of the Chinese is that they don’t want to change. They claim they want to open the doors to the west but they don’t even want to speak English. They have a “huge” need for English but I don’t see it in their behavior. How will you open the doors to the west of you cannot speak English? And most importantly…if you’re by no means willing to learn English? Their sanitation is non existent and they don’t take care of themselves. And they assume you will know Chinese when they’ll talk to you. But I still believe they have some values we have lost in the west. Like the way they treat relationships and their sense of family. But the next generation will not be like this and well things in relationships and family are bound to get worse.
hue nan quy chain kane:
I hate chinese!
Everything you said is very accurate! I’m Chinese-American and yet people in China still stare at my brother and I like we are zoo animals as well. Some of the service industry workers (waiters, cabbies, etc) have admitted that they stare because it’s so strange to hear “a foreign language come out of a Chinese face”. I was also appalled at how rude many people are, as I grew up in NY with the stereotype that all Asians are meek and mind their manners as to not stir up trouble.
Lastly, there’s one thing left off this list: the overwhelming amount of boasting/spending among China’s new wealthy class.
In the Philippines, there are so many Chinese people. Even the universities and most of the shops in malls are dominated by Chinese people. I really don’t hate all Chinese, but seeing some of them acting arrogant around Filipinos who are lower than them based on the economic status is so unfair. I mean, they are living in a foreign country, they should respect the natural inhabitants of that land.
I’m a Malaysian Chinese. Although I never been to China, I don’t like China chinese. I met a lot of China Chinese in Malaysia since I work as a freelancer. They don’t have manners at all. Yes they are rich, but they are not educated. English is the international language, of course all the brochures that I distribute is in English. When I was promoting for Bosch home appliances, which are imported from Germany and Polland, a China man, came to enquire about it. He questioned me whether the products that I was promoting are from China. He argued with me when I said no. He even threw the brochure to me when he found out it doesn’t have any single chinese word in the brochure. He shouted at me that he could’t read English. I’m wondering how these people get rich without basic education and manners.
I’m a Chinese myself though English educated and I must say that I am disgraced by the citizens of China. Although not all of them are bad, there are still a lot of uneducated China people.
1. Taking my chili sauce without asking for permission.
2. One lady snatched my drink off my hand and drank it and acted like as if nothing happened (though we agreed that she was crazy).
3. Jumping queue and acting like as if nothing happened and pretending not to listen like as if I was not there.
4. Entering a shop and they expect you to buy something and if not, they will close the shutters or so (which thankfully didn’t happen to me because it happened to one of my sister’s friends).
5. Not being mean or stereotyping or so but some or most of their food cannot be trusted and lucky for me, I didn’t catch cardboard pieces in my food.
The list goes on but I will not bore anyone.
Chinese are absolutely unbelievable! They make lie anything. They betray anyone. They are so selfish!!!! They don’t care cheating and they do anything whatever they get!!! I just can’t imagine why they can be like that!!!
As a national Chinese…I have no words to reply or refute….Well,not all the people in China are rude,to be honest I also do not like people who cheat and lied.But you must clear that the person who have no chance to be educated is the suffer too.
China Chinese gives Chinese people a bad reputaion. Because of them, everyone assumed all Chinese people eat dogs and copies everything.
Okay…Maybe your opion is correct.But not all Chinese are selfish and ungenrous.I am a Chinese, people around me are friendly and kind,also they are clever enough to deal with things in their life.You may think Chinese are just rich,and they own little knowledge.But it is not right,students in China are very clever,and they like to show their idea about the politics and the environment.Due to the government of China,you can not know what our real wills are.Even we are not allowed to browse Google and Facebook.So these are not our fault,you have just saw a superficial China.
There are way more than 10 things I hate about China. Tok ling of a list to enumerate here but one of he most disgusting things I saw there happened in a grocery store of sortsright outside of Shanghai, I assumed it was modern and “western” … it smelled horrible, appeared really dirty items haphazzardly stacked, etc… anyway, in one of the aisles, a Chinese woman with child of about 2 or 3 was squatting next to her child, pulled off his pants and had his take a big dump right there in the middle of the aisle. I was temporarily tok shocked to move and she yelled somerhing at me in Chinese. Totally disgusting.
But the grossest thing. Do yourself a favor. Google “china” and “gutter oil” after watching that bbc report, I dare you to eat anything there.
And if you’re still blase about china, google “chunese fake foods for export” . They literally mix in plastic and non edible items into food and export it as food.
rong de hao:
so true you know I’m chinese well techniclly hk I just think that china has alot of problems like putting a “cheep” mall just for “modernising china is just crap you know. ps you know chinese lie about their traffic reports just fake because they all say china has 5,000 accidents yearly when it should be around 1-2 million try adding that to your website
3. Rude drivers who would sooner run over a pregnant woman than slow down
4. LOUD people, usually men, who think the whole world is dying to hear what they’re saying.
5. Rarely monitor their children in public; allow them to do all sorts of inappropriate things
6. Pushing ahead in line
7. Saying, “Ting bu dong” reflexively when you say something in Chinese — and say it correctly.
8. Somehow can’t manage to pee INTO a urinal
9. Leaving windows open during the winter or on hot days when the AC’s running
10. Violation of others’ personal space
11. Chinese tour groups
12. Chinese on planes
13. Leaving the Smoking Room door open
Spot on, from 1 to 10. Nothing more to add.
There’s lots of problem with China but that’s okay. America has lots of problems as well. And don’t forget how much China have developed over the last 3 decades while America had a much much longer time to develop. These are all the negative impacts that comes with advancing in such a short period of time. You should be more tolerant as you came from a very open-minded country. And if you don’t like it just leave. STOP HATING. No offense to you but it’s kind of pathetic to complain about being a “Lao Wai” you’re obviously not an Asian guy. Be more tolerant towards other countries how do you expect them to accept you when you don’t even accept their value and culture.
@Alice I never said there are no problems with America. In fact, I could just as easily come up with a list of things I hate about my home country. I’m assuming you didn’t see the follow up post, so please go read 10 Things I Love About China and maybe you won’t be so angry anymore 🙂
When chinese people end up in a fist fight, nobody will get involved. Simply because it’s just a private matter between two individuals. But if a chinese person and a foreigner end up in a fight over anything, even if the foreigner is simply defending himself against a wallet thief. Other hinese nearby will always side with whoever the chinese is. They will assume the foreigner is wrong. A foreigner in a fist fight with a chinese, other locals will jump in to attack the foreigner. No matter how long you live in China, this compromise will always be there.
This is one of the aingle most important things every foreigner ahould know before they even come to China.
Also, living in society as a foreign immigrant. In society, people won’t accept you. You may make the odd friend, however most people you meet will only take you out to dinner once in a while. With their other chinese friends, they may associate with them very often. Bit with you, locals will usually keep their interaction with you very very limited. You will face social segregation. And you can’t break free of it. The vast majority of interaction with locals is when you are teaching English.
Also, the vast undercurrent of activity in society is something you can’t be a part of. You’d look weird if you tried. There will always be that social berlin wall between you and the rest of society.
Whichever neighborhood you live in as well as certain places in a city you go to regularly. People watch you and they take mental notes of your every move. You are watched suspiciously. People wait for you to do so,ething wrong ao they can talk about it. It’s like being Jim Carrey in the Truman Show. Everyone watches you. It makes them feel powerful.
Chinese people have a superiority complex. Like their DNA is somehow superior to that of western DNA. Like they’re a super race. They think they are Optimus Prime on steroids. Their national pride is based on the us vs them pretense.
These facts as I mentioned is something every foreigner who is thinking about going to China, or any asian country for that matter should know about. And no matter how long you stay there, these facts in your life will never change. Anyone who is thinking about going to China for their first time is not ready to go until they know these things I mentioned and they need to think about these things before they come as well.
Simply put. If you cannot handle racially motivated segregation, racially motivated stereotypes, racially motivated policies, racially motivated social,limitations which society will proudly impose on you, Asia is not the place for you to be.
The Chinese…the most cruel nation on the face of the planet as far as animals are concerned. Anyone who has ever watched footage by organisations such as PETA will know that they are involved in the most vile and debased forms of animal cruelty. Boycott anything Chinese and tell your friends and family to do likewise. Don’t buy their rubbish…don’t support their rubbish economy.
Good write up and definitely recognizable in many aspects!
For me the most annoying aspects are as follows:
– Noise. No matter or when, there is always noise and loud too. Ranging from people screaming at each other to construction going on at the most ungodly of times. Build quality of apartments is poor to plain crap, I can hear every street noise living at the 29th floor, including ear shatteringly loud horns.
– Dirt. It’s everywhere, from rotting garbage to human waste. People cleaning out poeltry guts in public? Yep.
– Lack of respect. For personal space, decency (queue jumping), rules, humanity.
– Quality and service. Doesn’t exist. Chinese products are crap and come with fall-apart-soon warranty only. As soon as vendors get your cash you’re on your own. Handymen: don’t bother. DIY is golden (and often frowned upon by locals).
– Internet. It’s not even the censorship, but mostly its instability and slow loading of anything outside China. Late 90’s relive as I see images build up on my screen in true 56k modem like fashion.
Is there anything I like about China? Yes:
– Language. I love the sound of proper Mandarin Chinese.
– Women (excuse the shallowness).
– Rich culture and history (despite the fact very little of that seems to be left these days, or so it seems).
– Amusing and unusual stuff you can buy and nowhere else, not to mention the blatant dismissal of copyright (“the right to copy” as it’s defined here in China).
Not all is bad, but it’s obvious to me most that is, is a product of poor or no education and upbringing. People simply don’t know any better.
Hopefully China’s more flexible attitude towards letting Chinese to roam the world outside China will help to educate the less educated, but it will take time, a long time.
Although the 10 points stated in this blog are largely true, most commenters reacted in a supprisingly emotional way. Let me explain the reasons behind of a few points.
1, crowded. China is a populous country with majority of its population concentrate on one third of its territory. So, that is just reality. Deal with it.
2, lack of privacy. Usually people live in density have a closer personal distance and value privacy less. People in East Asia, South East Asia and South Asia generally are less concerned with this matter.In old days before mid 1800s, Japanese even bathed in any public bathroom with the presence of the opposite sex naked bathing too. Because westerns called this custom “barbaric”, the Japanese government offically banned it.
3, Hygiene. Hygiene is correlated to the level of economic development. The hygien condition currently is much worse in India with dungs all over obscure streets of cities, just as once was China dacades ago. India has as many years to catch up with China in hygien as China to catch up with western developed countries.
4,manners. American-Born-Chinese commenting in this thread should be aware that the quiet-unmanly-weak-soft Asian sterotype is merely a myth created by US media that have been universally racist for generations. Deep down we Chinese are American, too believing that his country is the no 1 on the face of the earth. Please google “American tourists”, you will find “rude, loud, arrogant” are exactly the same words used to decribe Amercians. In 1970s, the title of the world worst tourists was crowned on Japanese. Chinese tourists will improve their manners with time and acsending living standards just as Japanese did, both oversea and domestically.
I utterly hate the Chinese people. They decimate rare and endangered species such as elephants and rhino because of their ridiculous medicines that don’t work. They decimate the oceans fish populations. They burn dogs alive and then eat them in a ‘fun’ annual tradition. They fill our air with far more toxins than any other country. The Chinese are single handedly killing this planet. Hideous, vile nation. I hope an earthquake swallows the entirety of the nation and spares this world an early death.
Well…i have other things to point out…
1) The Chinese have no manners in them
2) Either they are overfriendly(for their benefits or they are not at all friendly ..well i experienced the latar
3) They do not respect their elders and especially wen it comes to their in laws..(well .speaking from personal experience)
4) The Chinese say that foreigners trouble if they go to foreign land..( my sister in law’s family members brain washed her saying that they will trouble u don’t go with ir husband)..why did she marry a foreigner then?
WARNING TO ALL FOREIGNERS OUT THERE : if a random Chinese is being friendly either they want a pic with u or they want to marry u or sleep with and want a foreign baby with BIG EYES
As an exchange from China, should I ask, here is America? I think it is Mars sometimes. I saw a ad. in youtube called chinaownus. Really? First, Chinese isn’t China, maybe China own American but not Chinese; Second, as I know, China government lent tens of millions dollars to America ANNULLY! Yeah chinese do have a lot of manners and something bad, but same thing happens in America. I saw people throw the garbage out of the window; I saw someone mean to others; I saw the goverment allow people smoke drugs and lost their jobs. Yeah, there are some chinese feel surprised about foreigners shows up in China. In World War 2, China lost a lot of land and money. We give the money to Europe country and America even we win the war. Chinese are famous for modest. After war we think our country isn’t good, so no foreigners will come. When we saw foreigners, we feel surprised and proud of that: we are not that bad, there still some foreigners want to visit. We are not come to big city and laught at ‘fool’ foreigners. If any foreigners need help, we will glad to help them because we feel proud! Some of you might not believe it but that’s ok. It is just the difference of culture. Yes, Chinese still need to do a lot to improve ourselves, but never think about China is a bad country! At least I can tell you we are friendly and kind. Anytime you visit China, you are always welcome! Hope you will understand and say, China is a great country just like America! THX
@Jack Thanks for the comment. I hope you saw the other post where I talked about all of the things I love about China!
I am currently living in Qingdao and find your article really accurate. I have experienced 1, 3, and 6 almost on a daily basis. I haven’t yet seen any kids doing poo in the street, but did see a little kid running and jumping around McDonald’s the other day with no pants on. I don’t really want to see a little boy’s willy when I am there to order a Big Mac. What bothers me is how the parent’s do not seem to care. Another big issue I am having is the stench in the apartment bathroom drains. Makes me want to vomit sometimes.
I’m Turk and been living in china over 10 years.I see the similarity between Chinese and Turks everyday.Turks and Chinese look like each other a lot may be bra us of Turk originated from between China and Mongolia.Some of the Turkish words are common with Chinese, Turk exactly spit like Chinese, Turk point at people rudely, Turks smoke like Chinese, also those toilets you see it’s not Chinese, people call those toilets ” Turkish style toilet ” in the word, Turks don’t care about rules, they break always cut lines and fight etc. Turks are the lost brothers of Chinese.You can believe it if you take a trip to Turkey.
This article is so true. The only point I disagree is that people come into work late and take naps. I lived there when I was a teenager and took a summer job. I worked six days a week. School was also six days a week. These people work really, really hard.
But it really bugs me the way they push and grab you when you are in line or so many people are packed on a bus, your whole body is literally squished by others. And, I saw men rubbing themselves against girls on pubic transportation all the time.
The streets are so dirty and the bathrooms are so gross. I would not go to the bathroom at school unless I really, really had to and would hold till I got home.
They also don’t help strangers. Even if you get mugged in public, people would just look away.
Also, don’t be fooled. They may want to take photos with you, because they had never seen White folks in real life, but they really don’t like White people – white ghost. They like Blacks, Indians and other darker Asians (Vietnamese, Filipinos, Thai, etc.) even less. They don’t want to harm them in any way – no KKK here, they may even be so sweet and nice to them on the outside, but they really don’t like them on the inside. And yes, even if you are married into the family you will always be the outsider.
Well Done. My sincere congratulations for your post.
I been living on China for 3 years and I feel like this article was written down straight from my mind.
Everything is absolutely true. I have nothing else to add but to confirm this 10 points by my own experience. I have lived in Nanjing, Nanchang, and Haikou
I have been in Lhasa (Tibet), Chongqing, Chengdu, Beijing, Tianjin, Huangshan, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Sanya, (All cities in Hainan province), Guilin, Wuhan, Xiamen, and maybe im forgeting some other destinations.
Thumbs up for the good work.
Well, calm down guys. Try to enjoy the goodness from its bad sides, be more open minded and less judgement, life would be easier and more beautiful.
Ruan Gong Ying Jun:
You can almost substitute the article title with any other countries’ name. I think the only smart comment here is from Moriady. All the other comments are ignorant and pure hatred. Yes I have experienced most of the said things. However, I don’t judge Zhongguo from a Westerner’s eye. Most of those disliked behaviours are from peasants or bad people. And there are peasants, lowly educated and bad people in all cultures. As Zhongguo opens up and Zhongguo people travel abroad their attitudes and behaviours will also change. In short, I have more love for Zhongguo. I travel there several times a year. I intend to travel to all over Zhongguo for many years to come.
@Ruan Gong Ying Jun @Ruan Gong Ying Jun . Everyone writing their own experience. So please don’t take it personal and it does not mean only bad things happening there. The title of the blog is to be aware of what is the bad we can expect when we travel to that place. There are bad things when we travel to Turkey, India, Pakistan, East Europe, even Australia and USA too. We cannot write only what you think we should write. Take it easy. End of day all we only same Human beings and the same earth.