For some reason, I decided to start my acquaintance with Asia with China . Why from him? First, I decided that you need to start with something big (such a huge country for the knowledge of a European!). And secondly, it so happened that I was able to establish contacts with nice people from the south of China and they invited me to visit to exchange experience with Chinese colleagues. Thus, I spent a whole month in China, learning about this amazing country.
My destination was to be the city of Guangzhou , in the south of the country, known as the capital of industry and business, as well as the city with the fastest population growth (at the moment it has more than 20 million people). This and much more I wanted to see firsthand. And two weeks after the fateful decision, I left my favorite cats to dear relatives, agreed at work to perform projects on-line at a distance and went to get acquainted with the distant world.
As a matter of fact, my adventures found me at the airport, when the valiant workers of my beloved Boryspil forgot to load my luggage on the plane. It didn’t arrive in Hong Kong until the next day, battered and considerably lighter than I’d packed it at home. Upon closer inspection, it turned out that someone’s deft hand pulled out of it a gorilka and lard, which I was carrying as a gift to my new Chinese friends. That’s how symbolically I broke away from Ukrainian dishes and approached Chinese cuisine.
On the very first day, I got the three main impressions of China that I had throughout the month: “Wow, how much space”, “Wow, how many people” and “Oh, Gods, how delicious” (and, no less epic, although more unexpected: “Damn, Google is blocked here and terrible traffic”). How the Chinese, with such a large population, manage to build such spacious buildings and wide roads remains a mystery to me. But thanks to this, you do not leave the feeling of freedom and looseness. There is so much space that between the two highway lines you can meet a third-pedestrian. And two-and three-story transport interchanges are given out by the graphics from some cool movie that are brought to life.
And here are the conclusions, or rather, what results I have summed up from what I learned about this incredible country during my month there.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF CHINA.
The basic life principle of the Chinese is to wait and endure. Personally, I have not seen a single person here who would complain about life or blame others for their troubles. The Chinese are convinced that you need to really want something, you need to do something for this, and eventually you will get a result. And if something goes wrong, it means that it is simply not yet time for what you want to come true. We must wait.
HABITS AND MORES.
China is developing at a furious pace – money is pouring into this country so quickly that residents of large cities simply do not have time to spend it (for example, in Shanghai, every hundredth is a millionaire). Unfortunately, the level of culture is growing much more slowly. Here it is still considered the norm to throw garbage out of the window, and even whole garbage bags fly from the balconies of high-rise buildings. The Chinese are used to urinating wherever they have to (although comfortable and free toilets are built at every step for this purpose), spitting, vomiting, and so on – all this is normal for them. For the last three points in public transport, even special buckets are installed.
VISUAL APPEARANCE.
I used to think that the Chinese outside were divided into two types: Jackie Chan and non-Jackie Chan. But after two days, I learned to distinguish all the variety of Chinese faces. By the way, I was told that they do not distinguish too much between the facial features of Europeans, so we all look the same to them, “handsome”, as they say. The paler the skin , the better. Local women do not do hair removal at all. They believe that they do not need it, because they have so little hair on their body. They also do not pluck the eyebrows, which can grow even on the eyelids – because they can not stand the pain! Therefore, quite a pretty Chinese girl, very much even can shock you with a slight raise of the hand, where thick black “braids” are visible from under the armpits. As for the manicure-pedicure, here the situation is even more fun. Usually, beauty salons recruit everyone in a row, guided by the principle: there are hands-you will learn how to do it in the process. No one has ever heard of disinfection of tools (unless it is an expensive European-style salon), the same tools calmly fall out right on the floor, are taken from the floor to serve you and return to the same floor.
HYGIENE IN CHINA.
From the above, it becomes clear that this word means almost nothing to the Chinese. They are washed at best once every two days, but at the same time, it is worth admitting, there is no smell from them at all. I was very surprised. Also, the locals do not like to wash their hands too much. It is not surprising that chopsticks were invented in order to provide at least some hygiene, because during a meal it is generally not customary to help yourself with your hands.
HEALTHY LIFESTYLE.
With this approach, it is striking that the Chinese are very concerned about their health. If you show a Chinese dish and say that it is very useful – he immediately rushes to eat it. In fact, their cuisine is one of the healthiest in the world: overly spicy food kills all possible bacteria and even (as scientists recently proved) cancer cells. There is no fat and overcooked, but there are a lot of greens, salads, mushrooms and dietary meat.
Another interesting point about droppers. If a Chinese person has a cold, he puts on an IV. If he drinks too much, he puts on an IV. Local doctors use a miracle saline solution that washes out all sorts of filth from the blood and the next day, after a maximum of two, the person is healthy and does not cough. Perhaps the method is a bit drastic, but what if there are actually no weekends and sick days here and you need to work?
Traditional Chinese medicine – treatment with herbs and tinctures. The appointment of such a doctor is even more expensive than the one who graduated from universities and offers a medical alternative.
NUTRITION.
The Chinese eat a lot. Sometimes it seems that the whole day they only do what they eat. And in any catering service, their feast means a table completely covered with all possible dishes. But there is a certain trick: a classic Chinese meal – a lot of greens and salads and only one or two dishes of meat or fish. Thus, it is almost impossible to overeat and harm the body. No mayonnaise and ketchup these wise people do not use in principle! Only natural peanut butter, natural soy sauce, lots of garlic and pepper . There are no fried dishes in the traditional sense of the word: everything is prepared in pots, on the grill, on hot baking sheets . As a result of such a diet – adult Chinese women do not have cellulite at all.
What other arguments are needed? I must admit, this is the most delicious cuisine I have ever had to eat. The combination of flavors is so unique that you can eat dessert, drink soup, eat the main course and still be delicious, nutritious and healthy. Anyone who ever visits China, I would recommend to try the fish in orange sauce and imperial eggs cooked in Sichuan. You can swallow your tongue!
CLOTHES.
With a huge selection of clothes and shoes, from which any of our fashionistas would faint with joy, Chinese women dress for the most part absolutely tasteless. Shoes are mostly worn with crocs, flip-flops or something in a mesh. All through frequent and prolonged downpours that can ruin most clothes and shoes. Therefore, the locals do not attach much importance to these material things – the main thing is that it is convenient. In general, most of the Chinese frankly do not care about their appearance. On the streets of southern Guangzhou, you can often see people walking around in pajamas and slippers, men in women’s hats with flowers, women dressed in such incredible combinations of colors and styles that you can only wonder.