It’s almost inevitable that at least some stereotypes might cloud your judgement when first meeting someone from another country. However, part of the magic of a cross-cultural friendship is that each person gets an intimate understanding of a once remote culture. Here are the 11 things you’ll learn when your best friend is Chinese.
Hot Water is a Necessity
It’s not uncommon to see a Chinese person clinging to their hot thermos in winter or asking for hot water at a restaurant – but there’s a reason for this. Chinese people drink hot water not only out of preference, but also because they believe it’s good for their health.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
They Know Their Food
What dish is a must-try? Which restaurant is the best in your neighborhood? If you can’t decide what to get on a Chinese menu, just ask your friend for advice. Many Chinese people are born foodies.
Chinese Dishes Rule
Many people have friends from other cultures who are totally happy eating dishes from a variety of cultural cuisines. However, many Chinese believe they are born with a Chinese stomach, and they simply must eat a Chinese dish at least once a month, if not once a week. If they live in a place where it’s not easy to find good and affordable Chinese restaurants, they’ll likely learn to cook themselves.
Chinese People Don’t Eat Everything
There are many news reports about the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, and some have heard that the Chinese eat lots of bizarre things. But the Dog Meat Festival is as controversial across China as it is in the rest of the world. Also, not all Chinese eat insects, either.
Chinese People Aren’t Better at Math Than You
Seriously, if you ask a Chinese friend who didn’t major in mathematics to solve a simple math problem, prepare to receive a big eye roll. Chinese people run the gamut just like anyone else. They aren’t great at any one subject just because they’re Chinese.
They Might be Shy at First
Before they know a Chinese person well, many believe that the Chinese are generally shy and polite, that they don’t talk much, and they often wear a serious expression. After you get to know them, though, you might wonder where that shy person went who you once knew. Chinese people tend to be slow to warm up, especially when they’re in a situation where they aren’t speaking their native language. They might fear they won’t to fit in.
They’ll Translate Your Name Into Chinese
It’s quite tricky to choose a Chinese name because you can theoretically use any Chinese character plus various naming patterns that only a native Chinese person would know. If you have a Chinese friend, he or she will not only find the perfect characters in accordance with your English name, but they can also blend in their knowledge of the Chinese poetry.
Don’t Trust Natives To Teach You Chinese
Although many Chinese people are masters at their language, some can be quite mischievous (in a good way) with their foreign friends, and they might teach them weird or wrong translations. It’s just their sense of humor.
It’s Not a Party Without Baijiu
As much love as the Chinese have for beer and red wine, they also believe it’s not a proper party without proper Baijiu. This liquor is distilled from sorghum and rice and is generally about 50% alcohol by volume. Be sure to finish your drink completely if someone proposes a toast with Baijiu (the cup is quite small, as the Baijiu is super strong).
Stickers are a Must-Learn Online Language
Chinese people use WeChat for most texting conversations. Once you’ve downloaded the app, it’s just a matter of time until you learn how much the young Chinese crowd use funny meme stickers to communicate. The characters featured include cartoon figures, animals, celebrities, and even politicians.
“Hai Nei Cun Zhi Ji, Tian Ya Ruo Bi Lin” means “A bosom friend afar brings a distant land near.” This verse is from Tang poet Wang Bo’s (649 – 676 C.E.) poem Farewell to Vice – Prefect Du Setting Out for his Official Post in Shu, which he wrote for his friend Du as he was leaving Chang’an for Sichuan Province to take office. The verse is famous in China, and many Chinese strongly believe the sentiment.
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