Life of a Dutchie

It's all about me, what I'm doing, where I'm going, what I'm thinking, what I shouldn't be thinking…


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Most street artists I see here are disabled in some way. Too bad that on average they aren’t that good…

Did I already tell you about the security checks at the subway stations? It’s like at the airport: you have to put your bags through the scanner. Well, officially… At least half of the people just walk by. In the beginning I nodded friendly to the security guard and walked through, now I find myself walking by without even looking at them. It must be an awful job when you have to tell people to put their bags in the scanner all day long, while most of them just simply ignore you.

I got my first red envelop here, for Chinese New Year. It contained a coupon for vegetables, a card for an internet shop (I got an oven and a rice cooker for that, so thank you!) and a coupon for 2 pairs of (long) underwear, one for him and one for her.

Any food experts around? Why is it that when I ate a rice meal in the Netherlands I was hungry again in no time and I really needed cheese and pasta for the proper energy, while when I eat Chinese here, three meals a day are almost enough (depends on when I can make dinner, sometimes need a snack when it gets late) without getting the feeling of being low on energy?

I cannot inquire information here in any way nor do anything around here without someone telling my professor. Maybe that’s why he rather has me living around campus instead of in the center of the city. He already twice said something about me not doing anything illegal when I live on my own, because they cannot help me then. Like I was planning on starting a weed farm there?!

I shouldn’t have said anything about the lack of fat Chinese people, since then I’ve seen several who really need to lose some weight. Maybe they’re not truly obese, but for sure you don’t want them sitting next to you in the bus!

Speaking of the bus, took one to the hospital today. It was my first time in a Chinese bus that wasn’t the university bus. The next stop was even announced in English as well (at least on the screen), making travelling really possible for everybody. The only thing you really need to prepare well is the name of the line, since not all busses have numbers, only a Chinese name. The same goes for the list of stops, they’re only in Chinese, although the name of the bus stop itself is also depicted in English. If you come a bit prepared, it’s very easy, just like it is at home (only cheaper). Just like the subways the busses go very regularly (although less often), but not really according to a timetable.

The most used tool in China is duct tape.

Chinese logic: watering the road when it just rained. It makes more sense to wash your car while it rains – which I’ve seen the next day.

Did you know the one-child policy in China isn’t even that strict? Well, if you work for the government in one way or another it is, you can easily lose your job then. But when you have your own company for instance, you can have a second child, as long as you pay a large fine.

Sommige mensen lijken wel het onderste uit hun keel te willen schrapen om het vervolgens op straat (soms in de prullenbak) uit te spugen. Anderen (of dezelfden) halen hun neus op alsof ze hun snottebellen tot achterin hun hersenen willen krijgen.

They sometimes put their kid on a leash, especially in a shopping mall.

China is not known for being innovative and creative. Innovations are normally a result of the need to improve things, make them quicker and/or easier. So in that sense it’s logical that China doesn’t spend money on that, because there are more than enough people here to do/divide the work, they’re even not afraid to do the dirty work.

In some taxis the plastic divider/protector of the driver is so wide, that as a passenger you’re not even able to fasten your seatbelt.

Leuk zo’n Hoe & Wat boekje, maar als ze elkaar al nauwelijks verstaan, hoe gaan ze jou dan begrijpen met je enorme accent???  There are so many different Chinese languages/dialects, that sometimes even the citizens from two neighboring towns cannot understand each other.

When I was in a taxi, I heard a commercial for Grazia using a Caro Emerald song! All the way in Shanghai.

Dreamed about some bad Chinese manners. Hopefully it will never happen in real life, otherwise I need to practice avoiding a bowl of melted chocolate ice cream.

A lot of people here, especially men, make noise during eating. Today I sat next to a girl in the bus and she was eating crackers. The only thing I could here was the sound of the plastic wrapping when she got another one. What a difference!!

A guy came up to me at the bus stop and said good afternoon. So I said hello. He said he’s from Korea, and asked where I came from. So I told him. Then he asked for my name. I told him that wasn’t important. Then he left.

Dogs in shoes, still remarkable. It’s the minority, but still strange when not used to it.

Guys often carry their girlfriend’s handbag. That doesn’t do much good for then, since their appearance is already so feminine.

The girls like to wear short skirts and shorts, but they don’t walk in the elegant way that should accompany that.

Now and then you see someone begging. Sometimes in the most strange situations. There was someone praying and begging for his sick father, who was lying next to him on the ground on not such a warm day. Another man with severe injuries to his legs making him unable to walk was begging for some money on top of a pedestrian bridge…

I need a tablet. Half of the university busses are too small for me to work on my laptop (some are even too small for me to sit without bruising my knees). Hence, I need a tablet.

Sometimes Chinese sounds a bit like German. Or am I going crazy? I could swear I heard a similar sound as “scheisse” at least a few times!

Extra note about the purses. I heard that several guys have their own purse or handbag, so it’s not necessarily their girlfriend’s bag they’re carrying. They get it for practical reasons, so don’t bother about ‘murses’, but can just go for the bright pink ones…

This morning I saw the boss of a supermarket (well, I presume he is) skipping rope in front of the glass door. Just one of many who are exercising every day.

Shortly after I put my garbage outside it gets ‘stolen’! Especially empty boxes and bottles are popular. The put it on their bikes (they can carry a lot on those things) and I think they can sell it somewhere. But it is a strange idea that someone is entirely going through my garbage…


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