What is your biggest cultural shock and realization from visiting China?
Yong Wen San, Born and raised in Malaysia, schooled in Singapore.
Answered Aug 12
My first ever visit to China was to Shanghai in spring 2005. I was barely 30, and very very foolish.
Knowing nothing about Shanghai beyond the odd Hong Kong TV series or movie about the city circa World War Two, I was expecting to see something like this:
Instead, I was greeted by the dazzling sight that was this:
Biggest cultural shock
First night in Shanghai. Having recovered from the initial shock and dazzle of the modern city, my colleague brought me to dinner at one of the Xiao Fei Yang 小肥羊 hotpot restaurants downtown. And it was there that I witnessed first-hand, the unbridled wrath of a Shanghainese woman scorned. Seated with her family at the table next to us, she gave the waitress an earful which I can only describe as a bazooka in continuous full-blast for a straight five minutes - all in the most Beethoven-esque of the Shanghainese language (musically overpowering and frightening). And through the merciless onslaught, all the poor girl could do was stand with her head down in total submissive silence. The offence? An incorrect order delivered, twice.
My colleague, noticing me watching with mouth-agape, tapped me on the shoulder and whispered “Welcome to Shanghai, laoxiong. While you are here, remember not to piss off our women here, yeah? They be even more menacing than the Hong Kong belles!”
The hotpot was great, too.
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Jessica Cho, Quora User at Quora
Answered Aug 17
Having being to South Korea, new public transport, apartment blocks, none of that is too shocking. I’ll say there’s one very big cultural shock: dedicated bike lanes:
Not the skimpy ones with painted lines, fitting one bike at maximum in the US, but ones wide enough for 2 cars, separated by trees or fences.
Then I also noticed most people riding them to work or errands, as opposed to most Americans riding them for exercise purposes.
Oh, and the tree bottoms painted white. I wonder why that is, and no one seemed to know. I suppose it’s some type of pesticide or protection, but it looked like plain white paint to me. Additionally, the plants and trees didn’t have pinestraw or mulching but they did just fine. In the US, we’re told to always mulch, put pinestraw on plants for moisture, but in China they just planted them with dirt and left them.