Living in China as expat isn't always as easy as it is back home. Besides the language barriers, there are tons of problems that arise in every day life in China that don't have easy solutions...until now.
Spoonhunt is bringing you hilarious yet perfect solutions to "hacking" China's every day life problems.
Using the Squatty Potty
Problem: Using the squat toilet via the Asian Squat method is hard.
The "Asian Squat" is hard to get use to, yet every Chinese person can do it with ease for very long periods of time. Squatting is actually a healthier way to go to the bathroom than just sitting. But it sure is hard to do without falling over or cramping your legs.
What You'll Need: a belt, preferably leather and strong
Solution: Take off your belt and hook it to the bag hanger, door nob or anything in front of you. Hold on to the belt to keep from falling backwards. Make sure the hook is strong enough to hold you up!
Haggling with Shop Owners
Problem: Getting a fair price on something you want without getting ripped off.
Most prices in China are negotiable. Everything from clothing and products to gym memberships can be negotiated if you know what you're doing. But the biggest problems for foreigners comes from getting ripped off because the shop owners think we don't know how much to pay.
What You'll Need: Basic knowledge of mathematical functions and numbers
Solution: The shop owner will show you a price on their calculator, so you can divide their number by at least 2 or more if you think they're trying to rip you off. Keep decreasing their amount until they give in.It also helps to justkeep only the amount you're willing to pay in your wallet and keep the rest of your money somewhere else.
Prevent Getting Your Personal Space Invaded
Problem: People will stand super close to you, especially in line, invading your personal space.
We've all experienced this in China. The personal space boundaries work differently here, and it can be pretty uncomfortable when someone is standing within inches of you for no reason. This happens especially in line when people can't wait to get where they are going and stand close behind you.
What You'll Need: Long limbs, basic flexibility and sharp elbows.
Solution: Constantly be stretching in place. Twist your upper body, flail your arms, stick your legs out. If they're afraid you'll hit them, they'll back away and give you some space.
Get a Workout Without Going to the Gym
Problem: Gyms in China are expensive, crowded and low quality, making it hard to get a good workout in.
With all of the delicious food you've been no doubt eating in China thanks to the help of Spoonhunt *wink wink* you need a way to keep your body in shape. At home, you'd go to the gym to workout, but gyms in China aren't really worth it. And you can't run outside because of the pollution.
What You'll Need: Your body, comfortable clothes, and some sweet old ayis and uncles/adult playgrounds.
Solution: Join the old uncles and aunties in their morning exercises, including "walking and clapping", dancing, tai chi and ping pong. Look out for the adult playgrounds with weird exercise equipment.
Keep Cigarette Smoke Away from You
Problem: Cigarette smoke from people smoking around you gets into your clothes and smells bad.
Smoking is still a very popular leisure activity in China. There are little to no laws about where you can smoke and people will do it everywhere: walking in front of you blowing smoke into your path, in restaurants and bars, etc. That smoke gets into your clothes and smells terrible, especially if you don't smoke yourself.
What You'll Need: A USB desk fan and a portable USB phone charger
Solution: Plug the fan into the portable USB phone charger and turn it on. Point the fan in the direction of the cigarette smoke to blow it back where it came from and keep it off your clothes. BONUS: Great way to stay cool in the hot China weather.
Keep Your Stuff From Getting Stolen/Pickpocketed
Problem: There are pickpockets everywhere in China and foreigners are often victim to getting their things stolen.
There are numerous ways to get creative to prevent picpocketers from stealing your stuff. But the sad truth is, if you're a foreigner, look out of place and have nice things, pickpocketers are more likely to target you. Best practice is to keep a close watch on all your belongings and constantly check to make sure you have everything, but that's annoying. Here's our favorite life hack to keeping your things safe.
What You'll Need: A random bag (McDonald's, Airplane sickness bag, etc.), empty container or bottle.
Solution: Hide your belongings in a random innocuous bag or container that no one would ever steal the real contents of. For example, who would steal a McDonald's bag or a water bottle? Not pick pocketers. They're going for the big ticket items. Little do they know, you're not just a crazy person carrying around a big bottle of shampoo.
Spoonhunt is your ultimate tool and service for finding restaurants, seeing English menus with pictures and ordering food all over China. We are dedicated to making all of China’s cuisine, from popular Western restaurants to the most local Chinese restaurants accessible to everyone. Follow us at Wechat ID: Spoonhunt or scan the QR code below to get started!
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