About a month ago a made a shocking announcement to the world: I’m moving to China. However, even more shocking than the news about my relocation were the outlandish warnings or “insights” that people felt obligated to share in response (because it’s just important that you know these things).
Sometimes, it almost seemed like people relished their ability to share terrifying stories with me–things were beginning to get a little sadistic. As much as I appreciate the willingness of people to share their tales of terror, I find it hard to believe some of their advice. I’m happy to acknowledge that things over there aren’t going to be up to code, so to speak. But it almost seemed like people were trying to persuade me to call the whole thing off.
In the end, I decided to make lemonade out of lemons on this one and turn some of this hilarious “advice” into a blog post. I hope you’ll get as solid a kick out of their warnings as I did.
Note: The stories and advice below were given by real, reasonable people (some of whom I LOVE DEARLY) over the past 3 months of 2012.
What Happens in China
“A friend of mine’s daughter went to the travel clinic before she went to China and her physician told her that she should pack a bottle of American whiskey to barter for antibiotics. And you know what? She did get sick and she actually traded the bottle for antibiotics!”
“Absolutely no one bikes in China. There’s no way–the streets are way too crowded. The only way to bike is to get up before the sun rises or else the streets are too full.”
“If you live in China, you will never see the sun and you will be stuck under a cloud of yellow smoke for your entire trip. This yellow smoke will give you cancer.”
“They own America–why would you want to go there?! Sheesh!”
“Oh my gosh, I have these friends, a couple just like yourselves, who went to China. You just have to meet them–they’ve got an amazing story.” What’s so amazing about their experience? “Well you see, the husband went on an adventure weekend with his guy friends, and he fell down this huge crack in the earth. It was the kind of crack that you could usually stop yourself from falling down, but he didn’t so he got trapped down there. AND the only way to get him out was to use a helicopter, but their insurance wouldn’t cover it, so he was stuck down there 3 DAYS! So he was eventually paralyzed and lost an eye. You’ve just got to talk to them!… so you better get good insurance.”
“Never work for a Chinese company–China will SCREW YOU. Once, we had to save a group of teachers from a Chinese school in the West.”
Also, when people say that “China is ancient meets modern”, what they really mean is “you have to squat on the floor to go about your business”/”Everything is half-assed”
Needless to say, I’m going anyway.