*One can purchase Ginger or Garlic Liquid Dishwashing Soap.

*Despite the absence of heat, students insist on opening all the windows in the classroom when coming in to class.  They want to move out the stagnant air.  It’s 40 degrees outside, and we have class in our jackets and scarves.

* You can purchase coffee flavored chewing gum and/or Ritz crackers with chocolate in between them, kind of like Orioles.

* No one has either Voice Mail or an answering machine. This explains why I’ve seen Doctors answer their phone in the middle of a lecture, or in the middle of a treatment, and why people get so upset if they call you and you don’t answer your phone.

* Halls sells their cough drops as “Extra Strong” Candy.

* The street cleaning trucks which move about Chengdu spraying water on the street and scrubbing it with those big wheel brushes, play Happy Birthday. No kidding.

*Babies wear little pants with no back sides, leaving their little asses exposed. It turns out, this is so in the event of their needing to shit, or pee, whomever is carrying them simply holds them away from themselves, or sets them down, or whatnot, and away they go. Although I haven’t seen this myself, I had heard about it, and talked to two witnesses who saw this activity on three separate occasions. In the first, a mother held her baby over a trash can while it shat, in a second a women held a baby over a sewer while it shat. A third incident involved a baby with an incredible piss stream shooting out over a sidewalk which almost hit my friend. It’s all true. Everywhere you go you see baby’s butts.

* In China, they like to dress their children up in little mouse ears. You see them everywhere: children with ears, little mouse ears . . . everywhere.

* About half of young people wear shirts with non-sensical English words and phrases on them. As of yet, we have not had the heart to point this out to them.

* People sleep on box springs. As far as we have been able to tell, there are no actual mattresses here.

* Roughly 90% of young women here wear Dwarf boots.

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6 Responses to “Peculiarities”

  1. Lorrie Brenner Says:

    Geez! The more I read about your experiences the more I thank God I live in America! I just love this new category! How weird!!

    Thank you so much for sharing with us!!!!

    Love you both,
    Auntie Lorrie

  2. Retta and John Says:

    Here mothers are learning to read the signs when their babies need to go and this is toilet training from birth! Maybe we are not so far apart.

  3. Mike Says:

    The nonsensical english t-shirt thing reminds me of a photo I saw in a US paper many years ago, during the Michael Jordan era. It showed a young man in China decked out in a #23 Bulls jersey, with all the colors correct and the type-face right on, but the team name was spelled “Bllsu”.

  4. brittp Says:

    Obviously, Pampers and Luvs need to spend more time on their international marketing. Won’t somebody think of the profits!

    The shirts with non-sensical English phrases is payback for all the Americans who got tattoos with non-sensical Chinese characters.

  5. Arno Says:

    The non-sensical shirts started out as defects for products shipping to the west, sold off as seconds on the local market. They are now a fashion statement in their own rite, and in most cases entirely intentional. The Japanese in particular have turned this into a new form of literature.

  6. Elaine Says:

    I love the image of street cleaning trucks playing “Happy Birthday.”

    What if the baby is sitting on someone’s lap in a bus or taxi?

    I wonder how many people accidentally season their food with
    dishwashing liquid, or do they use it to wash out the mouths of
    teens who speak improperly?

    Thanks for a great new category!

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