1) Competitive Drinkers

When the subject of alcohol is brought up in conversation the next question given to me is almost always, “How much can you drink?”  They are more often than not shocked to discover that I don’t have an answer for them.  Any Chinese man knows the exact amount of alchol he is capable of, as well as that of all his drinking buddies.  The one who can drink the most is often referred to as ‘厉害,’ Lìhài, meaning great, powerful, or strong.

2) Gregarious

Take the subway in a city like Boston or New York and you’re less than likely to strike up a conversation with your bench mates. While using public transportation in China isn’t necassrily like going to a single’s mixer, Chinese people are for more likely to engage in conversation with strangers.  A better example might be going to a public park and seeing groups of people getting together to play basketball or hackysack, conversing and joking around just as though they were regular aquaintences when most likely they don’t even know each other’s name.

3) Scared of the Elements

When I first got to China the weather was less than balmy, but nonetheless nothing compared to what I’m used to during the Vermont winters.  Yet even as the temperature rose and I began opting for shorts and t-shirts over pants and sweaters, it seemed as though most Chinese people remained wrapped in their winter clothing.  I couldn’t go one day without at least five people asking me if I was cold, and when I told them I wasn’t they seemed genuinely shocked.  On top of that, Chinese girls do anything to avoid the effect of direct sunlight, and when it rains the streets are literally empty, not less crowded, empty.

4)   Creative with their Hair

The Asian gene allows for little variation in hairstyle, black and straight.  As a result many Chinese people view their hair as a blank canvas just waiting for self expression.  There are seemingly more barbershops than cornerstores in China, especially in places like college campuses where young people congregate, though hairstyling is not exclusive to the younger generations.  People dye, curl, crimp, perm, gel, and mold their hair dues into a suitable style for any line of work or lifestyle.

5) Bad Singers

I try to be as sensitive and politically correct as possible on these posts, but sometimes you just have to level with your audience.  I think it may have something to do with the fact that their tonal language throws their pitch off balance, resulting in painfully forced flat and sharp notes that never seem to hit the right pitch.  The funny thing is that karaoke might be considered China’s most popular night-time activity.

Check out Chinese People Are…Volumes I and II