It’s Chinese New Year and seeing all of the beautiful images of China makes me miss my time there.
I spent just under three years living in the Middle Kingdom, spending half of it in Xi’an and the other half in Beijing.
When people ask me about my time in China and what it was like, I usually tell them that no day is like the same and that’s why I enjoyed it so much.
But with new experiences come bizarre moments where you just think, “what just happened there?”.
Here’s my list of bizarre experiences during my time in China. Before you read, some of these are a bit negative, but honestly these are just a minor of negatives and the positives from my time spent there totally outweigh them (perhaps i’l do a post on those too!).
A man cut a strand of my hair off in the hairdressers
A group of us all decided it was time to get our hair cut and we thought that we would all go together.
The entire hairdressers looked shocked to see us and we became the main attraction.
Using pretty much sign language to explain what I wanted, I sat there in the chair waiting for the hairdressers to bring a towel.
While I was there waiting, another hairdresser came over and grabbed a strand of my hair and cut it off.
They then just….. walked off.
I got hit my a motorbike and the guy looked down, apologised and then drove off
Yeah, the less said about this the better.
But may I just say, always look both ways when you cross the road.
Hiked the wrong way up a mountain and got to the summit 10 hours later
We had no overnight gear and I was wearing Converse. I don’t even think we brought food with us.
Luckily, we got the last room for the night in the hostel on the top of the mountain otherwise we would have frozen!
Work sent me to cover the tennis
I somehow told work that I was desperate to go and they ended up sending me to Shanghai for the ten days.
There were many times that I felt very out of my depths but it was one of the best journalism experiences i’ve ever had.
Ended up going out for dinner on an army barracks during my first week in China
My housemate and I were waiting for the bus one day when this woman started chatting to us. She then got on the bus with us and chatted for another hour.
A week later and we were around her house for tea. She did not tell us that she lived on an army barracks.
I braved -32C temperatures in Harbin
It was freezing. I wore seven pairs of socks and borrowed my housemate’s pair of size 10 boots.
I had one of my classes taken away from me because my student’s parents said my ass was distracting
During my time in Xi’an, I taught English classes for a training school.
I thought the class went pretty well and so was surprised when I was told that they would be using one of my co-workers instead for any future lessons.
It was only after some more questioning that I found out the parents didn’t want a female teacher because they thought my ass was too distracting.
I got pepper sprayed at Beijing Airport
My flight to Hong Kong was cancelled due to “bad air”. We’d been waiting for a really long time and tensions were getting high.
Eventually we were taken to a bus stop where we would be transferred to our hotel for the night.
One guy was still not happy and started mouthing off at airport security who then decided to pepper spray him with a big crowd of people next to him.
Yes pepper spray hurts.
I got told I was too fat to shop in a woman’s shop
Yeah that hurt pretty bad. It happened a lot with shoes too!
We spent eight hours queueing to see a giant buddha
We didn’t realise how bad new year traveling was going to be.
Setting out at 6am, we thought that we’d allowed ourself time to skip the crowds.
We definitely had not.
By the time we were finished and actually saw the giant buddha, it was a little underwhelming.
So there you go.
As I said, some of these are fairly negative but there were so many more positives to my time in China.
It’s one of my favourite countries and I miss it quite a lot. A return visit is definitely overdue!
Have you had any of these experiences before?