10 Things I Learned Being ‘Not White’ In China


1. Chinese people will not sell “cheap fakes” readily to their own. Man, it was fun getting my “white friends” to come over to see some stuff, tell the Chinese person at the street market just how badly they wanted that “Rolex”, and then booking it. ;)

2. When your American friends decide to scream and shout and yell in the middle of a quiet Chinese subway, you can join the other Chinese in looking “condescendingly upon them” and pretending like you don’t know them.

3. It’s really fun, upon seeing anybody white whatsoever, to go up and ask if you can get your picture taken with them.

4. It’s actually really fun to photograph white people. Period.

5. Your tour guide will order Americanized Chinese food for everyone. (They’ll be impressed by the “authentic” Orange Chicken and Beef Broccoli.)

6. People will forget that Chinese is a tonal language. This will sometimes result in them saying “Hello A**hole!” instead of their well meaning, “Hi, how are you?”

7. Underage people WILL GO cRaZy. (Need I remind you the legal drinking age in China is 18…)

8. You can get some looks of disgust / approval when you eat really strange things without thinking twice. (This time, I one-upped myself and decided to eat seahorses, silk worms, AND scorpions. They WERE fantastic.)

9. For all the times we hear about Chinese people eating “dog”, most people will be surprised nobody really sells it.

10. Chinese to English translations are the best. See sign below —

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