Chinese in their natural habitat



“So if today I will tell you what habits of Chinese people would be looked down upon where I come from, and some of these habits I hate from the bottom of my heart, it does not diminish my love of this country and everything it comes with and it is not to make it look bad.”

That said, I would like to introduce you the weirdest and most annoying habits of Chinese people:

  1. Talking very loud in public

Whether you are on the streets, at home of a Chinese family and most certainly in a restaurant – the noise of people talking is very loud. Sometimes, you might think they are fighting, but they are not. They are simply having fun and enjoying themselves. The reason for this I think is because one, they do not have a lot of personal space, two, the environment around them is already loud with all the cars honking and the shops playing music etc. and maybe, for the restaurant part, for their “face” to show that they are very much enjoying themselves.


  1. Eating habits

Eating habits include a lot of different aspects. One major downturn for me is burping loudly and eating with loud noises. What I may accept, but think it’s still weird is leaving all the not eatable parts like bones right in the tablecloth, generally not caring about keeping their eating place clean. This goes also for trains where they spit the nutshells on the floor. Also a very Chinese thing to do is to bring your mouth to the bowl and shove the food in your mouth – whereas in Europe you are to sit straight and take the fork to your mouth.


  1. Wrapping up everything in plastic

This might not be very obvious when you’re here for a short period of time, but Chinese wrap everything in plastic: remote controls, whole sofas and food! Chinese carry all type of food in plastic bags inside of plastic bags with them. Here in Qingdao, you buy fresh bear… in a plastic bag!


  1. No sharing of bills and fighting about it

Sharing bills like in Europe if you go out among friends is not common. One person pays and then the next time someone else pays. No matter this system though, you are always expected to object and put up a fight – even if you will lose it.


  1. Listen to radio in public spaces very loudly

This you see mostly from old people, listening to radio with traditional Chinese songs. In my dormitory I was woken by the guy who swept the courtyard every morning at 6am.

  1. Spitting

Every day you hear this sound, which makes me personally want to throw up: when (mostly) an old Chinese man (but there are also beautiful girls doing this) sucks up all his spit and then spits it on the floor – it doesn’t matter where he might be: street, shop, restaurant, bus…. Anywhere.


  1. Staring and pointing

Especially in rural areas a foreigner is still something very new and interesting. People stare at you and sometimes the kids point at you. If you know some Chinese, you will hear the word “waiguoren” all the time. In 2015 I met a family in Shangri-La who has never seen foreigners before.


  1. Pushing, shoving and/or jumping queues

This is one of the more annoying habits Chinese have. It doesn’t matter where you are: airport, bus stop, escalator… people will always push you away to get first into line. You will have to do the same thing if you want to get a seat in the bus or even get on the bus in rush hours. I believe that this is due to the fact that there are so many Chinese and if you don’t look after your own good no one else will. However, getting up to leave your seat to a child or elderly person is common here too! Maybe even more than in some European countries now.


  1. Driving

Driving back in Europe – in some countries is crazier than what I am used to in Germany – is not nearly as crazy as here. The honk seems to be used for nearly every purpose: warning others, urging others to drive faster, probably there is a system Chinese use in order to communicate while honking. Electrical bikes drive on sidewalks or in the wrong direction and everyone just parks his car wherever he wants.


  1. Being asked to take pictures with them

This is not very uncommon – except in big cities. People will want to take a picture with you and then probably tell everyone about it. I bet I am on more Chinese cameras than I have pictures of myself… But, at least for me, them being happy about this is totally worth the annoyance.


  1. People taking naps everywhere

Chinese people can take naps at any time anywhere. I think it is their secret superpower… You will see them sleeping sitting upright or sleeping on the stone floor in train stations. Just pay close attention, because it’s so astonishing.


  1. Chinese counting with hands

The Chinese way of counting is amazing. You are able to count from 1-10 with one hand!! Chinese use this system all the time – so if you want to buy something and there is no digital cashier – you should know this system very well!


  1. Old ladies dancing in the evening

If you wander around the city in the evening you will see old ladies dancing in a circle or so to loud music. I have no idea if they all know each other and how they know the moves, but it’s fun to watch. Also, the men, they meet to play Chinese chess or cards. I think this is a very nice habit, the elder people still move and meet others and don’t just sit around becoming grumpy.

chinese dancing

  1. Hitting your back against a tree

Mostly, this is a habit of elder people as well, they will talk around “hitting” their arms with their respective hand or they just sit to the same thing to their legs… they might also just stand in front of a tree (back to the tree) and let themselves bump backwards into the tree. I don’t exactly understand why or for what purpose, but it sure looks funny.


  1. Men being half or quarter naked / and women?

As soon as the weather gets hot, Chinese men tend to either lift their shirt up beneath their chest so that their belly is fully visible or walk around without a shirt at all. In the middle of the city, just like that. Unfortunately, these are not the Chinese men you want to see without a shirt.

Women obviously cannot do this. What is very popular though is wearing very short skirts or shorts. So short one might call them oversized belts. On the other hand, it is very rare to see a women wearing shoulder free tops or tops showing cleavage. This year there is a new fashion among Chinese women: wear very short shorts and oversized T-shirts. To me it looks as if they are in their night gown, very often it is not clear if they actually wear pants or not.


  1. No shaving of body hair

Yes, Asians have less body hair than us other people. But still, hair on your legs is visible in summer! And also, the hair under your armpit is clearly visible and to us it is repulsing. Something that would be eyed very critically in Europe.


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