Saturday, October 27, 2012

How they feel about the cold in China

Here's a cultural difference that completely surprised me. The last time I was in China was January, and it was cold. So of course, when going outside, we put on a coat and lots of clothes. Just like in the US.

But here's the difference: In China, cold is not seen as a reason to not spend time outside. In the US, if it's freezing out there, you put on your big coat and you go where you need to go but you definitely try to spend as little time as possible outside, because IT'S COLD. In China, if it's freezing, you put on your big coat and apparently you then feel perfectly fine about doing anything and everything outside.

I was kind of baffled. I remember in Beijing, shopping for Spring Festival decorations from sidewalk vendors when it was 30-40 degrees F. I remember in Chongqing, eating at a tiny restaurant with no door, so cold I couldn't even hold my chopsticks.

Culture is such an interesting thing. People have vastly different ideas about what's "normal", and it continues to surprise me. And that's why I'm moving to China.

Temple of Heaven. 天坛。
And now I rewrite this blog post, but in Chinese:






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