I mentioned recently in a post a difference in sweetness levels in food here in China. It's a cultural thing. They don't go for sweet desserts. They have cakes and chocolate and cookies, but they just don't have the same sugar levels I'm used to in the states. It feels understated by comparison. Here's some other things I've noticed recently.
Food flavors. Beyond sweetness, the Asian palette goes for some stuff that wouldn't sell in the states. Here, check this out...
Yeah. That's cucumber flavored chips. And they taste like, cucumber. I ate them. All of them. They weren't good. So why eat them? I've got this thing called clean plate ranger syndrome. I get to blame my parents. You'll clean that plate or sit there all night. That's fun.
Lays potato chips are a big deal here. Grocery stores here dedicate an entire aisle to just the Lays and tons of crazy flavors such as...
And more? Yeah. Lots more. Mexican Chicken Tomato. Yep. That's a thing. So is Spicy Crayfish. It's a long list.
Lawn mowers. Nobody owns one because no one here has a lawn to mow. They're nonexistent. When riding on the train from Beijing back to Hangzhou I tried to find anythjng resembling a lawn. No dice. We passed a lot of smaller and larger communities. Other than the golf courses I've been on I have yet to see a parcel of grass that needs to be mowed. I don't think Shane could live here. He has one of the most perfectly manicured lawns. Last time I was at his home I pointed out a weed. He looked at me with a wry smile knowing it was an impossibility. I wrote earlier this year about the six dudes that used string trimmers to hand mow a giant field. Well, the grass grew. So? Return of the six dudes with weed whackers? No. This time there was three huge excavators that scraped off a layer of soil. Not kidding. One of the excavators can be seen in this picture in the top right.
Checking for understanding. When asking students if they are understanding what's going on in class, Asian students will respond that they are fine 100% of the time. They have a real fear of being labeled as less intelligent than others. This is generally true back in the states as well, but this is an entirely different ball game here. These kids face societal and family pressure to excel. Expectations are pounded into them from a very young age. Its not acceptable to get poor grades unless you are from a very wealthy family. Wealth means your future is assured. We have a lot of wealthy families here at HIS, but when I say "very" wealthy I'm referring to stupid generational wealth as in more than just millions. This concept applies to general society as well. Publicly admitting you don't know something is a big deal here. One has to be careful navigating society here as you never want to stick someone in a situation where they might "lose face". The term is Mianzi. However, you can help someone gain social status by also "giving face". Publicly complimenting someone or giving them the opportunity to shine in front of others is a big deal.
I'll start another one of these posts and slowly add to it as I notice more random stuff.