that you're zhongguotong (China Hand), it's time to
pack your bianzhidai (rainbow-colored plastic sack)
and head off for some serious X&X (the Chinese equivalent
of R&R). Whether you're travelling within China or visiting
another country near or far, you should be familiar
with the Chinese standard etiquette and corresponding
vocabulary for each particular vacation circumstance.
You Go chufa
When preparing to travel, always remember the Golden
Rule: only take the bare essentials. Don't forget your
guazirer (sunflower seeds), huamei (sour dried plums),
or fangbianmian (instant noodles). Take your baowenping
(thermos) and some raw garlic, too. Only bring formal
attire and pack only one change of clothes, regardless
of how long you'll be gone. Footwear should be formal
pleather (that fashionable, faux leather vinyl) shoes
for men and white highheels or black combat boots for
the ladies. If possible, bring one empty suitcase and
one suitcase stuffed with cash. And remember that when
you go on vacation you must bring ALL of your living
relatives with you. It's a law or something.
Etiquette - fandian liyi
You should always treat your hotel room as you would
your own home. Feel free to wander the halls in your
underwear, blast your television with the door open,
and wash your clothes in the sink. Before you leave,
steal as many towels and complimentary soaps and shampoos
as you can. They make great stocking stuffers for the
holidays! Put your cigarettes out in whatever takes
your fancy, especially in non-smoking rooms: paper cups,
empty cans, lumps of soggy toilet paper, etc.
often get to eat the buffet breakfast free of charge
in whatever hotel you're staying in. Stuff whatever
you can into your pockets, and be sure to leave plenty
of food on your plate when you leave so that the chef
doesn't think you didn't like the meal (reverse Chinese
Taking Pictures paizhao
Note that the proper posture for having your picture
taken is to stand erect (upright, that is) with your
arms straight at your sides and your feet shoulder-length
apart. It is imperative that you maintain a blank, disinterested
expression on your face at all times. If you smile in
a picture and someone from your danwei (work unit) sees
it, they might realize that you went on vacation, not
a business trip.
how could you justify baoxiao (claiming expenses) for
your entire trip? Make sure that you have your picture
taken at every major tourist attraction, along with
every tree, rock, and puddle nearby, because otherwise
no one will believe that you actually went. Also, when
taking pictures of others, never photograph their entire
body. Either cut off their feet or their head, or simply
split them down the middle. This must be done in order
to conserve film and preserve the traditional Chinese
photographic tradition of cutting off people's heads
Tour Guide - daoyou
It is not unreasonable to assume that your tour guide
is omniscient. Be sure to ask questions ranging from
'Where's the bathroom' to 'What is the meaning of life'
and 'Who shot JFK' If they say they don't know, they're
probably lying to protect someone. Ask again later when
they're busy doing something else. Maybe you can catch
them off guard and get them to reveal some top-secret
information. Regardless, just remember that your tour
guide is ALWAYS trying to hide something from you.
in mind also that your tour guide is responsible for
every aspect of your vacation. If it rains, you have
every right to blame them. As a matter of fact, feel
free to blame your tour guide for any problems that
occur in your life or in the world. If you change money
and get a low exchange rate, blame it on the guide.
Likewise, if your 14-year-old daughter becomes pregnant,
more likely than not your tour guide had something to
do with it.
that tour guides are like traffic lights: they are there
for 'the other guy,' not you, and thus can be ignored
at will. Always do your best to walk ahead of the tour
guide and wander in whatever random direction your heart
desires. Be sure to begin every sentence you say to
the tour guide with one of the following phrases: 'Which
way to' 'How much longer will' or 'I'm (insert adjective
expressing discomfort).' Always state the obvious to
the tour guide, like 'the train is late,' and 'it's
raining.' Finally, the most important rule: after asking
your tour leader a question, proceed to ignore their
answer and then ask the same question five to 10 minutes
No matter where you go in the world on vacation, the
only food you can possibly consume is Chinese food.
Never mind dining on fine French and Italian cuisine.
Just stick to the local 'Hunan Garden' in Venice, Paris,
or whatever city you find yourself in. After all, foreign
food is simply chibuguan (can't be eaten). If you must
eat non-Chinese food, ask for hot tea as a beverage,
hold your plate up to your mouth and scrape the food
in with your fork, and ask for a bowl of white rice
after you've finished your meal.
Beach - haitan
Don't bother with bathing suits. Just roll up your sleeves
and pant legs, take off your shoes and socks, unzip
your jacket and relax! Soak in the rays. Whatever you
do, don't go in the water for Mao's sake. For no matter
how hot it gets, the water will always be too cold for
anything in China, tourism is an art form with certain
norms from which you should do your best not to deviate.
The Chinese have had 5,000 years to perfect the art
of being expert tourists. Take a lesson! The Comrade
would like to wish all of you comrades and comradettes
a safe and happy Western and Chinese New Year!