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ADVICE: 5 Pieces of Advice for Noobs in China

Just a few points of advice for Westerners visiting China.
  1. If you cannot get the hang of the squat toilet, just use the squat while you shower (assuming you are using a typical Chinese bathroom where both are in the same room). Not only will you save paper, but it gives you practice before you have to use one in the wild (a public W.C./toilet) in an emergency situation.

  2. You truly cannot judge a book by its cover. In America and many Western countries, a female wearing transparent and short clothing is often sending a message about her morals. In China, many very moral ladies and even very young girls will wear such clothes just because it is is hot and humid. Do not judge them based on Western sensibilities about modesty.

  3. If you have a Chinese girlfriend or wife, point out what you would like in a store from the outside and then give her the money to go in and buy it after you have passed by. She will get a far better price than you can.

  4. When in China visit the touristy places… but walk about 3 blocks away to see the authentic China. In my experience, people like to see foreigners outside of the tourist traps. Chinese people are friendly and curious about you, and you will get a chance to be a representative of your country and to learn many things that you would not from tourist places.

  5. Always carry your wedding certificate when married. As a waiguoren/laowai (foreigner), there are some places you are not allowed to go. However, with your marriage certificate, you have the same rights to enter many of these places as a Chinese citizen would.
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