原創翻譯:龍騰網 http://www.268043.live 翻譯:超級涼快 轉載請注明出處

After all these years in China, I have noticed that laowai (foreigners) tend to do some things that define their life in China. Today I want to talk about some things that most foreigners do in China but I, for some reason, haven’t.


– Teaching English


It is said that it is very easy to work in China as an English teacher. If you search on the Internet you will find many websites and forums with job offers for foreigners interested in teaching here. Some people come to China without a job and manage to find a teaching position in no time.


I wrote “It is said” at the beginning because I don’t have first hand experience in this: I have never taught English in China (unfortunately? luckily?). And for anyone thinking, “But how could you teach English, anyway? It is not your native language!”, it seems that being a native speaker is not a requisite in many places. I do have a diploma to teach Spanish, but I have never had the chance to use it either. Last year when I was looking for a job I tried to find a position teaching Spanish, but luckily I found something else. I don’t know if I have what it takes to be a teacher.


What would I do if someone slept in my class??


– Being on tv


Many foreigners in China, especially if they can speak fluent Chinese, appear in Chinese tv shows. I have never been on tv, at least not in a way that I was clearly recognizable. Once there was a scholarship ceremony award in my university in Beijing where I had to dance and playback a short piece of Chinese opera and I was told it would be on tv, but I don’t know if it was actually broadcasted. What I mean is, I have never been on tv speaking and showing my full face. Just a couple of months ago I had a chance, though: I was offered to participate in 非誠勿擾, a very popular dating show. They said it didn’t matter that I have a boyfriend as everything is prepared and there is a scxt, but I turned it down anyway. I hate seeing myself on video! And imagine that someone from C.’s family was watching tv and suddenly saw me looking for a boyfriend!!


– Driving an electric bike


Many foreigners that plan to stay in China for a long time buy an electric bike, as you don’t need a driving license and they are a fast way to get around the city. Even my ex boss had one! He was 1.80 meters tall and at least 110 kg. You should have seen him riding that tiny scooter! It looked like something out of a cartoon!


I wouldn''t mind having an electric bike as cool as this though!


– Wearing a qipao


Thailand is a popular holiday destination for the foreigners living in China. It is not too far, it is not too expensive, you don’t need a visa, tourism is very developed, there are beaches and parties… I have never been there. It is not that I don’t want, it’s just that I never had the chance. Friends and plans made me go to other places instead. But Thailand is on my to go list!


There surely are more popular-among-foreigners activities that I have never done (like getting drunk on baijiu, or getting drunk at all!) but those are the most relevant, I think. What about you? Any popular activities in your country that you haven’t done (yet)?





It’s winter. It is cold outside and you feel like eating warm and comforting foods. It is the perfect time to enjoy a delicious hot pot!


The hot pot is not a kind of food, but a way of preparing food. In hot pot restaurants, food is brought raw to your table and you cook it yourself in your boiling soup pot. In some restaurants there is a big pot for your whole table (up to 4 or 6 people) and in others each person gets their own private small pot. The shared pots usually are divided in two or three sections so you can boil your food in different soup flavours (spicy, pork bone, mushrooms, seafood… you name it). For the small private pots, you choose the soup you want.


Thinly sliced beef and lamb are usually the stars of hot pot restaurants, but there are many other things you can eat: fish balls, seafood, any kind of vegetables and mushrooms, dumplings, noodles, eggs, tofu…


When the soup starts boiling you can start pouring things into the pot. Don’t put too many things at the same time or the soup will stop boiling and they will take a long time to become cooked! Potatoes and mushrooms will take longer to cook, meat and leafy veggies will only need a few seconds. And when they are ready it’s time to dip them in sauce and start eating!


Some restaurants have a sauce bar and let you choose all the sauces you want; others only allow you to choose one sauce. Chinese people usually add cilantro to their sauces, and the most popular sauces are sesame and peanut.


The hot pot is believed to originally come from Mongolia but there are not historic proofs to refute this. However, when I started learning Mandarin, I remember we studied the word 火鍋 huoguo (hot pot) in the first year and the teacher, a lovely man from Xi’an, translated it as “Mongolian pot”.


The first time I tried hot pot was during my first semester in Beijing. There was a very famous hot pot restaurant close to our university and it was very popular among students because it was dirt cheap and also because beers and icecreams were free. Obviously, that place was always packed! At that time I could hardly speak any Mandarin or use chopsticks properly and my Korean classmate patiently taught me all the secrets of hot pot.


I love eating hot pot in the winter because it is so warm! Having the boiling soup right in front of you makes you almost forget you don’t have heating at home (if you live south of Nanjing!).