Things Egyptians Shouldn’t Try to Do in China

12 months ago By Mina Samir

How well do we know China? Henedy’s famous movie “فول الصين العظيم” aside, Egyptians view China in the following light: a) a big country with a correspondingly big economy, b) a place where they eat almost every type of insect, which is deemed disgusting by us Egyptians (although we don’t leave a single piece in the cow’s body), and c) they produce almost everything — even our underwear, they have a say in it.

 

But here are a few things you probably didn’t know about China, and if you’re traveling there, be careful to avoid the below or else your stay might not be as enjoyable:

 

1. Social Media

For all the social media lovers (who isn’t?), prepare yourself before leaving to Beijing to bid farewell to (besides your friends and family) Facebook, Youtube, Gmail and any other Google application, due to political problems. In 2009 China’s authorities discovered that the Ürümqi (the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) riots used Facebook to promote their independence referendum. Google services were banned a few years later (almost 2014) as part of the government’s internet censorship policy. These days however you can still access the banned websites using VPN.

 

 

Now you’re probably wondering how the Chinese tolerate their lives under these circumstances. Remember, “الصين بلد جميل”, so they absolutely have solutions. No Facebook? “Weibo” is China’s alternative, and for Google? They’ll satisfy your searching with “Baidu”, and for music and videos, you won’t need Youtube because “Youku” is there.

 

2. Don’t speak English

 

 

You hear this all the time: “English is the language of the era”, and it’s right. English is the language of most internet content, almost every book on Earth has an English copy, and wherever you travel, if you can’t speak the local language, your English will help you… but not in China.

Welcome to the Mandarin language; the most spoken in the world and one of the United Nations’ six official languages. The Chinese are proud of their Mandarin, and they rarely speak English even in hotels, so you either learn basic words in Mandarin, or you download an application to help you translate to Mandarin.

 

3. Tipping? That’s impolite.

 

 

Are you used to leaving tips when you like the service? It’s common behavior in many countries, but is considered inpolite and inappropriate in China. Trip Advisor says that the Chinese consider tipping a remnant of the Chinese warlord and feudal system during their empire that ended over a century ago. Leaving tips won’t be accepted and is in fact against the law in most parts of China. In restaurants, taxis, hotels, or whatever place in China, don’t tip. 

 

4. No “عزومة مراكبية”

 

 

In Egypt, we have a funny social behavior that we call “عزومة مراكبية”, and with the many faces this culture has, one of them is usually seen when we invite someone to have lunch in a certain restaurant. When it’s time to pay, most people initate with “لا والله مايصحش” or “خليها علينا المرة دي”, and probably the other person knows that deep down we don’t really want to pay for the table. In China, it’s easy, you invite him to eat? He won’t prevent you from paying, he’ll actually expect that you pay for him.

 

5. Don’t travel on Chinese national holidays.

The Chinese work hard during the year, and they only take vacations on national holidays. And that’s a reason for you not to travel there during those national holidays — because you won’t see anything in China besides massive crowds and hordes and hordes of people… everywhere! Another note to consider: the dates of their holidays are variable, so you better find out when they’re taking place before going, or else… I’ll leave you with the images.

 

 

 

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