Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Chinese Think I’m Odd

Posted by w_thames_the_d on November 30, 2010


Chinese think I am odd, although not for any of my idiosyncrasies, but the simple fact that its November, nay almost December and i have the nerve to wear a ….short sleeved shirt. By the looks on their faces and surprised expressions, you’d think i showed up in cowboy boots, a ‘bannaana hammock’ and nipple tassels. The other day some older guy looked at me and exclaimed “wow, short sleeves, aren’t you cold?”
I slowly walked over to him, wiped my greasy forehead with his tie, gave him my back while hacking up a huge wad of phlegm, spat it in my trash bin, then proceeded to make a call. (well I didnt really do that, I think what I id was to say something weak like, “haha no, i got enough fat on me to block out the cold.”
Anyway thats what Chinese are like, they hate to see someone different. Whats all the commotion about , you may ask. Well its the end of December and its China and in china there is an unwritten rule that during this time of year, you must wrap your body in cheap knockoff scarfs, jackets and goofy looking hats, irrespective of the actual temperature. By some unwritten rule of china, each member of their society must bundle up to the fullest, it is after all, fall/winter.
To me this makes no sense, in my office they keep the temperature at a cozy 78 degrees- Celsius, leaving my face an oil slick and rendering me sterile for the near future. To me, the few minutes of cold I may endure while walking to work, is nothing in comparison to the hell I would endure while working in my gulag/office/pizza oven while wearing long sleeves. And, if I ever did get cold, I’d just throw on my hoodie, but then again, chinese dont do hoodies.

One day I tried explaining my philosophy to a Chinese and his reply. “But its winter now.”

9 Responses to “Chinese Think I’m Odd”

  1. The average daily temp here in Guangdong Province is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s winter so the Chinese here dress in three layers with long sleeves. Of course the girls still dress like prostitutes, the concession is tights/nylons with their (fake wool-lined) short shorts or invisi-skirts.

  2. nulle said

    last time I was over there in december, I was in my shorts and short sleeves with a fleece vest on for the morning….or polo shirt and khasis when I have to meet people..

    there are no winter anymore until jan/feb and even then it is a nice compared to the elsewhere…

  3. SherCM said

    I remember getting the ‘evil’ eye/look from everyone when I was walking around in peddle pusher and slippers. They thought I was mad… it was 65 fahrenheit in November and I was no where cold coming from the northeast of the US!

  4. Daniel Bos said

    I know what you mean, my Chinese family keeps pushing me to wear more and think I’m insane I’m wearing only jeans a thin sweater and a wind-jacket these days… I’m used to the Dutch weather, where last week they had the first outdoor speed-skating competition of the season ^_^ Not to mention the humidity in the Netherlands is a lot higher than here, so the temperature feels significantly lower than it actually is.

    It’ll have to get seriously colder than it is now before I’ll give in to gloves and a hat, let a lot get out my winter coat. An crazy bad cold before I give in to the thermo underwear madness ^_^

    • wtdevflnt said

      Yeah, Im about the same, and they look at me like Godzilla. Are you in the north or south? Bj now has this queer looking air, almost purple today. It feels like it could sleet.

      • Daniel Bos said

        I’m in BJ, though currently on the outskirts, here the air is not that bad, a bit foggy (the real stuff, not the pollution soaked kind) although I doubt there is enough water in the air for any serious precipitation…

      • wtdevflnt said

        When I firts came here I was in lang fang, they told me its a suburb of bj… it was actually ok, had good food and very cheap. BJ today looks dysmal.

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