Cultural Differences

I am sure you have heard of “culture shock” – but what exactly is it? I am from Austria and although I have travelled a lot and have been to China before it still hit me hard this time. I think it’s because it’s a big difference if you are travelling or actually moving somewhere. When travelling in China you will of course experience some cultural differences too and maybe even a culture shock.

Before moving to China I already knew some things that would expect me like for example

  • people making disgusting noises and then spitting on the floor no matter where (even inside, not just outside!)
  • holes in the ground instead of a toilet seat
  • people eating their food making noises
  • getting inside the subway first instead of waiting for the other people to get outside
  • no eye contact when talking to each other – especially when negotiating this is very strange to experience
  • people taking pictures all the time and saying “waiguo ren” which means “foreigner”. Now imagine we would do that in Europe with every Chinese we see on the street.

I don’t want to lump them all together. I know that not every Chinese is the same. When travelling you will meet very kind people and see that Chinese can be very open and friendly and invite you all the time. But when you move there you will have a different kind of experience, away from the tourist spots and you will get in touch with many Chinese in your daily life.

 

I have some Chinese friends that I really like and I love spending time with them. But still there are some cultural differences that sometimes don’t make it easy. I try do understand their culture. I try to understand how they make decisions or how they think but sometimes it does not seem logic to me. I just come from a very different culture. Maybe I am doing something they find disrespectful or disgusting too and I don’t even know about it.

I remember a conversation with one of my chinese friends:

Chinese: “Does your boyfriend have a house and a car?”

Me: “No, why?”

Chinese: “No? [being shocked] So how can you ever have any children if you don’t have a house?”

Me: “We can just rent an apartment. All of my family lives in flats and pays rent. It is not necessary to own a house so you can have children”

Chinese: “Hmm, there is a guy I like but he doesn’t have a house so I don’t know what to do about it”

Me: “No problem, you are still young and if he is a nice guy and you like him it should not matter”

Chinese: “We are not young anymore, I’m 25 and he is 27, it is important to have a house here in China. In China the girls only want guys with house and car. It is important for the future”

I tried to tell her that these kinds of things don’t matter to me. I don’t care about the salary of my boyfriend or whether he has a house or not. And I told here that both the woman and the man work so why would he has to own a house? She then explained me that boyfriends pay everything for their girlfriends. It was a very interesting conversation because we both were shocked of each other’s point of view.

Another story: At the gym there was a guy who wanted to add my WeChat (the Chinese kind of Whatsapp). He texted me in English and I guess he just felt so cool about it that he made up some story and added a screenshot of our conversation to his WeChat Moments (like posting a picture on Instagram) and pretended something that is not true. This is something I really don’t like here in China.

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Of course this kind of people can be anywhere in the world but here I have seen it a lot – they just like to pretend and appear something they are not. It’s fake. Why lie about such silly things? I get that there are so many Chinese people and they have this instict of competition but lying around is something I hate. They spend tons of money on fashion and beauty and brands and phones while earning very little money. But from experience I know that they even take credits from the bank just to be able to buy this kinds of things. So that’s something I just cannot understand at all. On one side they are complaining about not having money but on the other side they spend money on unnecessary things…. like my friend too. She is dreaming of going to Europe and wants to save money but guess what – she spends so much money on stupid things you cannot even imagine.

There are so many other things I could talk about but I am going to save that for another post.

Tenerife (5/5) – Last Day

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All we do here is eating and eating… we ate so much the last few days! But the food is just too good here. So today in the morning we went to the beach next to our apartment to do a little workout – but honestly my motivation wasn’t that great haha. So no more workouts on vacation. I rather go full power after the vacation again. I’ll just see it as a little break.

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Today we wanted to go up to the Teide again because yesterday the tickets were sold out so we bought tickets online for today. In the morning right before going up there I got an SMS and an e-Mail saying that the cable car is closed because of meteorological reasons. So we had to cancel our tickets and they gave us the refund – what a pitty! So we went to Tenerife without ever being on the top of the Teide…- but I would say that this is a good reason to come back to Tenerife in the future!

So instead we had to make other plans and decided to go to the south of Tenerife – to the beach of El Médano.

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It was nice but we definitely prefer the north of Tenerife over the south of Tenerife. We had lunch there and ordered a very interesting salad. It was a new salad they added to their menu and it tasted great. It was a fruit salad with grilled cheese and the bottom of it was a crepe.

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On a hot day like today it was just perfect and so refreshing. Really yummy.

Then we went to the botanical garden. It was 3 euros to pay entrance. We actually only went there because we were tired of lying around the beach all day. It was nice there but not a must see of Tenerife.

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In the evening we went to the pool terrace on top of our apartment and then for dinner in the city and that was our last day in Tenerife – tomorrow we are going to Gran Canaria!

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Tenerife (3/5) – North and West Coast

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Today we went to Garachico, to the so-called natural swimming pools. We went really early because we had a lot of things planned. It was really nice and quiet there and lots of big waves ❤ Later more and more people came and at around 10:00 it was already crowded so we left. If you go there I recommend you go early – it’s worth it, because there is not a lot of space!

I didn’t go swimming because there were so many crabs – BIG crabs! Never saw real crabs that big ever haha.

Garachico is next to Icod which is also a tourist attraction but we did not go there because it’s about a tree. I am sure it’s beautiful but we don’t really wanted to go there and maybe even pay entrance just to see a big tree.

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Then we kept driving along the coast to the west to “Buenavista” and from there we took a bus to go to “Punta de Teno” because cars are not allowed there. The bus only costs 1 Euro but only goes once per hour. The good thing was, that there were almost no people. The bus ride is really nice (sit on the right side of the bus!) because the view is amazing! You can also see the huge banana plantations.

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After that we continued our way down to the “Gigantes” but first we stopped in “El Palmar” to get lunch and in Masca (very nice landscape there). Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the restaurant in “El Palmar” but it was so good and they gave us a dessert for free called “mousse de gofio”. It’s typical from the canary islands and soooooo yummy (unfortunately didn’t take a picture of it 😦 ). The waiter told us that he has the best mousse de gofio ever. We thought it’s probably just some try to tell us how good they are but the truth is that after 10 days on the canaray islands and trying other mousse de gofio, he was right. The mousse de gofio in el palmar is THE BEST.

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Then we went to see the “Los Gigantes” which are cliffs right next to the ocean. They are really amazing but the beach wasn’t that special to be honest. We liked the Playa de Bollullo in the north much more.

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In the evening we went to discover Puerto de la Cruz a little bit (where we stay at the apartment) and we were positively surprised by how nice it is at night. The walk next to the beach is really long and nice and there are many restaurants, bars and shops.

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Tenerife (2/5) – Mountains, Beaches and Good Food

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Today we went to the north of the island, to the ANAGA mountains. Before going there I watched videos and photos and was so excited about it. When you have a look at the map of the island you see that it’s a rather small part of it but driving there actually takes a long time because the roads there are so curvy and small that you have to go really slow. We spend almost the whole day there.

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On our map (we got it from the tourist office and the guy there was so nice and showed us so many beautiful places) are typical viewpoints marked. So we went to the first one called “Jardina”. When we arrived there it was all of a sudden really cold, very foggy and the clouds were so fast it was incredible. I recommend you bring a light jacket just in case because up there it’s cold, it turned from 26 degrees Celsius down to 15!

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After that we kept going on the “main road” (road TF-12) to go to other viewpoints and enjoyed the incredible view of the majestic moutains (that once were volcanoes), the deep blue ocean, the white and fast-moving clouds and the incredible nature of this island. We went until the end of that road to “Chamorga” but I would recommend you not to do that because there isn’t really anything to see. You better take another smaller road and go down to the beach. We took the road TF-134 to go down to Taganana and the beach “Playa de Benijo”, it’s a black beach and really nice.

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On the way down there we stopped at the restaurant (which recommended us the guy from the tourist office) called Bibi & Mana… the food was amazing and the waiters too!! Such a cute little restaurant (“Guachinche”).

In the late afternoon we went back to a beach close to the city we stayed at. This is my absolute favourite beach of Tenerife!! It’s called Playa BOLLULLO. It’s also a black beach. The waves were so big, the red flag waving but we had so much fun. Parking there was 2 Euros (because it was after 18:00, otherwise it costs 3 Euros).

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So the first day here in Tenerife was amazing! I am already in love with this island ❤

 

 

 

 

Where the rich people are

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I am really surprised by how many beautiful and special places there are in the community of Cataluña. We went to Empuriabrava which is a city with canals where you can rent a boat and navigate around. The houses there are incredible. All really beautiful with their own big boats or yates (some even have garages on the water for the boats). So this is where rich people are in summer haha.

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We rented an eco-friendly electric boat from the company called “ecoboats” (www.ecoboats.es). It was 50 Euros for 1 round which takes around 1 hour. Empuriabrava is full of french and german people.. it’s obvious because they put their flags on their boats. On a hot day like that the boat ride was perfect!

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When navigating around and seeing all these rich families I was thinking: “I am wondering where they got their money from”, they have a high paying job? Or because they have their own company? What kind of company? I am really interested in knowing different business ideas but unfortunately it was not possible to talk to any of them.

After that we went to the beach to Aiguablava (it’s catalan and means “blue water”). The view from up the hill where we parked the car was great but on the beach there were waaaay too many people – I didn’t like it that much.

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The water was a bit cold but refreshing. Parking is really difficult there. There is a parking lot but it was already full when we arrived there. We parked up the hill – it was around 15 minutes of walking. On the way back we saw that every single car on the way up to the hill got a fine of 80 Euros. We were lucky because we parked all the way up the hill and apparently it was fine there.

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So that’s the end of our trip to Girona. It was great! This weekend I will be staying in Valencia because I am getting visit from Austria but after that Javi and I are going to the Canary Islands for 10 days to celebrate my birthday there 🙂