keskiviikko 26. marraskuuta 2008

Five things you didn't know about...

I got this e-mail, challenging me to think of five things that my friends don't know about me. And then sending these five things to my friends. The obvious reason being, that my friends would know me a little bit better after that. Yeah right! I tell you: the real reason is, that if there are five things people don't know about their friends, they must be embarrassing things. Like truly, unbelievably embarrassing. And some, twisted soul (could have been me, but wasn't) has had an idea: this way we just might learn embarrassing things about our friends. Which can later be used to torture or blackmail, should the situation require such desperate actions.

Anyway, here are my Five things I think you didn't know about me...

1) I get really cranky if I sleep during the day. I mean, if I sleep late in the morning or take a nap during the day, it is best to keep out of my range for awhile, because taking a nap just ruins my day.

Doesn't apply to travelling, though: I never get cranky if I manage get some sleep on a plane, for example.

2) I hate it if my feet are too worm when I sleep. Actually I can hardly sleep if that is the case. Followingly, I never sleep with socks on. (Except if I happen to be sleeping in a car, airplane, or some other place not suitable for feet or other nudity.)

3) This is starting to sound like "What you did not know about my sleeping habits"... This is a new habit: if I am home alone here in China, I am pretty sure there is going to be a gas leak during the night. So, I need to open kitchen window, close the kitchen door and close the bedroom door. I have no idea if hat would do the trick, should there actually be a gas leak. Neither do I know why I think the leak would happen when I am alone, but not otherwise.

I guess I just revealed how seriously troubled I am inside. It is a good thing I live with a "certified health care professional".

(Just so you don't think that would actually help, this health care professional is strictly something other then the title would imply, has never worked with health care issues, not one day. And very unlikely that he would.)

4) I have at least three things in my bode that are not as straight as their should be:

- my wrist, which was broken almost 9 year ago. It works, but it's not straight.
- my nose, which did not have an accident, that's just the way it is. I might straighten it in a surgery, but then again I don't have extra money (there are so many more important things) and if I had the money I could still not do it because I almost faint if I think the sound that my nose would make when they would break iiiiit....
Sorry, a short loss of consciousness, but I am back now.

--> Hey, what ever happened to number three? I don't know, but it's my spine. There is a bend in it.

5) I don't always comply with Chinese toilet using instructions. (Yes, keep reading, you'll figure it out at some point.)

But when I listed the above, I started thinking that most of you come to this blog to learn something about CHINA, not to read about me, me and me! So, I'll give you:

Five things you didn't know about CHINA!
(or maybe you do, how the heck could I know what you do or don't know about China?)

1) Language
There are some word in the Chinese language that sound approximately same as their Finnish equivalents. Don't believe me?

Well, here are some that I have noticed. There are more, but I cannot remember at the moment.
Vauva = waa waa
Hi / hei = hai (yes, you should know by know that the most common is "Ni hao", but also "hai" is used as a greeting.)
Talo (rakennus / building) = da lou

2) MSG
Did you know that Chinese use a lot of artificial, chemical flavour enhancer (aromivahvenne) in their cooking. Also families, not just restaurants. Ok, so you might know this if you are aware of the news of the world, and weren't born yesterday. (Since I think the discussion of the subject was on the table some fifteen years ago.)

Some believe that the MSG is connected with obesity and some other health issues, but there is no compelling evidence for one way or the other. Some people say you get a sort of a "hangover" from MSG-food.

I can pretty much guess (after some practice) whether there is MSG in the food or not: the food tastes some how salty (but not exactly) and kind of good, in a way that all the tastes are stronger (yup, I KNEW there was a reason they call it "aromivahvenne"). Don't know how bad it is for health, though...

3) Retirement age
The legal age for women to retire in China is 55! Can you imagine that. And, if you continue working after that, you get to keep both your pension and your salary. There is a little downside though... I am not sure how many Chinese actually can afford to retire at that age...

4) Toilet paper
Did you know, that toilet paper does not belong to the toilet in China? (And when I say China, I mean Shanghai :o) Yes, it is true there is no paper in many public toilets (malls etc.) but that is not what I meant. I mean, in many places they ask you to not through the paper to the toilet. In some places they don't, so I am not sure whether it applies in every where, but based on my observations, that is how Chinese act. Signs or not. I don't always comply. I am sorry. I really am. I am also sorry I brought up the topic.

5) Did you know that there is a KOTI-PIZZA in Changshu? (Did you know what is Changshu? It is a city, 120 km from Shanghai, and there is a "Special Development Zone", in which the company that pays my salary has two factories in. It is small city in chines scale, only 1,4 million citizens.) OK, so we all know that Koti-Pizza and Hesburger, those great Finnish gourmet/export-success stories have spread wide, but that there is one in Changshu! I almost could not believe it. But I have to, since I just got these pics from my colleague:

And now I have an unbelievable craving for Koti-Pizza... Do you think they deliver to Shanghai? Or maybe to the mill, it's only some 40 kilometres away...

Bonus 1)
This one you should know, if you have been good and diligent blog-readers. Many small children were pants that are open from the crotch, enough to show a good look of their buttocks. (Sorry, I have not yet get the courage to take a picture of such a child. I might get accused of inappropriate behaviour, or something worse.) Now, for example this week I saw a Chinese lady who herself had seen fit to put on a down filled, really warm coat (untuvatakki) and her child was wearing this kind of pants. So my question is, if adults needs a proper winter gear to manage, how come they don't come to think that these little kids might get frost bites to their buttocks?

P.S. Christmas - The Chinese Way - pictures coming on soon! Consider yourself warned!

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