10 Surprises for an Englishman in China

1. No toilet seats.

OK, in modern homes it is a little more likely to have a seat but most homes have a squat loo. And in public loos there is no paper; you have to take your own. If you’re new to the country that can be an unwelcome surprise! And don’t expect hand towels.

2. Quilted PJ’s
In Changsha and other central/southern provinces there is no central heating. Everyone wears thick quilted PJs in the home. Very cosy!
 2014-12-15 16.36.31
3. Kuai Zi
OK this is pretty obvious but I was surprised that it’s pretty rare to find a knife fork and spoon. Chopsticks are the order of the day plus occasional spoons.
4. Loo Rolls
Loo rolls are in containers where you pull the sheets from the core of the roll, not the edge. It’s an art getting the cardboard core out first?
5. Bathrooms and Electricity
Electric sockets in the bathrooms (usually just a shower). Haven’t heard of any electrocutions yet!
6. Electric Sockets
All electrical sockets have a 2 pin socket and an Australian type 3 pin socket; and enjoy the light show when you insert and remove plugs!
7. Live Premier League
A Premier League channel is usually included in standard TV package. I’ve never watched so much footie! Unfortunately it’s Premier League only; no FA Cup (though it might be available occasionally on another channel.
8. No tea towels.
Everyone has dish driers (not washers). And don’t be confused; to the unknowing eye they look like ovens (which don’t exist here either).
2014-09-07 16.25.18
9. Water Bottles
Don’t drink water straight from the tap. Always boil it.
10. Laundry
Every home has a drying rack that you hoist to the ceiling.

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