August 27, 2008 3:32 PM
What I've Learned: Final Edition
As I leave China tomorrow, I'd like to post a final note on all of the
things I've learned here in China. (Click here to view the first
of What I've Learned.) Enjoy:
>China is an expanding market for a lot of products. But not sunscreen.
>Sticking your chopsticks in your bowl of rice at a Beijing restaurant is a major faux pas. The Chinese only do that on a day known as 清明节, or Qīngmíngjié. On that day, instead of placing flowers at the grave site of a loved one, they leave a bowl of rice with chopsticks in it for the dead.
>It's actually pronounced "lo me-ehn," not like "SportsCenter" anchor Kenny Mayne. Go figure.
>I'm not the only one looking forward to heading home; this entire city emptied within 24 hours of the Closing Ceremonies. On Sunday, the city was packed with athletes and journalists. Markets, restaurants and trains have been empty since Monday night.
>If you watch enough CCTV, you'll wish that China had a TV network as unbiased as Fox News.
>Three simple rules to live by here: Don't eat scorpion on a stick. Don't ask for fortune cookies at the end of a meal. Don't embarrass yourself in a game of ping pong against a 10-year-old.
>For these Olympics, "Well, at least it wasn't held in North Korea" is the new "If you can't say anything nice, don't say it at all."
>For future reference to police officers in Columbia, Mo.: there are no open container laws in either China or Spain. Here, you can bring a beer or three on the subway if you feel like it. My point is: if you're reading this, it means I've forgotten that America does have laws against such things, I've been caught walking down Broadway with a Bud Light in my hand and now I'm trying to get you to release me from police custody for breaking our fine Americans laws. My apologies.
>After a while, you'll forget why it is we use utensils and not sticks of bamboo to eat our food.
>You can have your dumplings and eat them too.
>In life, I'm convinced that most things aren't supposed to make
sense. In Beijing, nothing is supposed to make sense. And yes, typing
these words now, this makes complete sense to me.