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50 ways a foreigner becomes more Chinese

50 ways a foreigner becomes more Chinese, foreigners in china

 

It's more than just perfecting your chopsticks technique or struggling to learn Mandarin. Living in China – indeed, living anywhere abroad – changes you, as Matt Prichard reports.

以为练习使用筷子,努力学习普通话就是在中国生活的全部?那你可就错了。在马特·普里查德看来,中国生活会给你带来许多改变——其实,我们只要生活在国外就一定会发生变化。

I have now lived in China longer than it took to get my bachelor's degree. While no one is going to confuse me with any of my Chinese colleagues or friends, the experience has definitely made a difference in my daily routine and how I see the world. In my estimation, it has been a positive change.

我在中国呆的时间比在大学呆的时间还长。当我和中国同事、朋友在一起的时候,外人总能一眼认出我是外国人,但在中国生活的这么些年确实影响了我的日常生活乃至世界观。而且在我看来,这些都是积极影响。

Some ingrained laowai (foreigner) habits are hard to break: I still sometimes forget to ask if I should take off my shoes when visiting another person's home. Yet, it was a revelation to make a list of 50 ways I have become more Chinese, and in particular, more of a Beijinger, in ways big and small:

有一些根深蒂固的“老外”习惯仍然难以改正:比如去拜访别人家时,有时我还是忘了问需不需要换鞋子。但当我列出了自己越来越像中国人,尤其是像北京人的大大小小五十个行为方式后,连自己都觉得出乎意料。

1. While mystified the first time I was served a glass of hot water, I now like it, especially in winter.

第一次接到一杯热水时我困惑不解,而如今我却爱上了热水,尤其在冬天。

2. I have an English name and a distinct Chinese name (Ma Wen Tao) that's not just a phonetic version of the former.

我有一个英文名和一个发音完全不同的中文名(马文涛),中文名不是英文名的音译。

3. I know the Chinese zodiac sign I was born under (rooster).

我知道自己的生肖是鸡。

Also, I:

此外,我还:

4. Don't hug acquaintances anymore.

不再见人就拥抱。

5. Smile automatically when I see a small child, and may ask a baby's age or name.

看到小孩就情不自禁地微笑,可能还会问宝宝多大了,叫什么名字。

6. Have a new favorite breakfast food: jian bing, Shandong style, a crunchy, eggy, spicy crepe of goodness.

早餐有了新的最爱:山东煎饼,一种加蛋的香辣脆饼,好吃到爆。

7. Go to Wumart more than Wal-Mart, and love the lively atmosphere.

去物美超市比去沃尔玛去得更勤,喜欢那里的生气勃勃。

8. Have a son who speaks good Chinese – my youngest studied Mandarin in college, including a summer in Chengdu.

有个中文说得很溜的儿子——我最小的孩子在大学里学过普通话,还在成都待过一夏天。

9. Have a new favorite snack: chuanr, or as my wife calls it, meat-on-a-stick.

零食也有了新的最爱:烤串儿,或者用我妻子的话来说,串烧肉。

10. Seldom worry about personal safety, even walking in big cities at night.

不怎么担心个人安全了,晚上也敢在大城市里行动了。

11. Keep a large metal carafe on my desk for hot water for the day's tea.

桌上准备了一个不锈钢水壶,用来放白天泡茶的热水。

12. Have friendly relationship with Jing Dong delivery guy.

和京东快递小哥的关系挺不错的。

13. Have a Chinese keyboard on my phone.

手机上设置了中文输入法。

14. Will eat jellyfish – reminds me of cole slaw.

开始吃海蜇,味道像菜丝沙拉。

15. No longer have coffee on balcony – that's where I hang wet clothes.

再也不在阳台上喝咖啡了——那可是我晾衣服的地方。

16. Politely cover my mouth with one hand while using a toothpick.

用牙签时会礼貌地用手挡住嘴巴。

17. Grocery shop using my bicycle.

骑自行车去买菜。

18. Have to remember to tip when I'm traveling abroad.

出国旅行时必须提醒自己要给小费。

19. Wonder why public spaces there look so empty.

看到空荡荡的公共场所会很奇怪。

20. Pack a jar with a hot beverage from home for the office.

出门上班时会装上一罐热饮。

21. Consider vendors' prices only a reference point for haggling.

知道商家的标价只是为砍价做参考而已。

22. Use the China UnionPay card: I never leave home without it.

用中国银联卡:出门必将随身携带。

23. Love tearjerker Chinese history dramas on TV.

酷爱电视上催泪的中国古装剧。

24. Am amazed by Western actors who speak really good Mandarin.

听到西方演员操一口标准的普通话会十分叹服。

25. Make fun of Americanized "Chinese food" back home.

回美国时会打趣美版的“中华菜肴”。

26. Keep transit card on me at all times.

随身携带一卡通。

27. Check air pollution conditions several times a day.

一天能查上好几次空气污染情况。

28. Keep mask in my coat pocket, humidifier by my bed.

外套口袋里备有口罩,床边备有空气加湿器。

29. Calculate, automatically, yuan equivalents of dollar prices in my head.

自动心算将人民币换算成美元。

30. Am amazed at how much stuff costs in Western countries.

为西方国家的高物价所震惊。

31. Check WeChat throughout day; make phone calls on WeChat.

一整天时不时就检查微信,用微信语音聊天。

32. Think ganbei (dry cup) when someone proposes a toast.

别人祝酒时我就想着干杯。

33. Have a pet cat with a Chinese name, Meimei (Little Sister).

养了一只中文名叫“妹妹”的宠物猫。

34. Love candied crabapples.

喜欢上了蜜饯。

35. Put my contact information for emails in English and Chinese.

电子邮件的通讯录设为中英对照。

36. Measure wintertime by when Beijing's centralized radiator heating system comes on and shuts off.

根据北京中央供暖系统的开放和关闭来判断冬季的来去。

37. Keep supply of red envelopes for cash gifts on appropriate occasions.

常年备有红包,在必要的场合赠送礼金。

38. Go to a hospital for routine healthcare.

定期去医院做体检。

39. Have Moutai baijiu (white spirits) firewater in a cabinet at home.

家里壁柜中收藏了浓烈的茅台白酒。

40. Live in a divided household: Wife and I are split by that infamous rivalry, Shanghai vs Beijing.

夫妻两地分居:两个人分别生活在势不两立的上海和北京。

41. Have no problem with squat toilets, which actually are more natural.

用得惯蹲式厕所,其实这种排便姿势更自然。

42. Surprised and dismayed by how little the world knows about China.

世界对中国知之甚少,这让我很惊讶也很沮丧。

43. Get up in wee hours to watch important sporting events outside Asia.

凌晨爬起来看亚洲外的重大体育赛事。

44. Think not only of time zones when phoning abroad, but also the International Dateline.

打国际长途时除了要考虑时差,还要考虑国际日期变更线。

45. Try to balance Mandarin-speakers and English-speakers at social gatherings.

社交聚会上,在说汉语和说英语的人之间巧妙周旋。

46. Understand much better the importance of friends to a happy life.

比以前更明白友情对幸福生活的重要性。

47. Celebrate two New Year's days and two Valentine's days.

每年庆祝两个新年,两个情人节。

48. Stare briefly at anyone who doesn't appear to be Chinese on buses, subways or airplanes.

在公交车、地铁和飞机上,看到谁不像是中国人就会瞧上一眼。

49. Read celebrity news of Jackie Chan and Fan Bingbing, ignore Kardashians.

看成龙和范冰冰的八卦新闻,而不再理会卡戴珊姐妹。

50. Gave up Netflix for Youku.

不再看奈飞,喜欢上了优酷。

2016-06-23

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