88 Fortune Double Happiness Smile
I have a real love-hate relationship with China, I visited Beijing a few years ago, had a great time and thought it was lots of fun, the locals I was able to communicate with were friendly and the sights were impressive. I could talk for days on the problems with China, please don’t get me started. The treatment of people who are pushing progressive movements is scary to say the least, but I'm not here to speak on those problems.
I am here today to do my fellow imports a solid and help them 1) Integrate into other countries a little better and 2) explain the subtle art of Cheese-reduction. I am an Asian man, who lived in Asia for some of his life, has uncouth relatives and has done a reasonable amount of travel, which means right out the box, I am way more tolerant of cultural differences than say, a westerner who might be grossed out by public nose picking and is afraid of women who wear SARS masks all the time.
I have a few easy to follow steps to help them integrate into western society.
The Problem: Actions that may be perfectly acceptable in some countries may not be perfectly acceptable in others. In Vietnam you can get your ears cleaned in the streets by a dude with little metal spoons and ear cleaning tools, he puts the wax on your arm to let you know how dirty your ears are.
Aid: luckily for most cultures, cultural shit is "hip" now, (if I hear another person say feng shway I'm gonna spit blood.) westerners are eating dim sum, pho, curry, samosas and consuming lemon grass chicken in record numbers, this helps cause if people don't really like you in a society, getting white devils hooked on your sweet and sour pork may help to prevent a lynching.
I started making a list of things that bugged me but, the damn list got so damn long so I’m working on just a handful.
So here it is, a few pointers to help reduce your cheese factor and promote your integration:
1. Grooming in public: Nose/ear picking, tooth picking, finger and toe nail cutting is best when its not in a food place, public transport, I can recall a lady on a table close to mine cutting her nails once, not cool. I did think this was an “asian” thing, but I just had a meeting where a caucasian import was cutting his toe nails at the meeting, gross. Lets just say, no matter where you come from cut your nails responsibly.
2. Translations losing meaning, everyone in Vancouver knows about Pho Bich Nga, perfect example of a wholesome Vietnamese name getting lost in translation. Say you open a restaurant maybe its a good idea to ask around if the name is good and perhaps think of it in both languages before you commit.
3. Inside Vs Outside Voice: Cell Phones are remarkably good at transmitting your voice without you yelling into it and unless the other party is going deaf you really have no reason to talk that loud. I have literally hit the deck, cause someone walking close to me spoke so loud, I actually thought I was back in Nam.
4. At least attempt to obey driving laws: You know as well as I do that you can drive over that double line and maybe turning 3 lanes of traffic to 5 lanes is just good math, but if people aren't all doing it you are officially a hazard on the road.
5. Spitting: I love to spit as much as the next man, but exercise a little consideration, no one wants to tread in your massive gob of spit or be involved in a near miss or worse yet, a bulls eye.
6. Hair that makes you look crazy: My uncle in Malaysia has this mole on his face and this one really long hair coming out of it.. I asked him as a kid about that he told me it was “wisdom”; I think he said the same thing about copious amounts of nose hair. Mayhaps in Malaysia, a single thick hair running from your nose to your knees may make you as cool as a boy band, but out here, not so much.
So there you have it, this list could have easily been 1-100 but, really no one wants to read all that and also you can probably take the core ideas from this and just run with it.