China Chats: Culture Clash – When East Meets West

coming up – cat we are coming to you live from the Q Bar at the Westin Guangzhou today’s episode is about culture clash when you’re drunk and wearing heels how to use a sweater toilet I used to be a yoga instructor okay pushing in China not waiting in lines if you’re at the back of a line in your old uni look at the front you’re like I might be and engels jerry either I wonder why that is you’re speaking out to those expats and Guangdong Province and sang Chinese ladies and gentlemen welcome to China chats dinah chats with based on production for guangdong radio and television welcome welcome welcome this is a very special edition of china chats because we are joined by a live audience today let’s hear you live audience that’s right we are coming to you live from the Q Bar at the Westin Guangzhou let’s give a huge round of applause for the Westin for having us here today today’s episode is about culture clash we’re gonna be talking about Chinese culture in particular and not just Chinese culture but what foreigners in China notice about Chinese culture I feel the energy in the room changing already but don’t worry what we did is we went around Guangzhou and we talked to people on the street foreigners living in Guangzhou and asked them what are some of the quirkier things about Chinese culture they’ve noticed since moving here what we’re gonna do as a panel is we’re gonna debate whether or not that’s a valid part of Chinese culture that foreigners find difficult to deal with or whether that’s something that’s a bit overblown essentially truth or myth now I’m joined here by an esteemed panel and I’ll introduce each of these gentlemen and ladies to you now on my right your left is mr. Paul Johnson thank you thank you very much Paul is a comedian up in Shanghai he also is a writer and you can read his column in every issue of Time Out Shanghai Paul why are you so beautiful it’s a question I get a lot but uh thank you Sean on my right here is Garin choo Garin is also a stand-up comic in Hong Kong with tako comedy and he also works in advertising because idiots don’t make any move my left your right here is Lum Lum my mom is a fashion buyer and she also doesn’t want anyone to touch her hair this is lum-lum everyone and finally on my left your right this is mr. Tam Beach and Kami’s as well joining us from Hong Kong where he is a travelling international comedian so thank you so much for being here today and my name is Shaun a bear as well a comedian from Hong Kong and I thank you for having me I’m your host today on China chats now one of my responsibilities as the host of China chats is to have this Bell this is the racism Bell every time somebody says something a little bit racist I’m gonna ring the bell now there’s no penalty this isn’t a game show but saying something racist on national television is its own penalty so watch yourselves here today I’ll bail anyone who’s on this street being racist too so don’t worry but if you hear the bell take it down a notch guys take it down just a notch well then without further ado we’d love to throw to the Box pops these are our man on the streets they’re gonna give us our first topic so let’s take a look yeah especially especially on the brick place you see like a kids with their pants open from down I don’t know why it’s always like especially in front of banks children like PA they really like the front of Thanks so it’s okay but I don’t know why you live it down so they’d be straight I haven’t seen anybody being public here so yes maybe once but that was just a child so it’s not shocking that much and we can do that across the world I mean in Europe you can see the heart and really often was that night so I recently seen that but I mean when you come from Europe it’s gonna be different for you but for me it’s okay because I’m people like sitting on the toilets like that and they’re sitting on this thing but normally just have to sit like this but they’re putting their foot surface on the toilet I mean why I have to say that this is disgusting truly speaking

the public tolerance looks like in my high school before yeah I mean levels of Sanitation is still pretty low here but they’re improving all the time so I think coming here for over ten years so I tend to see more of the positive than negative okay I’m gonna go ahead and start by ringing the bell on that African dude to himself for some reason that was an awesome start he’s like well I am from Africa so obviously I expect nothing so I guess I can start how many people here have pooed in the streets anyone I want to own up to that you are on television anyone here okay well lum-lum as the resident Chinese experts why are you pulling and peeing all over your country I’m I’m not answering that question embel please it’s my Bell you know you don’t get to choose when I ring the bell I really don’t think that’s a very big problem because not everybody any time feel free to poop Oh pee in public after twelve o’clock at night around the bars you see people facing the wall looking like they’re talking to themselves maybe not but I think that’s kind of okay after 12 and I also travel a lot I take a lot of business trip to Paris for example and they also do that hey I do it so I’m not sure oh yeah okay so when drinking but I think the video was addressing like a wider problem I mean that I do think people are targeted like you know in Hong Kong when a kid is like peeing on the street everyone’s taking out their cameras like oh the mainlanders peeing on the street pee on the street and then at night and like i’ve around a bar when a white guy is peeing on the street corner nobody’s saying anything guys white people don’t worry about it yeah okay so there’s a double standard so Paul why are you peeing all over China I think I do see this a lot in Shanghai I don’t mind peeing on the street as much as pooping on the street I mean I don’t mind seeing it but I do mind stepping in it so somebody in the video addressed like a a type of pants that have just an open slit and there’s no diaper is that something you’ve seen Tambi yeah I guess it’s easier for the kid if you don’t have to pull down his pants it’s kind of like yeah I don’t know I used to be a kid and Chinese and like I remember peeing I don’t think I repeat on the street though and poppy stare alright so that’s cool and you barely smell it but who’s not cool that’s what I’m gonna land on there yeah so please stop booing on the street okay well what let’s move on to the squatter toilet I mean mom I’m looking back to you now well I used to be a yoga instructor do you know squatting is actually really good for your digestive are you telling me if I see a uh a grandmother instructing her small child to poo in the road I should say well that’s just great parent look at uh look at what she’s done there that’s amazing Tammy no I for one enjoyed a squatting toilets it helped me like engage my core my leg muscles and stuff but but it was weird cause like sometimes especially not so much in Hong Kong but like in Xinjiang there are some really nice places like bars and clubs that still use squatter toilets and I want to ask levelness when you’re drunk and wearing heels how do you use a squatter toilet coz guys we can stand over girls you have no choice I used to be a yoga instructor okay everyone else is screwed but you’re okay I don’t have a selfish Bell but thank you love them that’s uh it’s appreciated all right we’re gonna I think we’ve solved the entire social problem of public urination defecation do you guys have a problem squatting toilets like versus normal toilets you know like cuz I prefer them you know like cuz with normal toilet sometimes there’s like splash back right what’s bad what squatter toilets not the case totally dry too much information we’re gonna move on to the let’s pull up the next voxpop and see what the next Chinese cultural quirk is that we’ll be discussing yes I have seen Chinese taking a lot of pictures Chinese people taking a lot of photos while eating or while growing up I have no idea why they were why they do so they keep taking pictures of me I have been photographed in Tiananmen Square and on the Great Wall and in Shanghai and maybe it should stop and maybe people who stare at certain people maybe they should stop staring and be polite and I’ll take their pictures out of without their permission yeah what’s wrong with meeting new people really bad he’s right what’s wrong with meeting new people what’s the problem there okay

taking photos in public Paul you’re the most beautiful person up here on stage with us do you find people take photos of you all the time in China they take pictures of my kids a lot but I told them just think of it as you getting to be like a celebrity without having to do any of the work of being a celebrity Tammy what do you think taking photos in public is that a Chinese thing or is that just an overblown maybe it’s cause like people you know these people yeah they came to China recently they got to observe the trend in China right where’s like back home you know people take pictures of like food or selfies but yeah well I guess that one student seemed a little perturbed oh yeah whoa like yeah you it is a tiny thing when you’re taking pictures of like the black people yeah okay or like soy people I’m not it I mean it was just when you said they’ll black people I think that would be it was the word though there that was the okay so taking pictures of people of a different ethnicity right so maybe that’s what we’re talking to classy is that a thing yeah I I really don’t like that people taking pictures of people that you don’t know without asking that’s why I find a gorgeous boyfriend so that people take pictures of him not me lum-lum really making the show about her today I like that well let’s throw it to the audience has anyone here ever had a photograph taken in China and you did not allow the photo to be taken it’s only white people putting their hands up right now what’s the explanation for that game yeah you know it’s it’s something they don’t usually get to see I think like when tourists come to Hong Kong I notice a lot of them are taking photos of me but only because I have a white girlfriend and they’re like oh look it can happen too and so you know but I took it as a compliment I’m just like opposed to speaking of dating and photography with the phones I’ve seen a lot of couples like on a date at restaurants in China where they’re both just looking at their phones with each other is that a thing am I crazy but that happens back home too I think that happens in the States as well but it’s one of those things where it yeah the phone allows you technology allows you to communicate with anyone in the world except for the person opposite you right so it’s when you’ve fallen out of love that’s when the phone’s come out thank you technology here’s a list of people I would rather be with okay right in your pocket lovely we’re getting to the bottom of real issues here today on China chats let’s go back out to the streets and let’s see what our next topic is gonna be in the underground or for everything they just pushing they don’t like to line up my wife and myself who were queuing up to to get in line and then some guy ships postures with his trolley here if a lot of people yes what really surprised me about that last well because there was very often older people doing it being quite quite tough quite strong but really pushing their way onto buses that people don’t like to wait in line pushing okay let’s get into it pushing in China not waiting in lines who here in the crowd thinks that that is more of a problem in China than maybe other parts of the world the real racial divide with some of the questions in the in the audience here today okay so let’s let’s get into it lum-lum I actually think that is a problem and a lot of us is doing it and I think the problem is when you actually get in line you actually get faster if they don’t line up take them to the the end of the line then maybe they should learn to do that this is the kindergarten teacher approach to running a society and sometimes honestly most of the time when when I’m lining up for something you know in Hong Kong you’ll see like mainlanders cut lines and there’s two reactions my first reaction I was always like oh what the hell that guy cut the line he got the cab my second reaction is always like damn I should have thought of that first like I just cut the tab so so they’re smarter that’s what you’re saying it’s smarter I mean the pushing it’s crowded in China I mean how much of an of an element’s is I mean if you know New York City was twice as dense would people not be pushing there is that fair or is it a cultural thing no yeah cuz New York City people still have like you know decorum right yeah yeah not like these people I think he was going for the Bell there the words these people why don’t we why don’t we just lock those in a box under the racist Bell is it broadly cultural I

mean I I feel like it’s mostly old people that do it like that seems to be the majority of people who cut in line yeah I always think if you’re at the back of a line and you’re old you need look at the front you’re like I might be if they ask you can I be in front of you because I’m old would you let him yeah that’s not cool cutting the line if you tell me you’re you you I don’t know you have to go to the bathroom you need to be at the bank if you need to be on the plane tell me I’ll let you be in front of me just don’t push don’t elbowed and just stand there like I didn’t see you getting into some some deeper waters here I like I like where the conversations going only one race to spell on the pushing so I appreciate it let’s go back to the street do you whole to one restaurant and you have never been in China and you see old people just watching the tea maybe some of not me but some of my friend when they came here they just drank be still okay two things number one that should never make they have people wash their dishes and they pay them if they don’t do it well enough why are they still there number two if they already give me like the tea and the whole party which to which to put that tea after washing my dishes then I think are you telling me that they’re dirty yeah bonus points that last guy who is very passionate on all the reasons he didn’t like the washing my question actually for the crowd is is this just a Guangdong Province thing yes okay has anyone been anywhere else in China and seen it Beijing is well Hong Kong a little bit we’ve did the plastic sets come on to the table and you poke it I actually I really like that you like the poking oh yeah take a little present for your cell phone yeah Tammy what’s your feeling on these self washing at a table well Sean it’s funny you would have tami you’re the worst television guest ever thank you um I don’t get it right cuz like it’s just hot water right so like there’s no detergent or no gloves we’re supposed to believe that the hot water itself cleans the dishes you know that doesn’t make any sense to me yeah cool also like when they serve the food right we don’t have the option of washing those dishes so we just assumed those are dirty so we just assumed those are dirty right I should have like six bells for you Tammy come on now good point okay so if you so if you bring the the food out on a dish itself yes true then what about that dish yeah why did nobody wash that dish at the table I’m gonna throw it over here cuz I’m done with this side but I want to answer the last guy’s question is like are we supposed to assume it’s dirty yes it’s dirty you clean it yourself like have you ever been to the bathroom in a restaurant and you see one of the chefs like washing his hands dries it and then he picks his nose like yeah I’m gonna wash my own dish so why is that not a practice anywhere else why is that just here oh I think because the chefs here are dirtier regardless of the race safety issue not a tiny thing okay yeah it’s a health and safety I mean that’s a fair point is it a health there’s more lacks regulations here what’s it’s better safe than sorry issue for me let’s go back out into the streets only one problem we have like if you take any taxi driver they don’t speak English I can’t really find like where to go like how will I go so I have to just ask the help of the people but sometimes the people also trick us that’s what really makes me wonder like why do I get tricked like by strangers like that they can just help me out to go to the right direction right no one no one speaks English here especially like on the streets on the street or they try to the game is a little bit or they say no no no no you are not on current push you don’t go in but you don’t know my language I don’t want to talk I really like the Indian guy in the video who like was falling apart emotionally because why do they trick me I don’t know why I’m is it me is it like it seemed like it was just him right it was just him getting tricked okay not speaking English Garen I’m gonna get the bail here but sometimes expats are so annoying like they really are like I’m not gonna go to America and be like why

aren’t people speaking Chinese Chinese I think you know you have to at least learn how to say your address to a taxi driver like that’s the bare minimum oh yeah I don’t expect that everybody should be able to speak English I think it’s more of a problem that there’s so many Chinese that don’t speak good Chinese nobody nobody tells you this when you first come over you listen to people for your first year or two near like I’m just gonna do with that guy’s doing but it really depends on their level of education there are lots of people who don’t speak very good Mandarin I mean yeah you can be terrible at Chinese but turns out if everyone is it’s it’s a very difficult language if you haven’t started studying it yet don’t you’re not you’re not gonna get it first of all I didn’t quite understand them so fair points so if I accidentally say the wrong address to that Indian guy I’m gonna not blame myself too much because I understood wrong what is the mob way yeah and they didn’t speak English there either I wonder why that is thank you huh no English in Zimbabwe or Guangzhou weird we’re speaking out to those expats in Guangdong Province and saying learn Chinese no go ahead and learn some Chinese we’ve got some great suggestions from the folks out in the street but what we’d like to do now is actually pull the audience here we’ve actually asked the audience before the show to WeChat us any questions that they have or observations they have about Chinese culture we’re gonna do a bit of a rapid-fire audience round okay the audience has been texting and we are now ready to respond so we’ve got some questions on the board let’s start at the top why Chinese people always like using umbrellas because they don’t want to get tanned because if they looked and then people will zoom that they’re like farmers okay yeah no Bell yeah I I don’t know if it’s just about not getting a tan but I had this lady I worked with who was always carrying around an umbrella and she’s like get under here and it’s like five degrees cooler have you heard of these umbrellas they have onto the next question why our server workers perpetually angry at you know different restaurants different service and in Paris all of them are like that okay with their friends they are French that’s right I’ll take one I’ll take one for the team with that Geron no I think it’s cuz uh I mean especially for expats they need to get things done as fast as possible it’s very very busy so when they get to someone who doesn’t know how to read the menus like mmm can you tell me what’s good like hurry up that’s why they get angry again learn Chinese well maybe they just complain you’re trying to phase maybe have a grumpy face a lot of Chinese people when they don’t have any facial expressions and date yeah no no continue a lot of Chinese people go ahead go ahead has different face you really back pedaled off of that yeah they do have different faces let’s go to the next question what’s the weirdest question a Chinese person has asked you Paul since you appear to look like a model I’m sure people are always coming up and asking you crazy things I I don’t have a specific question in mind I I don’t know why you keep bringing up my looks it’s very awkward I know that was one of the more awkward questions I’ve been asked but not by a Chinese person just by me by you yeah anyone there have a the weird question that someone’s asked them yeah Chinese person once asked me how come I’m not a successful with my brother it was your mom yeah and thank you all for asking your fascinating questions give yourselves a round of applause thanks for participating concludes our controversial discussion on Chinese cultural quirks hopefully we’ve learned a little bit certainly some of us have lost friendships that we thought we had with one another up on the stage but hopefully these will also inspire more conversations at home as well as in the crowd here so thanks for bringing it up it makes it a little bit better it’s a little bit of a culture hug that I think we just had together if you’ve been offended by anything that we said on the show just go screw yourself I don’t think you need to no we thank you so much for watching this episode of China chats please tune in next time my name is min Shana bear