Fact #1 – Chinese go to the hospital for everything. There are no personal family doctors. When I first came to China this came as as a surprise. My friends would tell me they have to go to the hospital. I thought they had a serious illness or disease. But it turns out most of the time it was a common cold or flu bug. Still whenever I have a cold someone will invariably ask me if I am going to the hospital and I have to remind myself that hospitals are the only place to go for medical care, no matter how small. It's no wonder they are so popular. To register and get a consultation with a doctor (often times Master or P.H.D. program graduates) costs between $0.25 and $.0.75!
Fact #2 – Driving has a whole different set of rules here. No doubt if you have been in China before, you know that taking to the roads can be a heart stopping experience. At the beginning of my time in China every single trip across time would present five to ten moments when I thought there was no way the driver could possibly avoid a crash. My friend told me that in China if you let other drivers in, then you will never get where you are going. There is just a continuous stream of vehicles. The rule of right of way is “whoever gets their bumper in first has it!” After several years in China, I now find myself upset if the driver is slow and doesn't race through traffic changing lanes. Lest you think that Chinese drivers are poor, think again. They go through rigorous and costly driving lessons far more difficult than what the States puts its drivers through. Drivers here have lightning fast reflexes and can stop on a coin if a pedestrian gets in their way.
Fact #3 – Want to know the biggest migration in the world every year? It is not birds going south or arctic reindeer, it happens right here in China. Each year at Chinese Spring Festival roughly 230 million Chinese city workers head back to their hometowns to celebrate Chinese New Year. Ticket prices soar and public transportation turns into a sea of people. One reason for this mass migration is that China institutes a 15 day nation wide holiday. Actually China has four or five public holidays every year when everyone gets off at the same time. Because everyone is off at the same time, everyone travels at the same time. This is in stark contrast to America, where nationwide holidays are short and workers have a lot more discretionary time off.
Fact #4 – China boasts one of the highest percentages of male hand bag carriers in the world. Whereas top brands like Gucci and Prada cater to women in Western countries, they are starting to realize the importance of targeting men here. The reason so many Chinese men carry expensive handbags is simple. The highest denominations of Ren Men Bi (Chinese Yuan) is 100. That is the equivalent of about $14. Checks aren't used and cash is. This means that large wads of cash are carried about as a must to conduct business. Wealthy businessmen buy these handbags to put in piles of cash. Also Chinese guys will cheerfully carry their wives or girlfriends purses and handbags. Sometimes you can catch sight of a burly gym rat carrying a bright red handbag with hearts on it, quite a sight!
Fact #5 – Elderly people in China have a completely different lifestyle than their Western counterparts. Early in the morning you might hear music drifting in your apartment window. It is probably women (and a lot of men too!) who have gotten up early to dance. Parks, local complexes, and sports stadium grounds are filled with public dancing. It is a great form of exercise as they really get into it. Besides that many occupy their time with social exercising, jianzi (kicking a weighted shuttlecock in a group), Tai Ji, or Ma Jiang. I have found that most elder people in China keep in great shape because of their daily exercises. Many times they will walk backwards or tap their biceps or other body parts to loosen up and keep limber.
A two-decade long run has catapulted the Chinese economy to amazing heights. It is said China will will become new economic powerhouse in the next few years. And China has always been the topic of much conversation world wide. Let`s review China from the following 10 interesting facts to see how China’s economy has reached incredible scale.
1. Artificial christmas trees
China is not only the world’s largest textile producer, but also a leader in Christmas tree manufacturing industry. 85% of the world’s artificial Christmas trees are made in China.
2. Pig-keeping Empire
China is not only the most populous country in the world, but also a counry with the biggest number of pigs. United Nation`s 2008 data shows that in 2008, there were 446.4 million pigs in China, more than the total of other 43 countries.
Chinese people light 50,000 cigarettes per second. The WHO said the number of smokers in China is constantly increasing in the past few years, 66 percent of Chinese men smoke at least one cigarette a day.
4. “Ghost Towns” spread all over the country
In recent years, China carried out large number of constructions including rural areas. And “ghost town” also appears in many places. It is estimated there are more than 64 million vacant apartments around the country.
5. Lonely McDonald
South China Mall, the world’s largest shopping mall, should have 1,500 stores, but in fact 99% of the shops are still vacant at present, only a small number of restaurants, including McDonald’s can be found there.
6. Construction boom continues
China still make great efforts to carry out construction. The result is that there is no country consumes so much cement than China, 53% of the global demand for cement is from China.
7. Barbie dolls are too sexy
Chinese are either high on building houses or produce textiles and toys, such as Barbie dolls and stuffed animals. Nearly 70% of the toys in the world are from China. However, Chinese people rarely buy Barbie, because blond Barbies are too sexy for them. In China the market manily sell cute Barbie dolls.
8. There are tens of millions of Christians in China
In this Confucian-and-atheists-dominated country. There are about 19 million Christians according to the 2008 figure.
9. Rapid development
In 2010, China overtook Japan to become the second largest economy, Chinese people today have 4 times of wealth than that of 10 years ago.
10. Everything is under control
Giant companies in China are all controlled by the state including Petro China and the Bank of China. Business managers and government are closely linked.
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