The culture in China is very different from the European one.
First of all there is the language of course, when we arrived at Chenggong people were not talking English at all whereas we thought that Chinese people had at least bases of English language. But it was not the case then we always need to have google translate on our phones in order to make us understand to them and it is pretty difficult every time we are trying to order food or when we want to buy something (for the size, the color…). People that speaks English are very rare and not everywhere so it is a bit complicated to integrated ourselves. Even if Chinese people see that we are foreigners and we are not talking Chinese at all (except « hello » or « thank you ») they always try to talk to us in Chinese like if they think we understand everything they said and even if we say « we are talking english » they keep talking Chinese which makes it pretty annoying.
At the beginning of our stay, every time around 6pm all restaurants/shops were empty their trash on the street at different places so every time we were passing in front of it it was very dirty and the smell was disagreeable. But at 6am in the morning everything was clean again. It lasted for the first month I think and now no more trash on the street.
Meals time and money :
Chinese people tend to eat very early like 6/7pm which is pretty different from out dinner time. If we go to a restaurant at 8:30pm it will be hard for us or will be alone in the restaurant. Plus many restaurants do not have a menu in English and even worst it is only Chinese writings without any pictures so it is difficult for us to understand the menu and of course people do not speak English so they cannot translate us the menu. So we often go out and try to find a restaurant where we can understand meals they are proposing. Plus where we are our credit cards don’t work then we always need to have cash on us which sometimes is a bit annoying as we always need to go to a distributor in order to have money because even in our hotel our credit card doesn’t work so we need to have a lot of cash in our pocket and then go to pay which is a big inconvenient.
By the way we have to be very attentive when we go to the distributor taking cash because we need to click on the « English » button in order to understand everything they are asking and then when we finish we need to click on the « return card » button otherwise the card will not get out of the machine. One of my friend did not click on it and went away therefore two days after he realizes that he did not click on the button and let his card in the machine at the airport. If we do not know that it is something we do not think about.
We took the underground once during our stay and it was impressive as it is not the same thing than Paris one.
Actually you buy ticket direct in the place, and after you go and it is like a security check in the airport, you put your bag on a conveyor belt and someone is checking on a screen if there is something bad within it and at the same time you pass under a door check that rings if you have a metal object or anything else on you and a man will check with an object if something is hide on you. Then when you are waiting for the subway you actually have some lines that are drawn on the ground then you go there and go behind the person that is already waiting the subway. So when it is arrived we are letting all the people go out the subway and we enter one by one in it (someone is checking is everybody do this thing) which avoid the crowd and rush in the underground. If there is no more place the people that had not enter in it, are waiting for the next one. I found that very clever and we should do the same thing in Paris.