Question: what do you miss having while in China?
I often find that people who come to China often have their own very specific things they miss. I thought it might be fun to see what some of you guys miss while living/visiting here.
- My brand of deodorant
- Readily available cottage cheese
- Yogurt that uses a spoon--not a straw
- American Chinese food (ironic isn't it)
- Authentic, reasonably-priced Mexican food
pretzellogicFebruary 22, 2011, 05:39 AM
Yeah, I think there's only one thing I miss in China that I got plenty of in the US, and that was a culture of running: being able to do the 5K fun run in one town, then the 15K fun run the next weekend, then a 10K another weekend in another nearby town. Being able to go into a store (Marathon Sports in Boston), and skilled runners are the sales people, and they look at your feet while you run and walk to see what type of shoes you need.
Everything else I thought I missed, I can still get. Maybe just very expensive. I can still go to Jenny Lou's or April Gourmet to buy instant pancake mix to make pancakes at home, but pancake mix just costs 3-4 times as much as in the states. I will say that because we're in Beijing, expat stores are available,even though stuff there is extremely expensive. When we lived in Lanzhou, you'd be hard pressed to finda decadent American breakfast like with pancakes, sausages, hash browns, syrup, no matter how much you were willing to pay. No Starbucks or McDonalds either, although KFC was there in force.
I kinda miss NASCAR, but Formula 1 makes up for it. I kinda sorta like missing the NFL, NHL, MLB and tennis, although these sports have a big enough web presence that I could get my fill of them online, and the only thing missing would be watching them on TV, and talking about it with coworkers.
When I worked at a university here in Shanghai, I wanted to start jogging. At night, the roads inside the campus have few cars, and they are fairly well lit. I thought it was a perfect place to get some alone time and just daydream a bit. But my wife thought I was strange for not wanting to run on the school track with all the faculty, students and local residents.
bababardwanFebruary 22, 2011, 06:09 AM
"American Chinese food (ironic isn't it)"
...yes ironic, as well as surprising and interesting and counter to what you often hear. Tell me more...what is it in American Chinese food that you both can't get in China and that you miss...that must be more to your liking in some way?
Actually Baba, there are a lot of foreigners here in China that are very tired of Chinese food in general. As a vegetarian, I have limited authority on judging the quality of Chinese food, but I can say that the daily food seems to be nothing special, and all too often very soggy or just too drenched in oil. That said, there are still quite a few dishes I enjoy here, and my comment above is not to imply that American Chinese food is better, but rather just to say that American Chinese food is completely unavailable here, and I am not ashamed to say I miss it. I have heard many times that American Chinese food is based on cheap Cantonese food. In Shanghai there is no short supply of Cantonese food, but unfortunately it is all the so-called high-level stuff. I for the life of me cannot understand the attraction to high-level Cantonese cuisine. They actually brag about how bland it is?! Furthermore, it often comes in small portions. I always feel hungry one hour later, but this undoubtedly is related to being a vegetarian. Regardless, I miss my vegetable lo mein drenched in mustard sauce with a fortune cookie on the side.
oh yes, how could I forget the fortune cookies. Now those I like even if they're not authentic Chinese.
Yeah, I could understand foreigners getting tired of Chinese food and missing other cuisine, particularly their home country cuisine, I was just surprised that you'd miss American Chinese food. Thanks for your insights mate. Obviously "Chinese food" is such a broad category that gathers together many styles/ cuisines so I shouldn't really be surprised at all.
I'd say fiction. I don't recall being offered any lately at any Chinese Restaurants, but I've definitely had them before, though most of my recollection seems to be from take away or some other source. I have bought them in supermarkets. Maybe they only come out on special occasions.
btw ...My favourite is to buy them from supermarkets. That way if you're none to pleased with your first fortune,if it's a bit of a 吃苦 sitch， just 继续朵颐 till you get to the 软饭
haha, 朵颐 reminds me of that scene from tais toi:
ok, just did a quick look at a random Chinese Restaurant here, and it's listed as coming out with dessert:
From memory, I think it's often not listed on the menu but just comes with dessert and you may have to ask for it. Also, as above, they're very easy to find in supermarkets.
It did start in the US though, right? ..so I guess it's always going to be bigger there.
I always assumed they were invented in the U.S., but Wikipedia claims they were invented in Japan.
You can tour the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco to see how they are made.
johnbFebruary 22, 2011, 06:44 AM
I've been here for a while, so most of the things I missed I've either found, or just don't miss anymore. A short list for me would include:
- Shoes that fit (size 48s are few and far between)
- Live sports (that are on at the right time of the day -- I can't wake up at 2am on Monday morning to watch football every week)
- Libraries, and bookstores, full of English books
- Bagels (this problem is starting to go away with an increase in Shanghai bagel options, but it's still a problem)
- Joint bank accounts (serious pain once you're married)
Speaking about Decathlon in China, their brand Quechua is not pronounced like K-Chu-A but seems to loose the C and is pronounced as QueHua.
As I often hear a second tone on Que, I'm quite concerned about the meaning of this brand.
For QueHua, what tones do you hear ?
Yes- Bagels! And also toast! I'm in Hong Kong and I miss toast, which is sad because they have it. But I haven't had a good piece yet. They are all too hard and the butter isn't melted. :P
calkinsFebruary 22, 2011, 10:27 AM
Pretzel rods (especially Rold Gold). Pretzels can be found in Taiwan, but pretzel rods can not.
Live music venues that play good music...I was so spoiled in Chicago!
oranginaFebruary 22, 2011, 01:44 PM
I'll second authentic reasonably priced Mexican food. That is probably the biggest one. And libraries with English books.
Also: microbrew, nitro
cheap frozen pizza and the oven to cook it in
non-rhinestone encrusted shoes, earrings and any other apparel really. (ok, I can find it, but it certainly isn't the standard. I've learned to say 太复杂）
Things I enjoy: not driving, cheap art supplies