things i totally forgot on my second trip to china


... And I'm still kicking myself for those.

Number one is, flush before you use any toilets in China. This is the norm, unfortunately I only got it after the n-th times using their toilets. I was taking a dump when someone enters the toilet stall beside me. Right after I heard the door closed followed by the sound of toilet flushing, I heard her (or him, I don't judge) pee.

I was estatic about that, like having a revelation. That was a short visit about four years ago, and by the second year spent at my own country, I've already forgotten about it.

Again, on my second visit to China this month, I was using their toilet for the n-th times, wondering why it smelled awful, when a mother and her small kid entered the stall beside me. I overheard the mother telling her daughter something like "don't use the toilet yet, flush it first" kind of thing.

-_- I was not a smart person. And no, they generally don't flush after using the toilets. I'm sure there are Chinese people who flush after using the toilets, I just haven't encountered any.

The second thing is handbag choice. If you travel by MTR, you'd want one small compartment, secured by a zipper, accessible from the outside of the bag, not the inside.

As a visitor, you carry significantly more things around while riding a MTR. Your passport for example. And maps. And qingwen flashcards.

What? No, the compartment on the bag is not meant to store passports nor maps nor qingwen cards. You store them in your bag. In the main section of your bag where they belong. The small compartment is meant to store MTR tokens or cards. If earlier this month you saw an overweight foreigner stumbling with her bag in nearly every stations trying to find the tokens between all those documents and maps, you probably saw me.