13 - It is customary, when
receiving a name card or business card from a new acquaintance,
to place this card on the table in front of you (or keep it
in your hand if you are standing) and refer to it a couple of
times before placing it into your pocket. It is considered a
slight to take a card and immediately place it into your pocket.
14 - The Chinese concept
of service differs from that in Western countries, and it would
be considered rude and lacking in attention for a shopkeeper
to let you walk around the shop alone. Therefore you will often
have a salesgirl at your elbow.
15 - Smoking is okay everywhere.
Respect for non-smokers is limited.
16 - Exercise is important
to Chinese people and you will see old and young alike exercising
to music in public places. These exercises take place in early
morning hours and after dark.
17 - Most public buildings
and living residences under eight floors are walk-up.
18 - Bicycles are accepted
and accommodated everywhere, but it is wise to have a good lock.
19 - Sexual harassment of
foreign women is rare, but not non-existent. Do not get into
the front seat of taxis when travelling alone and be mindful
of where you walk after dark. An unaccompanied woman can be
confused for a hooker.
20 - Never offer money to
police for any reason, and it should never be required. If you
do not understand a situation, insist on talking with someone
from your place of employment, a friend, or someone else who
speaks English and Chinese.
21 - Most Chinese dress
nicely, but not in fancy attire. Observe how people dress around
you for different occasions and try to follow suit.
22 - Never point your finger
at someone while speaking or referring to them. This is an extremely
rude gesture and can be considered offensive.
23 - When someone does something
nice for you and you accept, you then have an obligation to
return the gesture in some manner. You must be constantly aware
of the subtleties of giving and returning favours, or you risk
appearing rude. There are many things which to Westerners are
simple acts of common courtesy, are considered favours in Chinese
culture and require some reciprocity.
- Never accept things from others without first saying
'no' at least two or three times and gently pushing away whatever
is presented. This is most applicable to gifts, food, and even
extends to such things as payment for a private language lesson.
It is considered rude and greedy to accept too quickly.
25 - Always check your restaurant
bill, as they are often inaccurate. If language is a problem,
you can ask a waiter to point to what you received for each
charge. Know that when you dine out, things like tissue, nuts,
or pickled vegetables that are brought to your table as 'complimentary'
additions, are actually added to your bill. If you do not want
these 'gifts' you must say so at the beginning of the meal and
have them cleared from your table.