Cultural Shock

When I came to the US in 1991 after spending 22 years in China and 5 years in Germany, I had this one word to describe my first impression: "big."

Everything looked big to me: big milk/juice containers, big stores, big houses, big people, etc. I had never seen milk/juice in a gallon container. I had never seen so many obese people.

This time when I went back to China, I experienced a similar cultural shock, even though it was only five years from my last trip to China.

The word that keeps coming to me during my seven week stay in China was: "over."

So much is over-priced, over-packaged, over-consumed. It’s over and super(ficial) to the extreme.

Gifts are extremely over packaged to make them look big, nice and expensive. A few ounces of tea leaves could be packaged in layers and layers and end up weighing several pounds. Often times the packaging looks more costly than the contents in the packages.

I could care less if someone carries a $1 bag or a $2000 bag, or if someone wears a $10 watch or one that costs a Mercedes Benz. But in China nowadays, plenty of people do care about what they use and have. Expensive brand name products are in high demand. They spend big money on consumer products and housing.

The way how some people consume and spend is beyond my understanding. It’s just crazy in my mind.