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12 Signs you’ve been in China too long

1. You greet people by saying, “Have you eaten yet?”

A typical Chinese way to say hi is “Chi le mei?” which means, “Have you eaten yet?” Like “How are you?” in English, this is a question not really requiring a literal answer. So often you’ll tell someone you’ve already eaten over the roar of your growling, empty stomach.

2. You consider it a compliment when a Chinese person remarks that you’ve gained weight, and you catch yourself saying the same thing to others.

In traditional Chinese culture, the chubbier a person is, the more prosperous and healthy he or she is deemed to be. So a comment about your weight, especially coming from elderly Chinese, is not meant to tell you to lay off the fatty pork belly.

But in general, people in China can be pretty frank with comments about other people’s physical appearance. You know you’ve been in China too long when the first thing out of your mouth on seeing an old friend is an exclamation about his or her weight.

3. You break out your umbrella on sunny days to avoid getting tan.

People in China consider darker skin a sign of a peasant background, while lighter skin means high status in that you haven’t had to labor outside. As unfair as it is, women with darker skin are considered less attractive. Skin whitening products are a multi-billion-dollar industry in China. The latest trend to hit beachwear is the facekini, which is essentially a big sock you wear over your head with a few slits for your eyes, nose, and mouth.

4. You know how to gracefully drink tea with the leaves floating around in your cup.

For people in China, drinking tea made in teabag form is akin to drinking instant coffee in the US. It just doesn’t cut it once you’ve had the real thing. You’ve learned how to drink tea with loose leaves floating around without choking on them or being forced to chew them down. You know it’s all in the way you use your teeth as a strainer. And you know that yellowed teeth are an unfortunate byproduct of your tea snobbery.

5. You’re no longer color blind.

Red denotes good luck, fortune, and happiness in China. Traditional Chinese wedding outfits are red. Red envelopes are used to give out money during Chinese New Year. You know that people in China don’t shy away from wearing red during holidays or celebrations.

You also know white is the color of mourning and death, and you avoid wearing white in your hair as it means a relative has passed away. You know there are all kinds of exceptions (brides in China now wear Western-style white gowns), but you do your best to be color sensitive, especially when there are elderly Chinese in the mix.

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12 signs you’re from Newfoundland

1. You rarely refer to yourself as Canadian.

Your first inclination is to say you’re from Newfoundland, even if no one knows what you’re talking about. Yes, we’re Canadian, but we’re not that Canadian. We have a different culture and don’t fit the regular Canadian stereotypes.

2. You’ve gotten drunk in a shed.

Not much to say about this one. Maybe it isn’t exactly a point of pride, but it’s true.

3. You identify with townies or baymen.

Townies are from town, the capital city, St. John’s. Baymen are pretty much everyone else.

As a bayman, you’re taught that townies are lazy. As a townie, you see baymen as backward. Either way, it’s all a bit of a laugh. Even if you’ve lived in St. John’s for 10 years, you’ll always be a bayman.

4. Sometimes, “skeet” is just the best descriptive word you can find.

Skeets are everywhere, but they’re hard to describe to people not from Newfoundland. They’re kind of like rednecks, but with their own special spin. Newfoundlanders know skeets when they see (or hear) them.

“Skeet” can describe the way a person dresses, talks, acts — pretty much any manner of things. We might not know how to define such an all-encompassing word, but we all can agree on who is or isn’t a skeet, and their level of skeety-ness.

5. You get defensive and prideful around other Canadians.

The first day I arrived in Korea, I met a girl from Vancouver who referred to Newfoundland as “the butt of Canada’s joke.” You might have certain ideas about us, and we have conflicting feelings about how to respond. We want to prove all the negative stereotypes wrong while also maintaining our unique spirit and culture.

We’ll bring up home more often than other Canadians, because we feel it makes us special. What’s the harm in that?

6. Weather is not just small talk.

And not just to the elderly. St. John’s has the toughest climate of any city in Canada, according to the climate index. Nice days are so rare that they feel like a special gift.

7. You get a bit confused when someone mentions the west coast.

We’re on an island, remember, so it’s best to specify whether you mean western Newfoundland or western Canada. Western Canada is pretty much half a world away to us — Western Europe is a shorter flight.

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10 signs you’re from Kansas City

1. You’re fiercely loyal to local ‘que and know your way around a grill.


Whether you claim allegiance to BBQ powerhouses Gates and Jack Stack, Missouri-side Arthur Bryant’s, Kansas-side Oklahoma Joe’s, or (my favorite) small-fry LC’s, you think of them when anyone mentions barbecue. Roll out the smoker and soak those wood chips — hot dogs and hamburgers just won’t cut it.

2. You’ve grown accustomed to crappy sports teams.


KC sports fans can’t catch a break. Anyone will tell you when we last won the big one: 1985. We beat our cross-state baseball rivals in what was dubbed the I-70 Series. But the Royals, god love them, haven’t made it to the postseason since.

And the Chiefs, who were competitive in the heady days of the early NFL and flirted with postseason success in recent years, have had an even longer drought. We won Super Bowl IV, more than four decades ago. Len Dawson, quarterback for our one Super Bowl win against the Vikings in 1969, covers sports for Channel 9 and still calls games on 101 The Fox — we’re all secretly hoping we can pull one out before he retires. 

3. You know the Timberwolf is the most terrifying rollercoaster in the world.

It’s made of wood and goes way faster than any wooden machine should, jostling you around on the way up the big hill and rattling your teeth in your skull on the way down. You start to understand why people thought Model Ts would kill everyone. When not safely enveloped in plastic, steel, and fiberglass, anything that goes faster than 10mph feels like a death trap.

4. You’ve downed a Skyscraper Soda…and lived to tell about it.

Winstead’s — KC’s diner staple decked in ’40s pinks and blue-greens with chrome finishings — makes the Skyscraper Soda in a GIANT GLASS VASE. Piled high with vanilla and chocolate ice cream and topped off with soda, it’s practically a rite of childhood to split one with your siblings/cousins/neighbors, dueling with long-handled diner spoons and jockeying for position with the doubled-up long straws so you can gorge yourself until you want to puke. 

5. You have a picture of you with the giant shuttlecocks.


Yes: 20ft-high replicas of white-feathered shuttlecocks dot the lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It’s said that the sculptors were drawn to feathers because of the local Native American heritage, but designed the shuttlecocks because from above, the museum grounds resemble a badminton lawn. Everyone has a picture of themselves next to one, behind one, even jumping in front of one. They’re a magnet for area brides, so during the summer watch out or you could photobomb a wedding party.

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14 signs you’re from Glasgow

1. You regard Edinburgh as part of England.

The animosity between Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, and its capital, Edinburgh, runs deep along the M8 motorway connecting the two. Glaswegians are suspicious of the capital dwellers’ accents, lack of hospitality, and salt and sauce and snobbery, and deep down we regard the city as part of the Auld Enemy, England.

2. You feel a surge of pride when the city’s grim crime statistics are reported.

Civic pride takes perverse forms in Glasgow. The city has undergone a huge amount of regeneration in the last few decades, although its reputation as a hotbed of violent crime has not diminished. Curiously, while Glaswegians enjoy a new-found identify as sophisticated urbanites, there’s an underlying machismo that seeks to retain the hardman status.

Whenever the latest crime statistics are published, I find myself checking to see if Glasgow is still level with Moscow. Think of it as a masochistic alternative to checking the football scores.

3. “Being baltic” doesn’t mean hailing from northeastern Europe.

It means it’s very cold. And this is usually the case during the 50 weeks of the year when it isn’t summer. Glasgow’s rich vernacular, or “patter,” means almost any phrase in the English language will have an alternative meaning.

4. You take your top off when the temperature soars above 15˚C.

For those two magical weeks of the year when Glasgow isn’t baltic, half the city phones in sick to enjoy this novelty weather event. Streams of skinny bone-white Glaswegian men beeline to the city’s parks to catch, if not some rays, then perhaps a mild cold and declare, “It’s pure roastin’ man. Taps aff” (i.e., “The weather is rather clement; we should remove our tops”).

5. “Yer maw” is an appropriate response at any juncture in a conversation.

No further explanation required. You either know it or you don’t.

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matadornetwork:

If you’re a born-and-raised Maine kid like me, you’ve probably found that Maine is an incredibly difficult place to ditch. You’ve most likely spent time shuffling through our state’s assortment of “things”: You’ve done the “Bar Harbor thing.” You’ve done the “working as a raft guide up at the Forks thing.” You’ve done the “living above your Mom’s garage and hanging out with the group of three random kids from high school who are still here thing.”

Now you’ve completed your stint at the “Portland thing.”

2. Mediocre street performers

The guy in the L.L. Bean barn jacket who robotically shakes a Bible at you outside of Planned Parenthood every Friday. Plus the guy who sits behind him with a sign that reads: “Shut up!” (Bless his heart.)

The breakdancers who kill it to Prince outside of MECA every First Friday, usually shirtless no matter the season. (Sexy. Don’t ever stop.)

All the “fire breathers” down at Tommy’s Park kind-of twirling batons around but mostly just sitting cross-legged on the ground comparing face tattoos.

That huge steel-drum band that congregates on a random side street, blocks your car in, and forces you to listen to steel-drum music on a random Tuesday.

3. Parking bans

A parking ban is when everyone in the entire city of Portland has to move their car out of the downtown area and into tiny-as-fuck designated parking lots scattered around, miles away from anywhere you would possibly want to be (e.g., way, way down on Commercial Street next to a dark lumberyard).

These are great because 1) gunning into the last spot at some random daycare center in the West End fuels your competitive side. And 2) the entire city basically throws up its arms and decides to completely shut down. So everyone can congregate at Geno’s, drink snakebites, and discuss the outcome of The Wire again. And 3) you have to retrieve your car by 7am the next morning. So way before sunrise, the streets fill with snowsuited-up zombies carrying shovels.

It’s a community experience.

4. Portland’s singular strip club

PT’s-way-out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-fucking-Showclub. PT, who are you and when will you bring topless females to actual downtown Portland? Why must we drive all the way out to big-box-store and one-star-hotel land? Do you know how weird it is to have your cab driver exit his vehicle and enter a strip club with you? Fix this, please.

5. ’90s Night at Bull Feeney’s

Every Thursday night in the Old Port an onslaught of bros stampede the upstairs bar at Bull Feeney’s to sing all the words to Barenaked Ladies’ “One Week” and drunkenly stick up for Eddie Vedder.

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MatadorU student Emma Thieme on what you’ll miss most about leaving Portland, Maine.

If you’re a born-and-raised Maine kid like me, you’ve probably found that Maine is an incredibly difficult place to ditch. You’ve most likely spent time shuffling through our state’s assortment of “things”: You’ve done the “Bar Harbor thing.” You’ve done the “working as a raft guide up at the Forks thing.” You’ve done the “living above your Mom’s garage and hanging out with the group of three random kids from high school who are still here thing.”

Now you’ve completed your stint at the “Portland thing.”

2. Mediocre street performers

The guy in the L.L. Bean barn jacket who robotically shakes a Bible at you outside of Planned Parenthood every Friday. Plus the guy who sits behind him with a sign that reads: “Shut up!” (Bless his heart.)

The breakdancers who kill it to Prince outside of MECA every First Friday, usually shirtless no matter the season. (Sexy. Don’t ever stop.)

All the “fire breathers” down at Tommy’s Park kind-of twirling batons around but mostly just sitting cross-legged on the ground comparing face tattoos.

That huge steel-drum band that congregates on a random side street, blocks your car in, and forces you to listen to steel-drum music on a random Tuesday.

3. Parking bans

A parking ban is when everyone in the entire city of Portland has to move their car out of the downtown area and into tiny-as-fuck designated parking lots scattered around, miles away from anywhere you would possibly want to be (e.g., way, way down on Commercial Street next to a dark lumberyard).

These are great because 1) gunning into the last spot at some random daycare center in the West End fuels your competitive side. And 2) the entire city basically throws up its arms and decides to completely shut down. So everyone can congregate at Geno’s, drink snakebites, and discuss the outcome of The Wire again. And 3) you have to retrieve your car by 7am the next morning. So way before sunrise, the streets fill with snowsuited-up zombies carrying shovels.

It’s a community experience.

4. Portland’s singular strip club

PT’s-way-out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-fucking-Showclub. PT, who are you and when will you bring topless females to actual downtown Portland? Why must we drive all the way out to big-box-store and one-star-hotel land? Do you know how weird it is to have your cab driver exit his vehicle and enter a strip club with you? Fix this, please.

5. ’90s Night at Bull Feeney’s

Every Thursday night in the Old Port an onslaught of bros stampede the upstairs bar at Bull Feeney’s to sing all the words to Barenaked Ladies’ “One Week” and drunkenly stick up for Eddie Vedder.

Keep reading

Confessions of a future yoga teacher

1. A lot of “yogis” annoy the shit out of me.

When a white guy in a dress shows up and he’s legally changed his name to “Krishna,” there is absolutely no way I am going to take him seriously.

2. Sanskrit trips me up.

I love learning Sanskrit. The words and phrases flow beautifully off the tongue in soft, rounded tones. But let’s be honest, when it comes time for me to teach a class, the phrase “awkward chair pose” is a lot more relatable to students than “utkatasana.”

3. I do not want to hear another Michael Franti song.

Mike, I understand. You “want to go where the summer never ends.” What a super breakthrough realization about yourself. “Everyone deserves music.” Again, totally with you. Really, really original stuff here.

But seriously, for the love of God, I do not want to hear another fucking song about how great sunshine is. I feel like I’m trapped at a New-Age sex party on Long Island and I don’t have a ride home.

4. The cost does not compute for me.

When a pair of flammable, skintight stretch pants costs 80 bucks and a 72”x24” piece of rubber costs 120, yoga starts to get just as elitist as downhill skiing.

5. I will never be a vegetarian.

I raise chickens. I hail from a family of hunters. I grow my own vegetables. I know how gross hot dogs are. I am not ignorant to the horror of factory farming. But sometimes after a weekend-long intensive of Vinyasa Flow, I want to eat a burger with three different animal products on it and I don’t want to watch you cry about it.

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How to piss off an Ecuadorian

1. Ignore where Ecuador is located, or picture the entire country as a jungle.

Many foreigners arrive in Ecuador believing the country only consists of jungles and thatched-roof houses. Seriously? Ecuador is a relatively small country, but that’s not an excuse to arrive totally ignorant. Before visiting, you should at least have an idea of Ecuador’s history and its current situation.

But sure, if you want to piss off an Ecuadorian, just tell them that at some point you thought Ecuador was in Africa, ask if Ecuador is a Mexican state, imagine we only produce bananas, picture us merely wearing loincloths, or mention how surprised you are to find cars, cinemas, and people over five feet tall in the country.

2. Fail to carry sueltos in your wallet.

You arrive in the country and jump in a cab. If you want to begin your time in Ecuador arguing with your taxi driver, make sure you only have 20 dollar notes in your pocket. Same thing with a street vendor, the cashier at a café, or a bus driver.

In Ecuador, it’s almost mandatory to carry small notes and sueltos (coins). Otherwise, you’ll be the target of verbal abuse (ándate a la verga), or just be left alone in the middle of the street without any means of transportation.

3. Share that you think we all look like Delfín Quishpe.

Please. Not all of us wear indigenous traditional clothing or dress as colorfully as Delfín Quishpe. Our music isn’t just the Andean rhythms played in European plazas, and we’re good at more than soccer.

4. Shit-talk our family.

Ecuadorians love to be the “mama gallina,” making sure everybody feels welcome and is having a good time at parties. You’ll have a blast at any gathering…unless you make an inappropriate comment about a family member. Go on. Comment on how much weight the cousin has put on, or dare say the mom’s cooking isn’t to your taste. Just know that you’ll never be invited over again.

For an Ecuadorian, family comes first. And not only close relatives. We usually throw family parties with dozens of people: the cousins of your great uncle, the mother of your brother-in-law’s father, and so on.

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10 signs you’re an Australian country kid

1. You know exactly what roo shooting is.

It’s Saturday night and you’re dressed in your best farm clothes. You’ve got an esky full of beer and a Ute full of friends. The working dogs are tied to the back and the guns are loaded. Welcome to roo shooting, social highlight of the week.

2. You call everyone mate. Even if you hate them. Actually, you’re more likely to call someone mate if you’re arguing with them.

Your best friend is your mate. The guy who makes your coffee is your mate. The random chick in the bar is your mate. That stupid drongo that didn’t indicate at the roundabout is your mate. As in, “Nice bloody indicating, mate!”

3. You love country music, even if you’re ashamed to admit it.

Growing up in the country and listening to country music goes hand in hand. However, as you move away from home and into the big city, you hide your roots because country music is massively uncool.

You give your country music playlists code names, and your old CD of Garth Brooks is hidden deep in your drawers. The fact that you know the words to “Texas QLD 4385″ by Lee Kernaghan will never be exposed until you’re safely in the premises of your local pub.

4. You tell everyone you’re from Sydney, even if you’re nowhere near it.

Coming from a small country town in Northern NSW, I’ve made the error in assuming people know Australian geography well. Even mentioning my state of New South Wales results in blank looks. It’s way easier to tell people who haven’t been to Australia that I’m from Sydney than trying to explain I live an hour south of the Queensland border, about three hours inland, in a town with a population of 10,000 people.

5. You have at one stage in your life ridden a horse, tackled a chicken, or tried your hand at bull riding.

It might have been a small calf that didn’t even buck, but you still rode it like you were Lane Frost.

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