The weird and wonderful things you notice when you travel to China
July 31, 201712:12am


2017年7月31日 凌晨12点12分

THE MOMENT the immigration officer opened my passport, I knew China would be a unique experience.

移民局工作人员打开我护照的那一刻, 我就知道这次的中国之行将会是一场不同寻常的经历。

She stared at me suspiciously for a minute or two, before calling over two security men, who took me aside and began drilling me with questions.
“What is your full name? Where are you originally from? Is this really your passport? What’s the purpose of your visit?”

她盯着我看了一两分钟, 目光充满了猜疑,然后叫过来两个安保人员。 他们把我带到一旁, 用各种问题对我狂轰滥炸——“你的全名是什么?祖籍在哪儿?这是你的护照吗?你来中国的目的是什么?”

The prospect of being denied entry made me slightly hysterical — mainly because the pork dumplings here were rumoured to be bloody excellent.

想到有可能会被拒绝入境, 我就有点歇斯底里了——主要是因为我听说这里的猪肉馅饺子好吃到爆。

Eventually I was let through, but this experience was just one of many bizarre things I would discover in the Middle Kingdom — which, by the way, easily remains one of my favourite countries to date.

最后他们终于让我入境了, 但这只是我在这个中央帝国所经历的种种怪事中其中的一件。 尽管如此, 直到今天中国仍然是我最喜爱的国家之一。

While the number of Australian tourists visiting China has risen notably over the past decade, it’s still not nearly as popular a destination as Indonesia, Thailand or the United States.

在过去的几十年里, 到中国旅游的澳大利亚游客有了显著的增长, 但远不如去印度尼西亚、泰国和美国的人数多。

If it’s on your bucket list — and it damn well should be — here are ten of the most bizarre things you can expect to see.



Gavin Fernando on holidays in China. Picture: Gavin FernandoSource:Supplied

葛文 费南多在中国独家。 照片由葛文 费南多提供



Over the past few years, it’s been reported China is building a “Big Brother” style social credit system, in which every citizen’s day-to-day life is acutely monitored and scored, impacting home loans and job prospects. A “digital totalitarian state”, as The Economist put it late last year.

在过去的几年里, 不断有报道说中国在建立一个《老大哥》式的社会评分体系。 在这个体系下每个公民的日常生活都受到密切的监视与评分, 评分结果会影响到他们申请房贷和找工作的前景。 《经济学人》去年年末称之为一个“数字集权国家”。

While navigating the country, this didn’t surprise me. Security is super tight. Every metro station — even the deserted ones — is manned at all times and treated like airport security; you must empty your pockets, put your bags through an x-ray machine, and receive a semi-erotic pat-down with a metal detector.

当我在这个国家里四处游玩的时候, 对这种说法并不感到奇怪。 监控系统确实非常严密。 每个地铁站——就算是废弃的地铁站——都有人全天候把守。地铁安检做得和机场一样。 你必须要把口袋里所有的东西掏出来, 把包裹放在X光检测仪器里检验过, 还要接受金属测试仪在身上从上到下地拍打, 简直能把人的欲火拍出些来。

Police can and will request your ID at random on the street. You’re only allowed one SIM card per mobile phone, which is registered on a national database. If you work in a sensitive profession, like a foreign government or media outlet, spontaneous interrogations aren’t unheard of. And yep, they’ve probably seen your nudes.

警察有权在街上临时检查你的身份证, 他们也确实会这么做。 你只能在一部手机里安一个SIM卡, 而且SIM卡需要在全国的数据库里注册过。 如果你从事敏感行业, 比如为外国政府或者媒体平台工作, 你不会没有听说过接受随机问话这种事。 而且——不错!他们可能已经看过你的裸照了。



At least, nobody under 30. Seriously, the country’s incredible technological advancement puts Australia to shame.

至少30岁以下的人不会。 讲真, 这个国家不可思议的科技进步让澳大利亚自愧不如。

I went to a bar in Dali with some new local friends and requested a menu. Everyone laughed at me. Each table has its own unique barcode that you scan using WeChat, the country’s main networking app (kind of like Facebook, Instagram, Uber and Apple Pay rolled into one). This pulls up the entire menu on your phone — complete with prices and pictures — through which you place your order.

我和几位当地新交的朋友去一个大理酒吧时,我请侍者给我们菜单,结果每个人都在笑我。 每台桌上都有一个独特的二维码, 你可以用微信扫描代码。 微信是这个国家主要的网络应用程序(有点像把脸书、图享、优步和苹果支付全部放到一起)。微信扫描后,你手机上会出现整个菜单——包括价格和图片。 你可以用这个菜单点菜。


This is what menus look like in China. Picture: Gavin FernandoSource:Supplied

中国的菜单长成这样。 照片由葛文 费南多提供

When your food arrives, you simply scan the barcode again to pay. No tree-killing paper bills. Just watch your battery life.

等你点的菜上来之后, 只需再扫描一次二维码就可以付账。 不用砍倒大树来造纸付单,你只需要注意手机电量就可以了。



Older locals in China spit. A lot. Not a few meek inconspicuous millilitres of saliva — the perpetrators loudly, passionately “Hoiiiiiik!” up big globs of phlegm and “Pppfffhhh!” them out wherever it’s convenient. On the street. On restaurant floors. Train stations. Buses. Casinos.

中国的老年人会吐痰。 吐很多痰。 那些以小心低调的方式吐点唾沫的人不多见——那些犯忌者会很大声、很努力地“呵!”出一大口痰, 然后“噗!”地一声吐到他们觉得方便的任何地方——比如街上、餐馆的地板上、地铁站上、公交车上和棋牌室里等。

It’s an age-old practice believed to carry health benefits — no doubt influenced by a population with over 350 million smokers. Your involuntary facial spasm of disgust will achieve nothing. Gotta get that gunk out, y’know?

人们觉得这种陈年旧习对健康有益——这种信念无疑是受到了3.5亿烟民的影响。 就算你忍不住面孔抽搐恶心厌恶也不会有什么效果。 脏东西就是要吐出来的, 你晓得吧?

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