- The Wall
- The Nice Toilets
- Cheap (if a bit bland) beer
- The driving is absolutely chaotic - merging at a roundabout often involves one car straddling three lanes - but no one gets road rage. A battle hardened cabbie will give a dawdling pedestrian or a slow-responding traffic light sitter a stern horn-lashing with an absolutely emotionless demeanour. I like that; why take shitty driving personally?
- People like Westerners, because we are all absolutely crazy. They are generally very helpful and kind because they feel sorry for us lunatics.
- If I'm the guest the host pays for everything. The flipside is, of course, if they come and visit me I'm screwed - they expect the same kind of treatment. Never mind; I gave out fake e-mails.
- The Nasty Toilets. Privacy is frequently a low priority - rows of squatting white bums greet you when you walk into many a public toilet.
- The spitting - we were eating dinner at a Beijing restaurant and one of the patrons insisted on elaborately and deafeningly expectorating on the floor constantly throughout the meal. Didn't eat that much that night.
- A lot of squawky loudspeakers in malls.
- A highly obnoxious mobile phone culture. No ringtone is too lame, no call is worth dodging. Hu Jintao will interrupt a televised live national address to take a call from his drycleaner. Mobiles are powered by nuclear cells so they run out of juice every 10000 years - an insufferable imposition for most.
More to follow.