Gochugaru Girl once sent this list, of unknown provenance, to her mother.
Incredulously, she thought I had written it.
This goes to show how much of this list our family can identify with.
Please enjoy this small offering of humour. Now is the time to sit back, place your used tea bag (number 46) into a cup, and fill with hot water from your Thermos (number 10).
Here goes: 88 ways to know you are Chinese…..
1. You unwrap Christmas gifts very carefully, so you can save and reuse the wrapping (and especially those bows) next year.
2. You only buy Christmas cards after Christmas when they are 50% off.
3. When there is a sale on toilet paper, you buy 100 rolls and store them in your closet or in the bedroom of an adult child who has moved out.
4. You have a vinyl table cloth on your kitchen table.
5. Your stove is covered with aluminium foil.
6. Your kitchen has a sticky film of grease over it.
7. You have stuff in the freezer since the beginning of time.
8. You use the dishwasher as a dish rack.
9. You have never used your dishwasher.
10. You keep a Thermos of hot water available at all times.
11. You boil water and put it in the refrigerator.
12. You eat all meals in the kitchen.
13. You save grocery bags, tin foil and tin containers.
14. You use grocery bags to hold garbage.
15. You always leave your shoes at the door.
16. You have a piano in your living room.
17. Your parents know how to launch nasal and throat projectiles.
18. You iron your own shirts.
19. You drive a Honda or Acura and are less than 5’8″ tall.
20. You pick your teeth at the dinner table (but you cover your mouth).
21. You twirl your pen around your fingers.
22. You hate to waste food.
a. Even if you’re totally full, if someone says they’re going to throw away the leftovers on the table, you’ll finish them. (Your mom will give a lecture about starving kids in Africa).
b. You have Tupperware in your fridge with three bites of rice or one leftover chicken wing.
23. You don’t own any real Tupperware-only a cupboard full of used but carefully rinsed margarine tubs, take out containers and jam jars.
24. You also use the jam jars as drinking glasses.
25. You’ve eaten a red bean popsicle.
26. You bring oranges (or other produce) with you as a gift when you visit people’s homes.
27. You have a collection of miniature shampoo bottles that you take every time you stay in a hotel.
28. The condiments in your fridge are either Price Club sized or come in plastic packets, which you save/steal every time you get take out or go to McDonald’s.
29. Ditto paper napkins.
30. You wipe your plate and utensils before you eat every time you go to a restaurant.
31. You carry a stash of your own food whenever you travel (and travel means any car ride longer than 15 minutes)….These travel snacks are always dried. As in not just dried plums, dried ginger and beef/pork jerky, but also dried cuttlefish.
32. You own a rice cooker.
33. You wash your rice at least 2-3 times before cooking it.
34. You spit bones and other food scraps on the table. (That’s why you need the vinyl tablecloth).
35. Your parents vehemently refuse the sack of Gold Coin oranges that their guests brought just to be courteous.
36. You fight (literally) over who pays the dinner bill.
37. Your dad thinks he can fix everything himself.
38. You majored in something practical like engineering, medicine or law.
39. When you go to a dance party, there are a wall of guys surrounding the dance floor trying to look cool.
40. You live with your parents and you are 30 years old (and they prefer it that way). Or if you’re married and 30 years old, you live in the apartment next door to your parents, or at least in the same neighbourhood.
41. You don’t use measuring cups.
42. You feel like you’ve gotten a good deal if you didn’t pay tax.
43. You beat eggs with chopsticks.
44. You re-gift cookies or Christmas cake at Christmas (some could even be more than 5 years old).
45. You have a teacup with a cover on it.
46. You reuse teabags.
47. You have a drawer full of old pens, most of which don’t write anymore.
48. If you’re under age 20, you own a really expensive Walkman. If you’re over 20, you own a really expensive camera.
49. You always look phone numbers up in the phone book, since calling Information costs 50 cents.
50. You don’t tip more than 10% at a restaurant.
51. You’re a wok user.
52. You only make long distance calls after 11pm.
53. You know all the waiters at your favourite Chinese restaurants.
54. You like Chinese films in their original undubbed versions.
a. You love Chinese Martial Arts films.
b. Shao Lin and Wu Tang actually mean something to you.
55. You have tasted bitter melon.
56. You like congee with thousand year old eggs.
57. You prefer your shrimp with the heads and legs still attached – it means they’re fresh.
58. You never call your parents just to say hi.
59. You always cook too much.
60. If you don’t live at home, when your parents call, they ask if you’ve eaten, even if it’s midnight.
61. Also, if you don’t live at home, your parents always want you to come home.
62. Your parents tell you to boil Chinese herbs and stay inside when you get sick.
63. When you’re sick, they also tell you not to eat fried foods or baked foods because they produce hot air (yeet-hei in Cantonese).
64. You e-mail your Chinese friends at work, even though you only sit 10 feet apart.
65. Your parents never go to the movies.
66. Your parents send money to their relatives in China.
67. You use a face cloth.
68. Your parents use a clothes line.
69. You’re always late.
70. You eat every last grain of rice in your bowl, but don’t eat the last piece of food on the table.
71. You starve yourself before going to all you can eat buffet.
72. You’ve joined a CD club at least once.
73. You know someone who can get you a good deal on jewellery or electronics or computers.
74. You never discuss your love life with your parents.
75. Your parents are never happy with your grades.
76. You save your old Coke bottle glasses even though you’re never going to use them again.
77. You own your own meat cleaver and sharpen it.
78. You keep most of your money in a savings account.
79. You own an MJ set and possibly have a room set up in the basement.
80. You know what MJ means.
81. You’ve been on the Love Boat or know someone who has.
82. Your toothpaste tubes are all squeezed paper-thin.
83. You say “whie” when answering your cell phone.
84. You are familiar with the term “aiee yah…..”.
85. It take 3-4 days to finish sipping a can of pop and saving it in the fridge even there is only one drop left.
86. You know why this list consists of only “88” reasons.
87. You enclose your remote controls in plastic to keep greasy fingerprints off them.
88. You take this message and forward it to all your Chinese friends.