"Advice" from Chinese friends

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old34

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"Advice" from Chinese friends
« on: January 31, 2012, 03:37:52 AM »
OK, we get lots of well-meaning advice from our Chinese friends whether it's based on Chinese medicine, Chinese folklore, Chinese superstition, Chinese proverbs, or just plain quackery. You know, stuff like "Don't drink cold water, it will harm your stomach/qi,"  etc. I'm sure you've got dozens of examples.

My favorite, until today, was during the SARS epidemic in 2003 when 3 or 4 different people told me, "Ah, you're a smoker. That's good because you'll never catch SARS. Smoking protects your lungs from SARS just like smoking meat preserves it from bacteria." This offered as they handed me another cigarette.

So today I was having coffee with a friend. She mentioned she had found one or two gray hairs in her mane. I couldn't see them. She's about 32 y.o. "I guess it's time to dye my hair," she said. I have considerably more gray and I laughed and said, "Yeah, right. If anyone needs a dye job, it's me."

"Oh no, men should not do that. It's dangerous. A Chinese doctor told me. It's OK for women though."

I passed on the obvious retort of, "Well all the Chinese leaders do it."  and muttered a simple, "Why?"

She proceeded to tell me that according to her Chinese doctor (a woman by the way who also dyes her hair Jane told me) there are dangerous chemicals in hair dyes.

Me: "Duh!"

She: "So when someone dyes their hair, the chemicals go into their skull and directly into their bloodstream. But because women 'bleed every month' (she was trying to say mensturate) that releases the chemicals from their bodies. Men don't 'bleed'  so the chemicals stay in their bodies."

I guess Alice Cooper was on to something years ago.

Anyway two three questions:

1. Has anyone else ever heard this?

2. Those with Chinese spouses, can you ask them if they have ever heard this one.

3. Do you have any Chinese "advice" apart from the usual that you've been given?
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. - B. O'Driscoll.
TIC is knowing that, in China, your fruit salad WILL come with cherry tomatoes AND all slathered in mayo. - old34.

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eggcluck

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Re: "Advice" from Chinese friends
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2012, 04:02:35 AM »
Well I have never had any Chinese adivce whatso ever. Does no adivce count? :P
Still standing

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old34

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Re: "Advice" from Chinese friends
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012, 04:05:04 AM »
Consider yourself lucky.  agagagagag
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. - B. O'Driscoll.
TIC is knowing that, in China, your fruit salad WILL come with cherry tomatoes AND all slathered in mayo. - old34.

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kitano

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Re: "Advice" from Chinese friends
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2012, 04:15:56 AM »
Never had that one. My girlfriend studied traditional medicine and apparently I am 'hot' so I shouldn't drink red wine. hmmmm

Her parents know a lot about it but I don't think they will tell me because they think it's a bit silly (or think I would think it was silly....)

Re: "Advice" from Chinese friends
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2012, 11:03:36 PM »
Dam. I get simplistic recommendations like go to sleep early and don't eat chicken, but everything pales in comparison to old43's (superlative adjective) tale.

Re: "Advice" from Chinese friends
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2012, 04:03:01 AM »
Some of my favorite advice was about wet hair. We were going out to dinner with a Chinese teacher friend. One of the foreign teachers had just showered and did not dry their hair. This was very upsetting to the Chinese teacher, who went on and on about how she was going to get sick going out in the night with wet hair. Now this was the end of summer and it was around 90 degrees out. A few months later in the dead of winter a bunch of us walked to the bus in the morning. The Chinese teacher's hair was wet and it was well below freezing. Someone reminded her of her own advice about going out with wet hair. She replied that it was ok because it was daytime, it's only bad to leave your hair wet when it's dark out. None of us even bothered arguing with her.

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old34

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Re: "Advice" from Chinese friends
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2012, 09:09:24 AM »
 bfbfbfbfbf

Yeah, that's the kind of stuff I meant in starting this thread.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. - B. O'Driscoll.
TIC is knowing that, in China, your fruit salad WILL come with cherry tomatoes AND all slathered in mayo. - old34.

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Borkya

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Re: "Advice" from Chinese friends
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2012, 04:02:50 PM »
I get the wet hair one all the time. Only at night, yep, and it won't make me sick now (as I point out that I used to exclusively take showers at night when I was a kid and have no ill effect now) but will make me sick when I am 60 plus years old.

As a rational they say: the wet seeps into the hair, gets into the skull and begins to "hurt your brain." By the time I'm 60 I will have crippling migraines because I once took a shower and didn't dry my hair one night.

A new one I heard was that computers give you zits because of the radiation.

Re: "Advice" from Chinese friends
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2012, 05:48:23 PM »
in a recent essay our students had to produce on Global Health Issues, pretty much every ailment under the sun could be attributed to

a. radiation
b. not going to bed on time/not eating at the same time everyday
两只老外, 两只老外,跑得快,跑得快,
一个是老酒鬼,一个是老色鬼,真奇怪, 真奇怪

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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: "Advice" from Chinese friends
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2012, 06:00:08 PM »
Sometimes the advice is good, but the timing and delivery can be . . . less that desirable.

I grew up with BIG dogs and love the beasts.  I already know I'm taking a risk of getting mauled, dying of rabies, etc., etc., if I try to pet a random dog here.  I also speak dog very well and have only been to the ER because of a miscommunication one time out of many thousands of unknown dogs I've petted.

Here's the usual scenario.

I see a nice doggie.  Unlike many here, it doesn't look like it's starving, crazed, or suffering from leprosy.  I cautiously approach, speaking gently to avoid startling it.  I then veeerrrry slowly extend the back of one hand towards it's nose so it can sniff me and (hopefully) decide I'm a friend instead of a hunk of meat.  Typically, whatever friend is with me stares at the whole operation in wide-eyed horror, but carefully withholds providing any "helpful" advice until my hand is within 4 cm of the nose (and teeth) of the dog.  At this point, the advice given is something screamed like. . .

DON'T TOUCH THE DOG!!!
IT'S DANGEROUS!!!


Naturally, this startles both me and the dog, thus increasing my chances of being bitten about a thousandfold. llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll
I'm pro-cloning and we vote!               Why isn't this card colored green?
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Re: "Advice" from Chinese friends
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2012, 07:04:23 PM »
Yeah, I have had the dog thing too....the gf used to get downright angry when I would stop to pet a dog, since dogs bite and carry the Plague and whatnot...she was horribly afraid of every dog, big or small...then I bought a puppy...now she thinks her fellow Chinese citizens who see our little Maltese and jump five foot in the air whilst loudly shrieking "哎呀!我很怕狗!" are rather silly...

Coffee is bad for my health. Drining scalding hot water during the summer time heat bonanza is good for my health. Always wait 30 minutes before drinking water after doing yoga. The list of these nonsense suggestions could go on and on...but I have coffee to drink and I need to go out on the daily scare-the-crap-out-of-locals-with-a-5-kilo-dog walk agagagagag agagagagag
"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." Oscar Wilde.

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Monkey King

Re: "Advice" from Chinese friends
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2012, 07:27:58 PM »
Well,  a word of caution on the petting random dogs / animals thing - a friend of mine once rescued a tiny Kitten she found in the street.  It very quickly got sick and the vet she took it to told her it had rabies and had to be put to sleep...thing is she'd been lightly bitten/scratched when she first picked the thing up and therefore had to immediately get some kind of emergency anti-rabies shot or she might have died....so yeah, be careful!

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NATO

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Re: "Advice" from Chinese friends
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2012, 09:40:12 PM »
Well,  a word of caution on the petting random dogs / animals thing - a friend of mine once rescued a tiny Kitten she found in the street.  It very quickly got sick and the vet she took it to told her it had rabies and had to be put to sleep...thing is she'd been lightly bitten/scratched when she first picked the thing up and therefore had to immediately get some kind of emergency anti-rabies shot or she might have died....so yeah, be careful!
I paid for my Rabies shot before I came and thought it was a waste of money tbh.

I don't have any stories but this touches on a pet hate of mine, scientific ignorance as spread by TCM. I'm no scientist, and I find it difficult to understand, but this country relly takes the biscuit on the ignorance stake. The argument in favour of TCM that I hear the most (from my girlfriend mainly): "but it has thousand's of years of history!". Yes, thousands of years of received wisdom, anecdotal evidence and remarkably little reliable evidence based testing. Not the best basis on which to be giving medical advice; in fact I'd say it's downright irresponsible. Second "Oh but Western Medicine doesn't have the answers to everything". No, it doesn't, but constant testing and re-testing under specific controlled conditions is a much more preferable method of getting your answers. Some people seem to doubt the benefits of the scientific method, this provides more examples of the lack of understanding, especially when the TCM industry itself asserts that it's scientific.
Some of it works of course, I suspect fortuitously. I highly doubt it works for the reasons espoused by TCM's practitioners. Want to do some more reading on the matter.

Err anyway, just wanted to get that 'out'.

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old34

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Re: "Advice" from Chinese friends
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2012, 10:19:22 PM »
On TCM: I often hear the "western medicine treats the illness, TCM treats the cause so overall it's better for you." Well OK, I'd listen to them. They're awfully proud of that 1000's of years of history stuff.

Then one day, and it was about 4 or 5 years ago so I'm going from memory, I and a Chinese professor from my school were in the school's TV studio doing a recording for the upcoming provincial Interpretation Test. One of the three English pieces I had to read was about TCM. It started with the usual blather about treating the cause,e but then it jumped to this, and I'm paraphrasing, "On the other hand, some people say that Chinese doctors treat the cause in order to require the patient to keep returning to the doctor as they never get completely cured."

When we finished, I asked the prof about this but he didn't really want to talk about it other than to agree, and said, "This is a test for Chinese people, maybe you shouldn't have heard that. I so wanted to keep the script, but we were always required to turn the script back at the end.

So, if you have a Chinese SO, ask them if they've heard this: That Chinese doctors use TCM to keep their waiting rooms filled.

Not to hijack my own thread and post, but two days later I was browsing the local BBS and saw that someone was advertising to sell the recording for the test and they left their phone number. I called the prof, gave him the website and phone number. The next day he called me back to tell me that the phone number was for the school's recording engineer who had been in the booth that day. He was promptly fired and we had to go back and record a new test a couple of days later (this time at the local TV studios). So that TCM test question never got out there, but I did get paid twice for that test.

The moral of all this is absolutely everything in China is about making money.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. - B. O'Driscoll.
TIC is knowing that, in China, your fruit salad WILL come with cherry tomatoes AND all slathered in mayo. - old34.

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NATO

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Re: "Advice" from Chinese friends
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2012, 11:24:49 PM »
Ha, not sure such suggestions about TCM would make da partee very happy. I'm sure this kind of suggestive question must occur across the country during exam times, would be interesting to know how much? (I suspect not a great deal, presumably people could get in trouble?).