I was talking with my mom about my trip to China in 2012. She suggested I write a blog post, comparing and contrasting my experiences in China with those in Kosovo.
Please note that this meant to be a fun, light-hearted comparison of the two countries, rather than a deep cultural analysis. Also, I only got to spend 10 days in China, whereas I’ve lived in Kosovo for a year. I am more familiar with Kosovar culture than Chinese culture.
Having said that, here are a few fun observations about both countries.
In both places, I’ve felt like this:
China and Kosovo are both mountainous countries.
In both countries, I’ve used “squatty potties”:
There are scorpions in both countries!
Before I went to China, I was like, “I am totally going to eat a scorpion.” I imagined showing my friends and family a photo of me eating a scorpion, and all of them being suitably impressed by my bravery. Well, then I got to China and visited a night market. When I saw all the scorpions wriggling on sticks (they’re still ALIVE!), I lost my nerve. I have come to accept that while I am not a picky eater, that doesn’t mean I am an adventurous eater.
For the record, I have never seen a scorpion in Kosovo. I’ve shown the following picture to locals here, and they claim never to have seen one, either. But! A volunteer living up in the mountains took this photo. I’m convinced.
American fast food. Yes, it exists.
The only American fast food chain that exists in Kosovo (as of right now) is KFC, although they offer a limited menu. What’s the point of going to KFC if you can’t order gluey macaroni and cafeteria-style mashed potatoes?!
I don’t remember what all I saw in China, aside from McDonalds. (No, I didn’t eat there.)
I engaged with local superstitions in both countries.
In China, I hugged this tree to gain an extra year of life.
In Kosovo, I flipped over a tile on this roof to ensure I will get married.
So, there you have it. A fun comparison of my experiences in China vs. Kosovo. I realize this post features a lot of toilet pictures. You’re welcome.