Bellies and Babies

This post is about some of the day-to-day things that make me giggle about living in Beijing.

To begin, everyone squats in Beijing. It’s not uncommon for me to walk out of my apartment and see men squatting on the side of the road smoking their cigarettes and  drinking tea. Women will squat on the side of the road as they wait for a bus or  to watch the traffic go by. People squat and talk. People put make up on and squat. Babies squat and pee. (But, more on that later). Women squat in the market as they sell clothes. It must be an acquired skill and it doesn’t look comfortable.

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Men lift up their shirts. This phenomenon was more apparent when we first arrived and it was still hot outside. Men take their lunch breaks ,sit outside  on their little stools, take out their cigarettes and role up their shirts. Most men in Beijing aren’t very large, but you do get a few potbelly’s here and there.


Crossing intersections during rush hour is a spectacle. I equate this to a swarm of ants closing in on their prey. What was once a white cross walk, is now swarming with businessmen, babies in strollers, and young women on their Hello Kitty cell phones. Being a newbie here in Beijing ,I have to mentally prepare for the trek across the large intersection. I check my belongings and make sure everything is secured tight. Sometimes I do a  little stretching and then put my eye on the prize, the prize being making it to the other side of the road. But, the Beijingers have this amazing ability to multi-task as  they  walk during rush hour.  People talk on their cell phones and sip their Starbucks and grandmothers push their babies in strollers while eating a corn on the cob. Elderly men smoke cigarettes and drink tea. One time I even saw an elderly woman eat sushi with chopsticks as she crossed the intersection . I hope after a few months of living here that i acquire that skill.

Diapers aren’t really a thing here. Instead, babies are potty trained by having slits in their pants.  I really don’t need to go into too much detail here, but the amount of times I have seen parents holding their babies over the grass to do their business, is too many to count. Interesting fact, diapers are one of the leading causes of pollution in the world and after doing some research I found out that there is a rising trend on this method of potty training. Apparently, most children are potty trained faster this way. I could easily  devote a whole blog post about this and probably will in the future. I decided not to post any pics in case of offending anyone, but check it out online.

Paul Frank is still a thing here. Ladies out there, I know you all remember the days of Paul Frank attire. All I’m saying is I had to have that obnoxious little monkey on all articles of my clothing. I begged my mom to take me to the Paul Frank store all the time.  Well  not only is there still a huge market for Paul Frank in Beijing but, grown women and men wear it too. Please examine the specimen below.


Elderly women can hacky sack like professionals. Seriously, I don’t think I have ever seen more agile 70-year-old women jump and leap to throw hacky sacks into the air. You can find these athletic pros around most parks in Beijing. There is a cult following and its truly amazing to watch.
hacky sack

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