So, the olympics are about to kick off here in a few weeks, in Beijing, and the country’s thrilled, HOWEVER, the Chinese have been instructed on how to interact with foreigners, which I find a little crazy! Now, I used to live over in Southeast Asia, and they were strict in Thailand, about not saying anything negative toward the king, but listen to this list of things that can’t be asked:

  1. income/expenses
  2. age
  3. love life/marriage
  4. health
  5. home/address
  6. personal experiences
  7. religious beliefs/political views
  8. what they do for a living

They even have restrictions for dealing with handicapped athletes:

  1. Use polite and standard forms of address for handicapped athletes.
  2. Try to keep as light as you can with handicapped overtones.
  3. Pay attention to how you congratulate handicapped athletes. (this one I don’t get, how can you overcongratulate anyone?)

They have advised the natives to greet foreigners with a smile, saying it’s the best business card, which is good, but with these restrictions, I’d be afraid to talk to anyone, and that could come off as arrogance, which isn’t good either. All foreigners will get from the Chinese are blank stares or a lot of questions about the weather!