Strange and Unexpected Impressions While Traveling Abroad


Or, instead of guessing what “they just simply think”, maybe, just maybe, you look…Chinese.


Although it’s kind of weird they would call everyone Chinese instead of Asian or whatever country the person is from since Europe and Asia is really one connected continent geographically as Eurasia.

But here is the thing. Most if not all people Asian people in Europe seems to be From china. I’ve never seen so many Chinese tourist and immigrants as well who have learned the native language. in Italy almost all Asian tourist there were Chinese and immigrants who have assimilated the best are also Chinese who speaks Italian and opened small shops there. In fact football clubs in Italy like AC Milan are owned by Chinese. And Chinese tourists and investments is a huge deal in keeping money there so most people although not entirely happy with Chinese tourists as well you know the things they do. Are pretty cool with the fact their country is helped by them.


You’ve got to be kidding.


Most Asians living in Europe are from Western and Southern Asia: Romani, Jews, Turks, Kurds, Pakistanis, Indians, Arabs, Tamils, Bengalis, etc. There are far more western and southern Asians in Europe than there are East Asians.

Southeast Asians including Philippines, Indonesians, Malay et cetera taken together also outnumber East Asians.

Most East Asians in Europe are of Chinese extraction, as are some of the south east Asians. Also it varies a lot by the country: for example there are lots of Indonesians in the Netherlands, Vietnamese in France, South Asians in the UK etc.

I have to say that this thread continues to live up to its name of giving strange impressions of the UK.

It reminds me a little of uncle travelling mat:


According to the UN and every country that supports the One China Policy, if we use the conventional definition of East Asia, they are correct.


That’s true, China being a cradle of civilization an all


I was in a Tesco Express (Oxford St, Manchester, M1 6EQ)
And they have the self-check-out counters, which was convenient and I could check out at my own pace.
So, I paid, got my receipt, and was packing the items into my plastic bag, and then, all of a sudden, a young man put a bottle of wine on my counter with my items.
I thought he was just being a rude idiot by putting his items on the counter way before the former customer left. There’re lots of rude people and idiotic people out there, so I didn’t take it to heart. I just kept packing up my own items.
And just when I was about to leave with my plastic bag, that young man picked up the bottle and left too.
Then, I realized that he was not going to pay for that wine, and that the reason he was putting his bottle on the counter with my items was that he could get away with it.
So, he wasn’t a rude idiot, but a sly thief.
He then walked out of the store at a unusually fast pace.
I told the security guy standing aside: "I think the guy took a bottle of wine."
The security figured out what happened, rushed out, and got the bottle of wine back.
But he didn’t keep the young man or even call the police. He just simply took the bottle of wine back. And that’s the end of it. No police, no theft charge, no crime, as if nothing happened.
And I was standing there like a weirdo who occupied the self-check-out counter for such a long time.

Yeah, it seems that it’s inevitable for me to encounter weird things in my temporary trip abroad, including things that even permanent residents won’t encounter.
And if I wonder or complain why I have to face those unpleasant experiences when I’m just a tourist there, people will start trivialize my experience, or even tell me to stop acting like a victim, to stop playing the ethnicity card, or the like.

If you want proof, here it is.

The Monster Energy Drink (4 cans), 2 Litter Pepsi Cola (1 bottle), and some tissues (1 box) were what I was packing.

This is what those self-check-out machines/kiosks look like.

1.Put all my items on the left
2.Scan all my items, and put them on the right.
3.Pay by cash. (A banknote and a few coins)
4.Get my change and receipt.
5.Start packing them up

I’ve proceeded to step 5, and that young guy put a bottle of wine on the RIGHT with my items.
And when I packed all my items and was about to leave, he took the bottle and leave at the same time.
Why? You should ask him, instead of me!
He probably thought he could get away with it by doing so. He thought he had confused everyone that his friend (me, who was in fact not his friend) had paid for him already or something.
And I have explained the reason why I didn’t care his putting a bottle of wine with my items. I thought he was just being rude. I thought he just couldn’t wait until the former customer to leave before he put his items on the machine/kiosk.

Why would I make up stories like that?
There’s no prize or bonus for me to make up stories.
And if, just if, if I really want to make up some stories, don’t you think I will make up something a lot more severe and horrible than just some random strangers being rude to me, talking about me behind my back, and trying to use me to shoplifting a bottle of wine in a freaking Tesco Express?


have you ever heard of the self fulfilling prophecy? I feel like thats what is happening to you a lot.


You forgot to add that he was mumbling “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling Chinos from country that I am not aware of” under his breath.

By the way, I am not sure about laws in UK, but most probably the stolen item value was too low for calling the cops, as it would be treated as contravention and not as crime. Not saying that it’s good, it’s just how it is in some European countries - you can shoplift anything up to value of ~30EUR, and you will just get a ticket if they catch you (YMMV).
Not that I recommend it.


That’s mainly because the police can’t do anything. Assuming there’s even a policeman available within a 30-mile radius, he’ll have to spend a month filling in bits of paper, the case might eventually go before the magistrates, the lad won’t bother to turn up, and he’ll get a suspended sentence and a five-pound fine on the basis that he’s on the dole and can’t afford fines. Also, people who are permanently jobless don’t care if they have a criminal record. Total cost to the state: 12 grand. Cost of a bottle of wine from Tesco: not a lot. Outcome: identical in both cases.


This tale would be mroe sincere if you said soemthing like it was shocking to be somewhere else where people do not behave as generally honest as the Taiwanese, or rather, they are aware that stealing makes one lose face, and they know someone is always watching, and their actions have consequences. This person almost got away with it, has probably gotten away with it before, will try it again, a there is little reprisal for him. IMHO, what you saw is what class war and generalized substance abuse does to a society and its members.

Look, you are seeing the world through your cultural point of view. It si different from mine, as a woman, as a Latin American, which is also different from Western overall.

You can say it aloud: you do not like it there. You do not know how it works and who to trust. We all feel like that sometimes. For you at least, thsi is a temporary thing. Please try to see the point of view of someone who marries here for exmaple, and cannpt leave or else all contact with his/her children will be lost, and thsi person cannot understand why if in most of the West both parents have rights, it does not work the same here.

Nor will you see stories portraying “chinos” as drunks/vandals whatever when they do the same stuff locals do, like partying on weekends, or even drugs. Nor the newspapers give space to groups making racist comments and print insults to “those bastard foreigners”. In most other countries, we have laws against that. Especially on print.


All right, the only thing that can calm me down is the 1% theory.
Since I’ve used this theory to calm some people down when they first arrived in Taiwan, now I’m using it on myself.

In every country/region, there must be at least 1% extremely ignorant and stupid people, people who always cause troubles to others, or people who offend others on a daily basis. It’s inevitable. These people exist in every country/region.

There are 65 million people in the U.K. and that does not even include people who stay temporarily.
So, 1% times 65 million people equals 650 thousand people.
That’s it.
It’s inevitable for me to meet those 650 thousand people.


I have to clarify that most people I’ve met in the UK are normal and good people.
It’s just a few strange incidents and people that occurred out of the blue.
Yeah, I actually expected zero of those strange incidents and people, so when they just popped out unexpectedly, I was shocked and annoyed.

And one thing about living in a unfamiliar environment is that you don’t know how to distinguish different kinds of people.
I mean, back home where I’m familiar with everything, if some random stranger curses me or is rude to me for absolutely no reason, I will just forget about it and move on. Because deep inside my heart, I know that was his/her own problem, not mine.
But, when I’m in a unfamiliar environment, I can’t tell whether it is his/her own problem or mine immediately.

What makes the matter worse, It’s a Taiwanese thing that Taiwanese people tend to think it’s your own fault when you’re mistreated abroad.
If I tell my story on a Taiwanese forum, most Taiwanese will say something like “Maybe it’s because of your bad English” or "Maybe you do something wrong first."
It’s a Taiwanese thing that we tend to take the unnecessary blame.
Even if I don’t, other Taiwanese are most likely to force me to take the unnecessary blame.

I think that’s the real reason why I was so obsessed by those trivial unpleasant incidents.

Lastly, I think I figured out why I was so obsessed by random people pointing out that my ethnicity is different from theirs.
My ex friend was European, and her family back then didn’t think it would not work out between she and I, because I’m not of their kind after all. That was pretty much the end of that.
So, that’s pretty much the reason I got so irritated and annoyed when some random stranger (especially Europeans) tries to do some tricks or say anything that points out my ethnicity is different from theirs.
Those Bruce-Lee-mimicking tricks, racial slurs, or “Your English is good for the Chinese” compliment themselves don’t really matter or hurt.
It’s me who keeps making those information a meaningful and hurtful connection to myself.

Anyway, this is probably the last post of this thread.
The U.K. is a nice place to visit, overall.


i used to work in a supermarket. the only people that would blatantly walk out with a bottle of wine ( i’m not buying mr Lins story of the guy trying to professionally smuggle the wine out with his shopping) are drunk or homeless people. the security guards are well acquainted with them.


Then, how do you explain the following action of the security?
The security rushed out, took the bottle of wine back, and handed it to another staff member.
If the young man didn’t shoplift, why did the security take the bottle of wine back from him?

Just because you didn’t encounter such a thing yourself, it wouldn’t happen to others?
For example, I’ve never been robbed.
But if someone told me he was robbed, the first thing I will do is not saying something like:“I don’t believe your story. I’ve never been robbed, so it’s impossible that anyone would commit robbery.”


well i wasn’t saying he didn’t steal it. what i am saying is he didn’t use you as cover, you were already finished and packing. anyone could have seen that. its nonsense. the only reason you are sticking to this silly story is because you have some fixation on being victimised racially by westerners, even when they are speaking languages you do not understand. enough already.


I don’t know if you have noticed it, it is very common to see people working in the airports or in any form of tourism in major cities to greet East-Asian-look-alike in Mandarin.
“你好Hello”, “謝謝Thank you”, “再見Goodbye” in Mandarin.
But that’s the only three words they could say in Mandarin. After “你好”, they switched to English mode again, and after the conversation, they use “謝謝” or “再見”.
What’s that for?
(In the past, they just greeted me in English and have conversations with me in English.)

It’s not even a way to be nice, in my opinion.

They greet all East-Asian-look-alike in Mandarin, which means that they see all East-Asian-look-alike as the same group of people.
People all around the world know damn well that the U.K., France, and Germany are three completely different countries with different cultures and languages, but they don’t understand there’re also non-Mandarin speaking countries (i.e., Japan, Korea, and Mongolia) in East Asia?

How could they tell if a person speaks Mandarin by simply looking at him/her?
When I was in the Japanese neighborhood in Taipei City, I couldn’t tell who are Japanese and who are Taiwanese/Chinese.
By the same token, a French/German can’t really tell if a person is from France or from Germany by simply looking at them.
If they are neighboring countries, people move around or have cross-national marriage, so there’s no way that you can tell their nationality by simply looking at them.

East Asian people may speak English to all Westerners, but that’s because English is the current Lingua franca of the world, not because they think all Westerners are from the U.K., the U.S. Canada, etc.
Westerners greet all East Asians in Mandarin, and that’s because they think all East Asians are Chinese from China.
See the difference now?

Greeting all East-Asian-look-alike in Mandarin is just a way to be nice? Who would come up with such an idea to single out a certain group of people?
What about greeting all Middle-Eastern-look-alike in Arabic?
What about greeting all South-Asian-look-alike in Hindi?
What about greeting all African-look-alike in Igbo?
The list seems to be more and more inappropriate, right?

I know it’s difficult for native English-speakers to relate to such situations.
Because your native language happens to be the current Lingua franca of the world.
Just imagine that you’re in Taiwan and you speak Mandarin or Taiwanese perfectly, but Taiwanese people keep considering you French (but you’re not), speaking French to you (but you don’t speak French at all), and making comments about France or the French behind your back.
That’s probably how it feels like.

Okay, the point is, they shouldn’t assume others’ nationality or ethnicity, especially when they can’t really tell the difference.
(Unless they have checked others’ passports and know exactly what their nationality and ethnicity is.)
Jesus Christ, the problem is so obvious, yet all of you just want to trivialize it.
They mistake non-Chinese(Japanese and Koreans) for Chinese, and therefore greet Japanese and Koreans with “你好”. That’s inappropriate!
What about they start greeting Indian Sikhs with Arabic language or Islamic etiquette and manners? That’s inappropriate!
What about they start greeting Western people of African descent in African languages? That’s inappropriate!
If it was the Indian Sikhs or Africans who got mistaken, will you still want to trivialize it?


I can’t really be bothered to get involved in the train wreck that this thread already is, but did feel compelled to point out that the above part (in particular) is obviously nonsense.


I think that was supposed to be a hypothetical, but it’s still pretty silly.