My kids have spent most of their lives in China, so there are a few American customs they might not be familiar with. I need to remember to coach them through a few of them during the long plane ride home.

  1. Smacking and chomping with your mouth wide open is not a culturally appropriate way to show appreciation for Grandma’s good cooking.
  2. Americans leave their shoes on inside. So, please don’t say anything when Great Aunt Ethelbelle walks all over our carpet in her Hush Puppies.
  3. If you need to go potty, you need to find a real toilet to use. Peeing (or worse) behind the neighbor’s geraniums is frowned upon in the U. S. of A.
  4. It’s okay – really, truly, honestly – to drink the tap water.
  5. It’s okay – really, truly, honestly – to flush your toilet paper.
  6. You will hear a lot of English and see a lot of white people. Try not to gawk.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Mike Mozart

50 signs you’re an American expat in China

8 things Americans do that my Chinese friends find repulsive

Getting ready for tonight’s “war zone”