Wednesday, 4 November 2009

What China doesn’t have and why you are not…

Most people answered “public toilet” to the riddle (more like a question) that I asked the other day. Well, there are quite a number of public toilets everywhere; just that you wouldn’t want to use them unless it’s an ultimate emergency. Know what I mean?

In order to answer the question, let me share some part of my short working stint in China with you…

I was briefly attached to a telecommunication company which was based in this huge complex. It’s like a township by itself. It’s not feasible to go out of the complex for lunch so most days, I will have lunch at the canteen.

Food was subsidised so it’s cheap. Hence, everyone will grab a few dishes and a bowl of rice. Now, this is no ordinary bowl of rice. Trust me when I say it’s a BIG bowl of rice. I am a big eater but on some days, I am not able to finish a bowl myself. But ya’ know what? Those China girls will eat the bowl clean. Some even had 2 bowls!!!!!

Similarly, when I was in Beijing last week, everyone eats tonnes of rice, porridge (it’s called congee in Beijing) and “lai-mien” (noodles).

What I am trying to say is that, mainland Chinese eats a lot of what Malaysians deem as weight contributor… carbohydrates.

How many times have you heard of people saying… “less rice please” and when you give them the look, their response will be … “eat so much rice will make you fat”. The funny thing is, most of such people aren’t exactly… thin.

Back to my question…

I noticed this and so did my ex-colleague who was there with me in China. Another friend who visited China concurred this. It is very rare… and close to impossible… to see such in China… fat people (no offence to anyone).

Yes, there are no fat people in China. Or at least, I couldn’t see any of them. And I don’t mean obese type of fat. I am referring to reasonable fat type people. In fact, most mainland Chinese are rather slim.

But then again… they eat so much… so much… rice… carbo!!!

My fellow Malaysians, the reason why we are fat is not because we eat a full plate of rice instead of half.

The reason why most Malaysians are fat is because the distance between your home and your office is 5 steps from your door to your car and maybe another 20 steps from your car to the lift… the distance between Sungei Wang and Times Square is 2 minutes on the monorail… you prefer call pizza instead of walking out to the shop down the road for lunch because it’s too sunny, or no parking… you have no time to exercise because you are such a hardworking employee… etc. etc.

And of course, many ask for less rice and then stuff your face with Baskin Robins or Haagan Dazs…

Don’t blame the rice…

P/S: So now you know
what China doesn’t have

39 comments:

foongpc said...

Haha! I agree we malaysians are fat because we hardly walk, we use the lift all the time! Whereas the Chinese people can eat a lot of rice and still remain slim cos they walk a lot and they cycle a lot!

Of course I still blame the rice and not Haagen Dasz. Haha!

j_yenn said...

duh

"maemee" said...

Haha... you are absolutely right!!! Like how most middle aged men has big fat bellies here in Malaysia, but it's near impossible to find one there! You are so observant man!

day-dreamer said...

LOL!! Good one. Haha.

Linda said...

how to walk here.. the weather is so HOT... I hardly eat rice here, but still i am not getting any slimmer... :) Only walk inside the aircon shopping mall...

Linda said...

how to walk here.. the weather is so HOT... I hardly eat rice here, but still i am not getting any slimmer... :) Only walk inside the aircon shopping mall...

MKL said...

YOu wanna see fat people, go to Texas, hohoho.. No offence to American friends.. I felt Malaysians are, especially Chinese girls are quite skinny. But the Chinese guys, you have 2 types: Either very thin, or very big strong and fat, the ah long type, haha.. Can you elaborate on that for me, please? It's a riddle I can't figure out :)

Jerine said...

Blame the government. They don't let us walk. Everywhere is highway. You know, I used to stay in DJ and work in 1U, distance was 10 mins walking, but I can't walk because of LDP. And not to forget the mamak. It's like mandatory to have supper every night.

eiling lim said...

Well there are a few factors that hinder m'sians from walking much ie. weather, accessibility of walkways, and safety of course. Obessity is also becoming a problem for China, maybe certain parts where the rich is.

missironic said...

Wow.. neva tot of that. But u're right! They really walk and cycle a lot. Hence, no big ppl there. Don't blame the rice u say? I'll still eat lesser rice though.. hahahaha...

sophie said...

very interesting observation! :) acc to mom who visited her 2 elder siblings in guangzhou, everyone was so slim! they eat very healthily. mostly veggies and very little meat, so less fats. in fact, the 2 chinese uncles and their families and extended families were quite surprised and amazed to see my 2 rather 'plump' m'sian aunts. the kids fondly called them 'chubby aunts' throughout their stay there :)

Mei Teng said...

Msians don't like to sweat it out. Everything has to be convenient and within walking distance.

Then again, our roads/streets are structured in such a way that walking is not conducive. When I visited Perth recently, it was a breeze walking from one place to another. Well connected and the streets are meant for people to walk!

Swee Ping said...

i dont think we can cycle as much as ppl in china because of how some 'kings of the road or queens' drive on the roads. plus our govt doesnt really promote cycling?

maybe they do have fat/obesity ppl? but not the adults? cos i remember reading something about obesity problem in China but its only kids though. cos of their one child one family policy, alot of parents allowed their kids to eat almost anything..

skc said...

In China,rice is for the poor people.Rice is when u are not full after a 10 course dinner, u order rice to 'top up' so to speak. In China it is a norm to order 8-10 dishes even for 4-5 pax, and no they don serve rice unless u specifically order for it. Chinese will think you are low class and give u weird look if u order rice in a decent restaurant.
The above statement are not from my own experience, heard from mostly friends and relatives who work/travel there often.

Elizebeth D.L. said...

They cycle a lot too.

Pinknpurplelizard said...

I should've guessed that there are no fat ppl in Middle Kingdom.

Rice is often blamed as the FAT maker. They don't blame sugar as much which is surprising.

gina said...

Yes.. I went to China last month and the tour guide commented that we don't walk much so everytime walk a bit also complain liao. Hahaha!

Anonymous said...

just like in vietnam...u can't find a fat vietnamese living in vietnam!

it's a matter of their living standard. give china and vietnam a couple more decades of globalisation/modernisation/capitalisation and you'll see the fatties mushrooming everywhere.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

its the weather la..

cold weather can burn calories too ..

makes walking easier too may i add..then again i love the COLD!

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Yvonne Foong said...

Hi Zewt,

I actually become fitter whenever I remain in L.A. for one month. I love to take the busses, walk several blocks to get to my destination, take the train and travel by foot to find tourist attractions.

Since I do not have any more balance nerve in the brain, walking around on the street in Malaysia is hazzardous. But I can walk all day in L.A. and surrounding cities.

In November 2008, I was in L..A for the optic nerve decompression surgery and walked a lot before and after surgery. I took mom to places by bus and walking. We even traveled by foot to see the doctor. Guess what? The day before we left L.A. I had an appointment with Dr. Huang. I had to be weighed. And when I did, I found out that I had gained 0.2lbs that month. I appeared to have slimmed down and lost weight, but guess I gained muscles!

Here is one reason why I like going for surgery there.

beezee~bee said...

I observed the same thing in Thailand - few months of people watching in the street of Bangkok over a cuppa and couldnt spot one fat ass there! ;p

Crankster said...

I also think it's the humidity and heat here that discourages people from walking. I was seconded to the UK for 6 months and I walked everywhere. When I finally returned home, even I was shocked to discover how much weight I had lost. Now that I'm home I think I've put on half of it back....

Unicorn Girl said...

I've got to agree with you about us Malaysian's being lazy and not walking to buy our pizza's .......:)

jamey said...

yes indeed. been to shanghai didn't see many fat people. btw have you ever come across FoodKingdom? A social network for Food lovers like you. http://foodkingdom.com.my/world/

ZACL said...

Fascinating......it is known that you can lose weight eating bread, (carbohydrate) if that's all you eat, no meat,fish, fruit, or any other 'interesting' foods.

My mother could vouch for this fact. During the war years she was working night shifts. Passing a bakery on her way home and feeling very tired, she would buy a loaf or two of fresh bread, eat that and go to sleep. She really was too tired to cook for herself. She did lose weight but not so much as to be detrimental. She continued her work and felt well.

fufu said...

lol i didnt walk that much in beijing when i was travelling there... the transportation is better than malaysia... there's a bus stop in front of my friend's apartment... and i took subway around the city.... anyway i think they are more health conscious than msians...

zewt said...

foongpc - hahah... haagen danz, many wont blame it lah...

j_yenn - :P

"maemee" - i heard u can find some in shanghai.

day-dreamer - thanks :)

Linda - there you go... rice is not the factor.

MKL - oh yeah... i know america is a land of many fatsss. no offence. those in the movie are all fantasies.

Jerine - hahahah... mamak is a mandatory supper requirement meh???

zewt said...

eiling lim - in shanghai perhaps. anyway, if weather is a factor, then it's not the rice, right?

missironic - hahaha... wont help much.

sophie - hahahaha.... confirmed then!

Mei Teng - true, our roads are not structured. it's a shame. singapore have better walkways.

Swee Ping - not adults, that's for sure. i do see some kids and they are not thin. but nothing compared to KL kids.

skc - yeah... and poor ppl, all slim leh.

Elizabeth DL - cycling here in suicide :P

zewt said...

pinknpurplelizard - oh yeah... sugar... that's a killer.

gina - hahaha... get moving!

anon @ 6/11 2.47am - oh yeah, that i agree.

constantly craving joe - hahahahaha... let's go to aust :P

JanuskieZ - nope.

Yvonne Foong - sorry to hear about the balance nerve. in that case, yeah, dont walk around too much in malaysia. this country is just too ridiculous when it comes to walking.

beezee~bee - hahaha... i guess good life here breeds fat ass!

zewt said...

Crankster - there... not the rice... but the walk.

Unicorn Girl - and a lot of driving!

jamey - shall check it out.

ZACL - hmmm..... interesting indeed... my wife sure doesnt mind.

fufu - more health conscious... sure????

Anonymous said...

"Yes, there are no fat people in China. Or at least, I couldn’t see any of them"

I read somewhere that around 18% of chinese are overweight; 5-10% of chinese youths are obese. You must have missed them. Be careful about making such generalisations in future solely based on your observation.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/760787.stm

Huei said...

eh i like rice! but i take less rice cos i memang eat very little! hahaha

i guess it's the humidity ler..if u ask me to walk out during lunch time under the hot sun..n come back all sticky n sweaty..i'd rather not eat! hahahah hard to tahan the stickyness for the rest of the day in the office la =P

but but but! msians r fat cos when they get out of the LRT..instead of going to the ESCALATOR (that works by the way....n it's going DOWN)...they choose the lift with "disabled only" (in malay but i cant remember hahaha) written on it

zewt said...

anon @ 9/11 3.23pm - which is why i said... or at least, i couldnt see any of them. and indeed, i didnt see any. some ppl who commented agreed.

huei - hahahaha... anything for disabled, malaysians will use... particularly parking lots.

jam said...

Haha, nice one! How could I miss the answer as I also wrote a post on my Guilin trip recently. Ya, we hardly see any fat people in China! And I totally agree with you on it is not rice to be blamed. Most Malaysians are fat because of our lifestyle and lack of exercise.

whoalse said...

zewt...indeed that's right. they cycle or walk a fair distance to their destinations.

from young the kids are picked for involvement in sports, depending on their physiques...so exercising has been etched into their growing up.

zewt said...

jam - absolutely... malaysians dont even wanna walk 50 meters for something. we said we travel for food, but not on foot.

whoalse - there are some little emperors though, but i didnt see any. generally, they are not a fat population. so, rice is not the problem :P

Purple~MushRooM said...

They drink a lot of tea. In my workplace, hardly anyone drink coffee. The coffee machine are mainly for expats and foreigners. Those chinese drink tea. All sort of tea with herbs. They are darn healthy, and slim!

zewt said...

Purple Mushroom - ah... a testimony from someone who has lived there...