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China Survival Guide

by: Larry and Qin Herzberg

Berkeley CA: Stome Bridge Press 2008, $9.94, Paperback
ISBN: 9781933330518

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 2010 Issue: 17(1) page(s): 24

Thinking of going to China and ready to take off? Do not do so without this small book that easily fits into your pocket. From restroom know how to avoiding a black cab, what to expect or not find in your hotel, to shopping, medical emergencies, people, stores, and restaurants, there is lots of Chinese etiquette and other things included that are valuable to know. Get a copy and bring it along. Also use this book to read at home and advise those you know who are going.

China is the world's third most visited country. Thousands upon thousands are going there now and hordes did so when the 2008 Olympics were in town. For scenery, get a travel guide, to meet other needs, trust these Chinese language faculty, they teach at Calvin College in Grand Rapids Michigan. They prepare travelers well for unexpected cultural encounters including those pleasant and others less so. Everyone should travel with this small item in hand or in pocket.

This book teaches readers to prepare for the terribly thin–it falls apart in your hands–toilet paper when away from major hotels and large city airports. It tells that most Chinese treat family and friends with respect and total strangers with indifference. Take the book and their advise and never drink tap water in a good hotel or anywhere else, no matter what the signs say. Only drink boiled cooled water, ingest no ice, and stick to tea, bottled beer, and commercially capped containers of soda. Yes, ice cubes are a no-no. When invited out, the correct 'yes' is to let the host or hostess order, they are picking up the tab.

When meeting people, interact with them. Take suggestions in this book to heart. To do so means avoiding the 'Ugly American (or wherever-you-are-from) Syndrome.' You will be glad you did.

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