9 Secrets From Chinese Homes That Makes Them So Unique

2 years ago

When looking for a new home, people often focus on ever single detail to make sure that whatever place they’ll rent or buy is perfect. If there’s enough sunlight in the morning, if the kitchen is large enough to prepare good snacks or invite your mother-in-law for dinner... However, in China, things are a bit different.

Now I’ve Seen Everything wants to show you 9 differences in distribution and customs in Chinese apartments that we think will surprise you.

1. There are usually only two burners on a stove.

Kitchens in China are small, as the room itself does not allow to install a larger unit. In addition, the small number of burners meets the needs of local residents, who do not prepare several dishes at the same time. There are no ovens or microwaves here either. Of course you can buy one, but due to the small space, you simply might not have a place to put it.

2. A dishwasher is a very rare sight there. In a Chinese house, you will most likely find a dryer instead.

The device looks exactly like a dishwasher, which confuses many foreigners. After hand washing, the dishes are loaded into the machine, where they are dried and sterilized with ultraviolet radiation.

3. The Chinese kitchen usually has a narrow, multilevel drawer.

A drawer (usually with a lattice bottom) no wider than a bottle is designed to store spices. The thing is that in China there are many specific food additives: soy sauces, various flavored oils, vinegar, culinary wines and many more. A narrow drawer is the ideal place to store these products.

4. Sometimes, the refrigerator is in the living room.

The reason is very simple: kitchens there are so small that the refrigerator simply does not fit. In such cases, this appliance is placed in the living room or any other room, actually.

5. The kitchen has only cold water.

To have hot water it is necessary to install a boiler. Firstly, not everyone can afford it. Secondly, if a person rents a house, the landlord may not allow them to install one. So the locals not only wash the dishes by hand because they don’t have a dishwasher, but they also do it with cold water.

6. Washing machines are different there.

There are washing machines in the local apartments, but they look and work in a different way. The units wash clothes in cold water, as they do not have an internal heater. Although it is possible to add warm water manually. The clothes are loaded into the machine vertically; the drum rotates horizontally and, as a result, all the clothes end up rolled into a big bundle.

7. The toilet and shower are usually in the same room.

This may sound rather normal since combined bathrooms are also common in other countries of the world. But it is worth remembering that the Chinese shower is, roughly speaking, a hose protruding from the wall, and the water is poured directly on the floor. So during washing, the water splashes everywhere, including the toilet. Sometimes the toilet and shower are in one room, and the sink and mirror are in another adjacent room because of that.

The shower can be separated from the toilet with a curtain, but this is unlikely to save it from splashing water.

There is a culture shock when a floor toilet is installed in the bathroom. In general, the Chinese see nothing strange in this: such toilets are very common among them and are considered better for your health than a regular toilet.

Today they are mainly installed in different institutions, such as schools, hospitals, cafes, and restaurants.

8. They use balconies in a different way.

It is unlikely that you will be able to go out onto the balcony and sit in a chair with a cup of coffee or tea. A local balcony is a storage facility for different things or a place to dry clothes. Sometimes the Chinese put a couple of plants there or a cage with a bird, but the idea to use this place as a recreation area is alien to them.

9. There are no carpets.

Carpets are rare things to see in China. The explanation is very simple: unlike carpets, tiled or wooden floors are easy to wash. At the same time, there is so much dirt in the apartments that the Chinese clean them daily. And they not only vacuum, but also wash the floor.

Foreigners are often surprised by this. When you come from abroad you often think cleaning the floor once a week is enough. But when in China you’ll see that’s not the case. Pollution in big cities, weather, and other things make the floor get dirty even a day after you’ve cleaned it. If you wash it again, you will see that the water will turn black. Because of that, all local residents without exception wear slippers at home.

Bonus: in many hotels, bathrooms are divided from the bedroom just by a glass wall.

This is not something you’ll find in all Chinese apartments, but there are precedents. Most often, the glass wall separating the bathroom from the main room can be seen in local hotels.

This design is considered fashionable. In addition, this solution saves space (compare a thick interior wall and a thin glass panel) and is more economical.

What is your ideal home like? Do you prefer large spaces or smaller ones?


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