Everything here in China is cute.
You probably think I’m making a generalization but look at the evidence, would you.
Exhibit A: Packs of tissues you have to carry around to use as toilet paper (which is not provided in bathrooms here).
Exhibit B: If you think it’s just the small pack of tissues that is cute, think again. This is our large pack, made by a different manufacturer.
Still not convinced? “That’s just tissues,” you say? Well, take a look at…
Exhibit C: Our trash can.
And Exhibit D: My umbrella (which I affectionately call my Rabbi umbrella)
I could go on. My slippers have cute little kitty cats eating fish. My first mug (before I broke it) had little panda’s. My notebook is filled with little bunnyÂ silhouettesÂ floating all over the cover.
Oh sure, I could get a generic pack of tissues with a swirly design, or a plain colored umbrella if I wanted to, but the fact is that cute is the norm here. I am not one to spend money lightly and the umbrella, garbage can and tissues are the cheapest ones I could buy. If I wanted a plain colored garbage can I would have to pay more!
That’s what I like about all this cute stuff. It’s cheap, and it’s accepted. It is not uncommon, or uncool, to see a college boy walking underneath an umbrella with dancing sheep, or for a smart, serious student to use a hand warmer that looks like a smiling teddy bear. It’s just normal and accepted.
In America we want all our stuff to be sexy and sophisticated. We have sleek metal garbage cans with a unique design, or umbrellas that make us look like proper adults. The cute stuff is for kiddies and “silly” girls. If you want to be taken seriously, then you need the serious materials. I’ve never been Â fan of that in America, and have often been laughed at when I pick cute over sophisticated.
So, I like that China has embraced it’s inner cuteness and made silly and fun part of their daily life. Â I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Everything in China is cute.