Usually these sorts of comments begin with ‘you know you’ve been too long in [place name] name when …’, but I prefer, ‘you know [place name] is becoming a second home when …’ So: China. You know it is becoming a second home when:

  1. You think that paying more than 5 dollars for a meal is a rip-off.
  2. You do not bat an eyelid when the country woman with whom you are speaking spits on the footpath.
  3. You think nothing of going for a run outside when the air quality index registers ‘hazardous’ (PMI 2.5 300+).
  4. You think that a quiet country town has about 4 million inhabitants (the total population of New Zealand).
  5. You think that duck’s blood tofu sounds like a good snack.
  6. You assume that lunch should be eaten at 11am and dinner and 5pm.
  7. After seeing the man in the blue-and-white polka suit, or indeed in the glimmering purple-silver suit, you think you would like to get one yourself.
  8. You laugh at foreigners who get Chinese tattoos that do not say what they think they say.
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