To explain things that just don’t make sense from our point of view, experience and to help adjust expectations many of use the abbreviation TIC (This Is China).
TIA (This is Africa) was used in the the horrible but well done movie Blood Diamond (where I noticed that Leo is actually a little handsome, all that fuss when he was in Titanic I never understood but older Leo, good looking). When you are having a bad “China day” or moment you can say TIC and often understood by fellow ex-pats. It helps, it is a way to be cope with some of the culture differences and some times very different ways of doing things.
An example would be surgical face masks (and homemade ones and ones with Panda bears and Angry birds on them) like Michael Jackson and family would wear are worn by many Chinese on the metro, on the street, in the offices, etc. They are worn to not get or give germs but yet spitting on the street, snot rockets, and not covering one’s mouth or nose when sneezing or coughing is very common. Isn’t that spreading germs? I can’t explain it, it doesn’t make sense to me from my point of view and there is nothing I can do about it so TIC and I try to move on. It really freaks me out. I never knew I was just a germaphobe until I moved. TIC TIC TIC!