Living in China is like an RPG


nerdy RPG dice

For a foreigner, living in China can be like a (classic, non-computer) RPG. Let me count the ways…

  1. It offers an escape from an ordinary, monotonous existence

  2. It appeals to nerds

  3. There’s more than a reasonable amount of dice rolling going on (Chinese bars)

  4. Money is counted in “pieces” ()

  5. The fast way to do things is “on horseback” (马上)

  6. Dragons are real (恐龙, lit. “terrible dragons”)

  7. Players usually enter the game with special abilities (e.g. English, foreigner charm)

  8. It’s really fun at first, but can get old pretty fast

  9. It takes place in a magical world where people believe in mystical concepts like qi and fengshui

  10. The people take legends very seriously (even 5,000 year old ones)

  11. The word “peasant” doesn’t seem out of place

  12. There are plenty of barmaids in the taverns and women of ill repute on the streets

  13. The background story: a legendary kingdom has fallen under the control of a powerful, malevolent force, and heroes are nowhere to be found…

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