亞洲生活小貼士 – Asian lifehacks

I guess it’s not my usual-style post, but I hope you will find it pretty interesting!
image (52)I’ve been so lucky to visit several different places in Asia including Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Macau, China. It’s not only meeting different people and places but experiencing a different lifestyle. But who said ‘different’ means ‘worse’? Actually traveling helped me in my ‘Western’ life back in Europe and America – all the nice people I’ve met gave me their advice or shared their lifehacks and now I want to share them with you!

  • When you’re almost done with your favorite BB creme or you want to squeeze that little bit of toothpaste that’s left, use food clips and slide them down through the bottle – all the liquid will go down with very little strength. Plus a piggy clip looks super cute.
  • It was weird for me at first but now I’m doing the same – if you’re eating a image (54)snack wear simple polyethylene gloves, this way you will avoid all the powder, dirty or spicy hands. Also in China I’ve seen some girls using tiny forks to eat the chips or snacks, but gloves work fine. And as a Dorito-addict there’s nothing better to protect my hands.
  • In Hong Kong some of the places have special MTR Fare Saver – before visiting Hong Kong be sure to check out the locations and BEEP your Octopus card! Five trips and you can get some egg waffles.
  • I don’t know if it’s really true, but both Momzilla and Sing’s old landlord told me to sleep on my back to have less wrinkles. Looking how well preserved they are I guess that can be true.
  • Shanghainese part of our family uses a trick when the skin of a dumpling breaks – they dip the chopsticks’ ends in vinegar to get most of the leftover dumpling. Of course they do it right after 10 minutes of complaining that you just wasted a soup inside the dumpling.
  • If you’re out of sauce caddies just use Chinese image (53)style porcelain spoons. Or just do the dishes. 😉
  • If you live in a place with a high humidity and all your salt or sugar is forming into a rock colony just put little bit of dry rice inside.
  • I never tried it but I heard in many new buildings in East Asia you can cancel the wrong level you chose in the elevator by pressing it twice really fast. Who knows, maybe you will be lucky!
  • Before visiting Asia check if the place you’re visiting have a similar app to an app in Hong Kong called Toilet Rush. It lists the public toilets near you and trust me – with a food you might not be used to, different gut flora you don’t want to play a hero running around the city to find a public toilet while you pray your next fart won’t betray you with some ‘Surprise motherf…er’. (Do you see the awesome ‘Dexter’ reference I’ve made?)
  • Use your old wet napkins container as a small garbage bin for fruits, vegetables and meat leftovers. image (56)They go bad really fast and make your usual garbage bin very smelly – you need to take out the garbage more often so it’s waste of money. If you put small plastic bag from the grocery store inside you can throw it everyday without wasting the good expensive garbage bags and avoid bad smell since the container is closed really tight, not like most of big garbage bins.
  • Sing’s biggest problem in China was a pretty warm beer from the small stores so if it’s late and you want your beer decently cold in no time just use some ice, water and salt – mix it all together, put the beer inside and in short time it should be good enough to drink.
  • You can also check another family invention which I like to call a low budget air conditioner. Sing’s grandparents live in a beautiful apartment but heating and air conditioner don’t exist there! Read: it’s too expensive to put all the electricity on. So they came up with a cheaper way to cool themselves down (aside of opening every door and window in the flat and hand fans): freeze  a bottle of water and put it in front of electric fan. It’s not the best way, but if you’re on a tight budget it might save your life during summer.
  • Another thing that I can’t really confirm but I read on few sites that if your phone has a removable battery then you can charge it in 7/11 in Hong Kong, I have a portable charger bank so I don’t know if it’s true, maybe people don’t do it anymore, although I would keep that in mind while traveling.
  • If you’re sick and tired of mosquito bites just rub some vanilla oil on your skin – mosquito hate its smell. It got Sing’s seal of approval and trust me, image (55)he is a person that’s always getting bitten.

I realize maybe some of you know already most of them or you have seen them somewhere else before but for me all of the things I’ve mentioned were either seen in Asian or told me by Asian people and I haven’t really see them in any non-Asian household. Of course it’s my very personal experience so feel free to correct me!

Do you know any other lifehacks or advice? Which one you think is the most useful? Would you use any of it in your daily life? Share your thoughts! 🙂

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70 thoughts on “亞洲生活小貼士 – Asian lifehacks

    1. I find it great! 🙂
      Oh, one more thing – first and only time I’ve seen someone using straw to drink from a can was in Asia. When I think of it in Western commercials people just grab coke or pepsi from a fridge, touched by so many people, and drink it like this, but in Asia they put straws inside. I don’t want to sound like some gem-phobe, but I think there’s a point there! 🙂

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  1. Are those little yellows guys a creation of your own? If so, they are cute, especially the one with the face mask XD

    And I can confirm the “you can cancel the wrong level you chose in the elevator by pressing it twice really fast.”, but as you mentionned it, it’s usually with newer elevators.

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    1. my husband’s family’s flat is in such an old building, like from 80’s so if I click something wrong I need to go for 3 levels since there are three elevators and they go every three floors haha 😀 good to know at least newer buildings have this option!
      and sadly no – they are not mine, they are stickers from PicCollage app! they are super cute, I agree! that’s why I picked them 🙂 maybe one day I can make my own 😀

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  2. One that my Chinese students have adopted: if your heating has dried up all the air in your room and your suffering from dry skin, get a towel wet and hang it in front of the heater. It blows through the towel and spreads moisture back in the air. Of course you have to re-wet it every 6-7 hours, but it helps a LOT!

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          1. 😛 Sorry, I’m friends with the English major crowd, and if I don’t correct myself, they jump on my writing. So I kind of auto-correct myself now- seriously I type fixes by habit. It’s very tragic 😛 Didn’t mean to send you on a wild goose-chase!

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  3. Wow I need to try the mosquito hack! My Japanese friends at my archery place love it when I come there because I am the only one who gets bitten by mosquitoes (because my blood is foreign and delicious?). Anyway, I think they age better because they are Asian haha I can’t sleep on my back.. it hurts my stomach, and you will snore more often that way as well. Wrinkles are a fact of life and aren’t something to be afraid of.

    Also, with the snack thing, we eat them with chopsticks! But when I went for ribs in Korea, we wore these little plastic finger protector for our first three fingers and it was really funny but worked really well. Ah I really need that elevator hack but I haven’t found one that does it yet…

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    1. Sing is the only bitten too! We say in Poland that your blood is sweet and that’s why you get bitten haha 🙂
      I don’t like sleeping on the back because my mouth opens and I look extremely awful haha if I was sleeping beauty my prince would run away seeing me this way haha 🙂

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  4. I can confirm that the elevator trick works on elevators in Taiwan, but you need to press maybe 4-5 times quickly to make the button for that floor turn off.
    I saw free USB chargers for cellphones in 7-11 in Taiwan the other day too, you can just plug your phone in and charge while you’re having something to eat or drink. Also, in Taiwan many MRT stations have free USB charging for phone, and there’s always a small group of people huddled around the outlets

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    1. world is now crazy! I mean, can you imagine something like this 10 years ago? Now you go to store and just plug your phone or stop the elevator 🙂
      I haven’t seen the chargers in HK’s 7/11 – maybe because I don’t really go there besides charging the octopus and getting a pomelo drink, but I cannot think of any 7/11 I’ve been that would be big enough to handle so many people 🙂
      Any Hongkonger who can confirm? 🙂 anyway, thank you so much for your view from Taiwan!

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  5. Oh my gosh- i love this! Thanks for the tips, especially the one about Toilet Rush! Lol I just put it on to my phone now. We are in hk for the next couple of weeks and we are litterally always searching for wash rooms.

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    1. You don’t know how happy I am that it helped you 🙂 let me know later if it’s accurate, I was lucky that I didn’t really have any emergency that need a toilet right away 😀 hopefully you won’t need it too much too 🙂 have fun in Hong Kong! 🙂

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      1. We used it three times – once in Wan Chai and twice in T.S.T. & It worked perfectly, a total life saver! Especially good for late nights when the malls are closed… haha…Thanks!

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  6. the piggy clip with toothpaste works well with me too and was told to me by non-Asian while I am Asian ha ha … the ice in front of the fan thing I’ve seen that in HK and Cambodia which is clever if electricity and ice making machines are even available LoL 😀

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    1. We can learn a lot from each other 🙂 in Hong Kong I always use the aircon but in Shanghai visiting my husband’s grandparents it’s like a forbidden territory – no one can even get close to the area so it won’t accidentally turn on 😀 so they use that bottle-aircon instead 😀

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  7. I’ve never seen anyone use a glove when eating snacks! I thought one of the fun part is to lick the powder off your fingers when the snacks are finished?
    The lift thing, pressing twice quickly is not the newest. The newest ones, you just need to press it again if you press wrongly, doesn’t matter if it is 10 seconds later 😉 .
    There’s another thing that I do, not sure if it qualifies as a lifehack. You know how those Chinese restaurants will give you a wet napkin in packet? I use them for my phone’s screen instead of mouth 😀 .

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    1. that’s because you’re a guy – girls licking their fingers in public look non-lady-ish 😀 besides I love Doritos but they have a lot of powder so if I don’t use them it’s too much mess around and my couch looks orange instead of navy blue with cat hair touch 😀
      oh that thing with the napkins sounds great! next time I get one I will definitely try it!

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  8. I would never ever put anything on my hands when eating snacks. I just need all the grease and spices on my hnds, otherwise I can’t relax 🙂

    Poor him with the mosquito bite problems, I haven’t got a bite in years. It seems that those beasts avoid me, must be eating something they don’t like…

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  9. My Japanese husband hates touching food with his bare hands. He likes his hands clean. So he’ll eat cheetos with chopsticks, popcorn with a spoon, that kind of thing. People think it’s weird, I think it’s smart, he can eat snacks and work on his computer or touch his iPhone at the same time. Everything stays clean.

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  10. Are 1) taking your shoes off before walking around your house and 2) taking a shower at night, Asian lifehacks? 1) To not track whatever germs are outside back to your home and 2) to not lay in your own filfth after a long day. Haha

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    1. I never really seen any nonAmerican household that wears shoes at home, I mean c’mon they are dirty 😀 I visited a friend’s friend and wanted to take off my shoes but he was like ‘no, keep them on, we’re not animals to walk bare feet’ – maybe that’s the explanation… but going to bed with them?! 😀

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  11. Sometimes you can press it for longer for several seconds to cancel the wrong level!
    Also, even the battery of your phone is not removable, you can pay $10/20 deposit and leave your phone to them for 30 mins to charge it! (i know this applies to 7/11 in HK, not sure about other countries)

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  12. In Korea the elevator trick definitely works! But you have to be careful, because Korean elevators don’t have sensors, so if you aren’t fast enough, they will try to squish you.
    And most cafes, convenience stores, and even some shops here will charger your phone for you.

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  13. Didn’t know about the rice to keep sugar dry/unsticking in the container.
    Nor about the vanilla oil to ward off mosquitoes.

    I bake with chopsticks –I mix dessert batter with chopsticks, etc.

    Start a free used book exchange in your condo/apartment building/neighbourhood.

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  14. Using plastic gloves every time you snack is pretty bad for the environment – such a waste of plastic. The same goes with using straws, but saying that if you are on holiday in a country where you are unsure of the cleanliness of the can, the last thing you want is to risk getting ill.

    On the topic of chopsticks, some people swear that you can loose weight by eating with them and will use them for everything! Something to do with getting you to eat slower so your stomach has time to tell you its full before you devour another helping…

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  15. yeah. pressing the level number button in an elevator twice would certainly cancel it out. i do it myself sometimes here where i live.

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  16. The elevator thing works at my parents apartment in Taiwan! But it doesn’t seem to always work…seems like it has to be perfectly timed.

    I also get bitten quite often and vanilla oil sounds more appetizing than the mentholy herbal stuff my mom gave me, which isn’t bad either, but I mean I’d rather smell like vanilla than metholy herbal stuff.

    And they actually sell fans that have a ice reservoir in them so it conserves electricity and does a good job at cooling down a room. We have quite a few of those, lol.

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  17. I really love the tip about rice in sugar/salt to stop making it melt or so..I live in Vietnam (Hanoi) and at this time we have 93% humidity… it’s a dissaster!! I’m going to try your tip as soon as I get back home ;))

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