To nap or not to nap, that is a question for many foreigners living in China.
In the West, many people think napping is a childish thing that you should stop doing after the age of 5. But in China, napping is like a national sport. After lunch, you can see people sleeping everywhere: at their desks, on a park bench, in a restaurant or on the grass.
The afternoon nap, known as wujiao in Chinese, is a tradition in schools. Students are encouraged to take a snooze after lunch.
Napping is also an office culture. Lunch break in China could last two hours. Employees are encouraged to take a 30-minute nap after lunch because it is believed that a power nap boosts productivity.
In some workplaces, sleeping on the job is even required. For example, some Chinese factories order their workers to take a nap. Huawei employees reportedly take a nap on a camp bed under their desk.
Still, many foreigners find it weird. One of my European friends takes photos of his Chinese colleagues asleep at their desks and make fun of them on Facebook.
"If I see a colleague who never says anything nice to me in the afternoon, he or she probably missed the nap," he jokes.
I quit napping when I started working for a Japanese organization right after college. I was disappointed to see nobody sleeps during the work day. Quitting was challenging. Every day after lunch my body and mind would fight.
Soon I secretly started taking a nap in the bathroom, well, on the floor next to the toilet, to be exact. Now looking back, I am very grateful that Japanese people are obsessed with hygiene and cleanliness. The office bathroom was so clean and odor-free that I felt comfortable sleeping there.
The only problem was naps were hard to cut short. Once I got a little taste, I wanted more. A 10-minute nap became 20, and then 30 minutes. The next thing I knew, my Japanese colleague is knocking the door, asking if everything is ok.
That ended my love affair with the bathroom. Soon everyone in the office knew I was sleeping there. Since then, whenever I was absent in the afternoon, somebody would joke that I must be sleeping in the toilet. Thanks to those embarrassing moments, I eventually quit taking a nap in the office.
This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.