Are you naughty or nice?

By Yin Lu Source:Global Times Published: 2015-12-24 17:28:01

Metro helps Beijingers gauge whether they made it into Santa’s good books?

Metropolitan shares Santa's criteria for deciding whether Beijingers have been naughty or nice in 2015. Photo: IC

Are you wondering why you haven't received a gift from Santa as yet?

As a special treat, Metropolitan will guide you through Santa's 10 top-secret naughty-or-nice criteria for those living in Beijing.

Here's how the naughty-or-nice algorithm works: Under each category, you will find how you can assess yourself and decide whether you deserve one point. Get six or more points out of 10 and you are safe, get less and it is a lump of coal for you!

1. Have you done enough in the face of 'airpocalypse'?  

Santa's reindeer are already having trouble navigating the smog, but the capital continues to suffer from hazardous air pollution in 2015.

Beijing's air has been behaving like a patient recovering one day and relapsing another, causing residents to be wild with joy one day and overcome with depression on another.

In 2015, we celebrated "parade blue," which came after strict restrictive measures banned cars and shut down factories and construction sites ahead of the September military parade. Unfortunately, we also witnessed the first red alerts in Chinese history over the past two weeks, the highest on the four-tier warning scale.


Congratulations! If you have survived airpocalypse and didn't choke to death, you've earned one cool point! But you need to do more to reduce the effect of pollution on your family's health and help reduce pollution overall. Have you done any of these: Bought masks or a purifier, studied official and unofficial air quality reports daily, urged your children's schools to take measures, started living a more environment-friendly life, such as riding a bike to work, followed experts and talked passionately about the issue on social media?

2. Have you tried hard enough to blend into local life?

Despite the bad air, horrible traffic and complicated visa situations foreigners might face, the majority of expats in Beijing are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Life in Beijing is pretty awesome. You've got your outstanding local sports teams, a lively music scene that involves many expat bands, flourishing community markets, centuries-old cultural heritage sites and countless exhibitions and shows.


Have you taken full advantage of the fact that you are in one of the biggest, oldest and most amazing cities in the world? Have you visited the museums and art centers? Have you partied wildly as a foreigner is supposed to? Have you befriended at least one dama (elderly Chinese lady) in your neighborhood and learned a few dance moves? Have you watched at least one of the Beijing Guoan Football Club games, or showed up at the basketball court to support Stephon Marbury?

3. Have you had a proper date this year?

There is a growing demographic of singles who are smart, well educated and refuse to settle for less in China, which is notoriously known for its "leftover women," a label put on unmarried Chinese women in their late 20s and 30s.

According to a report released by one of China's biggest dating sites in November, China is facing a "singleton crisis," especially among young men, as a result of a growing number of single people, and an imbalance between the male and female population of marriageable age. Among them, more than 80 percent of Beijing's single men are suffering from this kind of crisis, ranking top among major cities nationwide.

Still, Beijing provides a lively nightlife and a romantic dating scene for both locals and foreigners. There are countless dating apps and matchmaking sites out there, so there's no reason for you to continue to be single.


You get extra points if you are not a pathetic singleton! And for those who are spouseless and dateless this holiday season, you should reflect upon your situation. Have you spent a fortune taking your date to Temple Restaurant Beijing or the top floors of the China World Towers overlooking the city or have you spent your whole year grinding booty under dim lights and getting drunk at Sanlitun Bar Street?

4. Have you been treating your siblings well?

One of the biggest news of 2015 in China is the government abandoning its decades-long one-child policy and allowing all couples to have two children. To save the world's declining birth rate, you should think about what you can do for the world's population. Celebrate the fact that you've got siblings to share joys, sorrows and responsibilities with or start making baby No.2.


Are you in touch with your siblings? Have you called or texted them recently? Did you get them a nice (nice for real, not Yashow Market nice) gift? Have you showed your affection and concern by nagging and bothering them constantly? If you don't have siblings, no points for you.

5. Have you been shopping too much, or managing your finances well?

Once again, China's purchasing power is surprising the world. China's November 11 shopping festival, featuring discounted products, hosted by Alibaba, hit a record-breaking 91.2 billion yuan ($14.3 billion) in sales this year. Many foreigners, both from home and abroad, are also participating in these events.

Besides the festive atmosphere, maybe we should also blame all those companies and their commercials for making us spend too much money. Apple is releasing iPad Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone 6S, Xiaomi is promoting new purifiers, and the drones look so cool and not too expensive. How can one keep oneself under control?


Are you sure you really needed the new iPhone and didn't just want it for its cool new colors? Did you let this year's stock market crash affect your finances? Did you buy more than 10 items during the shopping festival?

If you haven't done enough to reduce the effect of air pollution or tried hard enough to blend into the local community, you'll probably end up on Santa's naughty list. Photo: IC

6. Have you tried to stay healthy and do sports?

You'd think that since the air is so bad, you don't have to do sports, right? Think again.

A sports fever has been sweeping through the country, and there's been a boom in such events in the last few years. For example, the Beijing International Marathon is increasingly popular with both locals and expats. It took five months for the game to receive enough participants in 2010, but now entrants have to register in advance and compete against each other for spots. In September, the first Beijing Laowai Cycling World Championships was held, and a total of 69 foreign cyclists participated in the event.


Are you a member of local expat football, basketball or ice hockey clubs? Have you participated in any of the marathons, or cycling events? How many times have you used your gym membership this year?

7. Have you overindulged in social media?

Social media is playing an increasingly important role in our lives, and people's obsession with it is getting more serious. Apparently, "share," "like" and "send" have shot to the top of the list of important things to do. It is true that much of the information we get from social media is newsworthy, but much of it is unreliable.


Have you posted too many items on your social media account this year? Do you regret wasting your data package reading about the latest gossip or watching vids of babies and animals on the Internet? Have you made any effort to limit your social media indulgence? Have you been annoying your friends and endangering their mental health with pictures of your purses, new air purifier or your adorable babies doing everything from eating to pooping?

8. Have you cooked for yourself?

We agree that as you are in China, you should be indulging in all the food here. Moreover, there are quite a few great expat-run restaurants and bars that are just so damn delicious, but, for your own health, you should cook for yourself at least once in a while.

Also, need we remind you of the possibility of having gutter oil in your diet if you eat out too much, which, once you get used to it, you won't be able to cut off?


Have you cooked for yourself? How many times per week do you shop for ingredients at a local organic market?

9. Have you been making an effort to learn Chinese?

There are too many reasons to learn the language: You wanted to read Chinese news, get into the market, or date Chinese people. But at the end of the year, you realized you read mostly English works and talked mainly to English speakers.

Suddenly, you realized that even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is greeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in fluent Chinese and giving speeches with great complexity in the language. Then you know it's time to change.


Have you been taking Chinese lessons regularly? Have you tried to find a language partner or talk more to your Chinese friends? Have you been keeping up with the latest Internet memes?

10. Have you been a good citizen?

A good citizen gives back to the community. He or she obeys the law and is an upstanding member of society whether they are living at home or abroad.

A good citizen is also well informed and very concerned about their surroundings. Are you paying attention to what is happening in China and around the world, or are you gossiping about who dumped whom?


Have you stayed clear of drugs and off the radar of the famous "Chaoyang people" (known for tipping off the police about drug users in a number of cases this year)? Have you refrained from jaywalking? Have you done enough to reduce your carbon footprint? Have you been a responsible consumer, only buying things from reputable companies instead of shanzhai (pirated junk)?

Posted in: Metro Beijing

blog comments powered by Disqus