Return of the Sleeping Chinese!


If there’s one thing I have always loved about China, it’s sleeping Chinese. If there’s one thing the Chinese absolutely excel at, it’s sleeping. Anytime; anyplace; if it has a reasonably flat surface; – ok check that – any surface at all, is suitable for a midday kip. In fact, all Chinese work places don’t simply allow break time for eating, but also factors in having a nap. It is quite common for Chinese workers to have approximately two hours break per day, where they may be working longer hours than most western staff members; it factors in having a brief nap.

Shanghai Scrap has reported on this taking place at Expo, where a long boulevard of sheltered double-benches has proven a perfectly suitable sleeping environment for the weary Chinese. It always cracks me up when they not only curl up in a public place for a rest, but take their shoes off – one must air out those socks!

We came across so many Sleeping Chinese(tm) while in China. I often envy their ability to sleep; particularly while on sleeper trains. I suspect most Chinese could even sleep while being hung upside down, as the bumpy, often noisy trains didn’t faze them in the least; their deep restful snores often keeping me more awake than the train itself!

I have one particularly fond memory of our driver, waiting for us while we had our medical exams for entry visas. As we returned to the car, he was out like a light in the front seat, his two socked feet poking out of the window.

If you’re interested in seeing photos of Sleeping Chinese; and let’s face it, who isn’t, go check out Sleeping Chinese, which is an entire archive of them! Failing that, there are 36 of them at Shanghai Scrap – and that’s just from one afternoon!

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4 Responses to “Return of the Sleeping Chinese!”

  1. Tom Says:

    Love it! Everywhere I go I see them. MTR, Bus, Windows down in a truck crouched over the steering wheel.

    In my recent trip to Shenzhen, there were some sitting, or I should say lying, down under a bridge in the shade. Again, socks in the air!

    I’ll grab more photos next time!

  2. Marcus Says:

    Dude you should _always_ be photographing sleeping Chinese, particularly with the socks out 🙂

  3. Anna Says:

    Ah Marcus, I remember you posted an entry in your TW blog, and had a picture of the person asleep under the table on the chairs. I have been thinking of this one picture and post so much during our travel through China, as we see sleeping Chinese people… everywhere. On parked scooters with their legs up, on a construction site on slabs of broken concrete, and the best one, on the way to the Wall, a Chinese guy asleep in the back of a truck full of rubble & dirt and shovels etc! While it was hammering down the road… was awesome, and completely not OHS compliant! Alas, didn’t get photos of any.

  4. Marcus Says:

    Aha shame! That one of the person under the table, that was my favourite one too 🙂 Was so awesome eating knowing there’s a sleeping staff member a metre away 🙂

    Good luck in Mongolia!

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