My Chinese family loves to save money. On the one hand they do not switch on the central heating in icy cold winters, then again they always take little salt, pepper or ketchup bags from fast food restaurants home with them. To save a little extra they also bring home stuff like furniture or clothes which others have thrown away. Another creative way to save a few cents extra every year is not to switch on the lights at night and some parts of the apartment are only lighted by the street light’s glow.

Do not most horror movies take place in dark places? Unfortunately they do, and creepy things do happen when the apartment is pitch black. And as you have already guessed, the following two ghost stories took place by night, and happened not only once, but uncountable times and cost me at least ten years of my young life.

My eye vision is good, and I do not suffer from night blindness. Nonetheless I prefer well lit rooms where I will not fall over stuff which is lying around in every room, and which I impossibly cannot see in the dark of the night. So one night just like any other, I went to the bathroom to use the toilet. When I opened the bathroom door and switched on the light, I almost got a heart attack. Sitting inside using the toilet was my Chinese mom, feeling interrupted. I was so puzzled at the moment that I left the lights on. She snubbed me to switch the lights off again as it was a waste of money and she did not need any light while only sitting anyway. Of course I did not expect to meet anyone out in the hallway, still less in the bathroom as there were no lights on, neither in the hallway, nor in the bathroom.

Another life shortening incident happened when I was thirsty after sunset. Unsuspectingly I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. When I switched on the kitchen light, it hit me like a stroke. My Chinese mom (again) was sitting on the table, and did not do anything at all. She was just sitting there. And once again I was asked why I needed to switch on the light and waste money if I just needed to get a glass of water.

And what did I learn from the whole story? Only my physical needs made me suffer so much. But anyway, my Chinese dad took it even one step further, naturally, the game also works the other way around. He frequently switched off the light while I was still in the middle of using the bathroom.


Does your Chinese family also like to save money by not switching on the lights at night? Have you ever surprised one of them in the toilet?

Darkness favors secret dealings… and saves money

7 thoughts on “Darkness favors secret dealings… and saves money

  • July 20, 2015 at 17:49

    Yeah, my in-laws appearently never use the light either when they go to toilet at night and sometimes also leave the entire living room in the dark while just sitting there. I got myself a heart attack once when I went to the living room and switched on the lights…what demon did I see? My mother in law with a beauty mask!

    • July 20, 2015 at 18:27

      Hahaha that is even worse than just seeing her in her pyjamas.
      My Panda met her in the kitchen once and asked her if something was wrong. She just answered ‘Nothing!’.

  • July 21, 2015 at 23:26

    I enjoy the stories!! And here I thought my family was tight with their money. They don’t even compare.

    • July 22, 2015 at 7:58

      Thank you so much, Sheila. I think everybody attaches importance to other things. I for example like normal temperature and I want to see what I do. They just do not, I think haha

  • August 5, 2015 at 0:31

    Oh yes, free napkins and free ketchup and free mints, and free toothpicks — these all inhabit my MIL’s purse. Why?

    Because they are FREE, of course.

    Andy always takes a ton of napkins from fast-food places. Leaves me shaking my head, until he points out that I always sneak extra mints or candy from doctor’s offices or the hair stylist.

    So I should probably shut up.

    • August 5, 2015 at 10:25

      I think that stuff is ok-ish, but what’s about cuttlery you got on the plane? The plastic dishes you got your food on?
      And i don’t think you can compare a mint or candy with half of your kitchen utensils. 😀

  • Pingback: Advantages of living together with your Chinese (future) in-laws | Betty 有一​個​熊貓 | HAS A PANDA

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