When I arrived in China in 2008 and was introduced to the apartment, I was going to dwell in for the next 5 or so months, it was late at night and after visiting a local supermarket to get some essential supplies I went to bed and slept well! I had travelled from Australia and was very tired. I don’t recall that I noticed the hard bed that first night!
I was to learn that hard beds were considered “healthy” in China, and subsequently, I learned to sleep on a hard mattress. Other “foreign teachers” bought extra mattresses to “soften” the bed. The beds in each of the apartments were perhaps “king” size, much to my delight as being tall, I hate single beds as my legs hang over the end. It was good for me. I was delighted.
Many years ago, Chinese families slept on a “kang” which doubled as a stove and bed. When it was cold, the whole family slept together on a platform (made of bricks or clay, and in more recent times cement), over a fire to help keep everyone warm. You can read about it here.
I remember that in 2009 I was in South Korea, and one of my students talked excitedly about the new bed for her and her husband. I didn’t see it – but she explained that it had a marble base. If you Google “marble bed, Korea” you will no doubt find some images of them.
Fast forward to 2016. I was back in China and this time.
The first few nights I stayed in a private home in Shaoxing. The room was most comfortable – especially as they had central heating and the temperature was around 25 degrees all the time. I was given two huge doonas – they were very heavy and very warming. I didn’t need one!!
The Chinese “make” their beds differently. A bottom sheet above the very think mattress cover and one pillow was provided. The bed was huge. A king size king size I guess.
The second place I stayed at was an apartment – the bed was someone less salubrious than the first one, and again I was provided with one (bottom) sheet.
I have other bed stories too. The University took us on a tour to Wuzhen, and one of the attractions was a “Bed Museum”. I’d never heard of a bed museum, and my initial thoughts were of surprise. A “Bed Museum”????? As it turned out, it was very interesting. Click here to see more about the Wuzhen Bed Museum.