In the western cuisines, the most common condiments which you will find resting on every dining table are salt and pepper. They are ground to powder and they come in shakers. In China the situation is a bit different, and that also includes the state of the matter at hand.
Soy Sauce and Vinegar
In most Chinese restaurant you will not find salt and pepper on the table, instead you will find soy sauce and vinegar. They usually come in a set of mini-scale teapot-shaped containers but sometime they are kept in plain plastic ones. Often the containers will be worn out or cracked so pour carefully or you will end up spicing up your clothes as well. Soy sauce is salty while vinegar is sour. Both are dark liquids but the soy souse is thicker and darker than the vinegar.
The Chinese hot sauce is made of mashed chili peppers with a bit of oil, and it’s more of a paste than a sauce. It’s not as spicy as it looks. Nonetheless, the first time you try it do it carefully and gradually until you reach the amount which suits your taste.