Now that I’m safely out of China (discounting a horse), I thought I’d share some of my thoughts.
Though I’ve traveled (fairly) far and wide in this world, I have never, ever, met a nation of such rude, mannerless, unintuitive, careless and unsympathetic people, as the majority (the Han) of the Chinese (from what I saw, miniorities are much, much kinder people, and my best times in China, were with Tibetans).
I tried to think of western manners, and of which the Chinese obeyed; I found none. Then I tried to think of Chinese manners, and I saw none. Yelling, spitting indoors (and outdoors), as well as emptying your nose on the street, shouting into telephones (no, really, shouting is the standard cellphone volume).
They throw garbage every which way, consume mindlessly, all men are habitual chainsmokers, the traffic is insane (400 deaths per day, that’s 146.000 per year, and even that is a miracle, the number of times I felt like driving was a gamble for life or death).
Much of what you see apart from the gorgeous nature, is poor people, extremely unhygienic conditions, filth, piles of garbage… And the extravagantly rich, toting fullframe DSLR cameras with equally expensive lenses attached (easily costing above 6000 USD and above), driving massive SUVs, and flashing expensive western clothing. In a supposedly Communist country (not by a long stretch), how can the Chinede allow this monumental gap? It’s encouraged.
And where is all of this behaviour commonplace? Everywhere. Chainsmoking and shouting into phones on minibus, spitting on the floor of a restaurant, children doing their toiletry into buckets on buses and trains
My least favourite thing, which covers nearly all Chinese, is the lack of logic and intuitive thought to be found.
If I’m pointing at the ground, and then at a map. Why would I want a bottle of water?
If I show someone the logo for the metro, would that not be where I want to go?
If I don’t speak Chinese, why do people insist on carefully explaining things in Chinese?
If I gesticulate, and make sounds, like a chicken, why would I be looking for bell pepers?
Yes, I guess I should have learned Chinese, but to be frank, the pronounciation, with the right intonations, is nigh on impossible, unless I want to plunk down in Beijing for weeks, and take classes.
Instead, I need to repeat names of cities in as many different ways as I can, hoping that I’ll hit the right one. When I do, they’ll repeat it, in the exact same was as I’ve said it before, at least 5 times.
Oh joy, or as the Chinese would put it “Fuck it, I’m Chinese”