I would like to apologise for not being regular lately, but I got a reason though! My family was visiting me in China. This is the first time my mom came to China and the contrast between foreigner and Chinese amazed my mom. Since young, we’ve heard too much negative impressions regarding China (from friends and relatives who’ve been to China): Toilets with no doors, bad behaviour, bad hygine, when you buy souvenir and they will wrapped a broken one for you… etc. That’s probably the reasons we never choose China as our travelling destination in the past.
It was raining cats and dogs one afternoon, we were in a cab and was speeding to our destination. Approaching a cross junction, the cabbie slowed down slightly in anticipation of the changing traffic lights. The lights did turn green and the cabbie stepped on the gas. Unfortunately, as we were crossing the junction, a bicycle appeared out of nowhere. Given the wet, slippery road conditions and the cabbie’s speed, it was a miracle that the cabbie even managed to bring the vehicle to a complete stop! The cab only slightly bumped the bicycle and its rider, a middle age man. An argument broke out and soon enough, it become a shouting match and pointing here and there at each other. After a while, the bicycle rider got on his bike again and prepare to leave, still shouting and gesturing at our cab. He even kicked the cab just before he rode off. Our cabbie had no choice to continue driving and curse his own luck.
My mom could not comprehend some of the behaviour she saw while in China. Curious, she would always ask us “Why do people behave this way?” I guess it’s a default questions for newbies to China? In the begining, we tried to think of rational answers for her questions. Most of the time, we were lost for words and ended up laughing together. “Mom… This is China…” When speaking here to the locals, my mom will sometimes start in Mandarin and end up expressing the rest of her sentence in English. The locals, unable to comprehend what she was saying, would stare at her blankly. My mom, expecting some sort of reaction, stared back. A few seconds lapse before my mom realizes what is going on and she would repeat again in Mandarin. It is heartening though to see that there have been vast improvements in the infrastruture and behaviour of the Chinese. Huge strides have been made in the past few years in preparation of the Beijing Olympics. There are still lots of room for improvement, especially the behaviour of the people in China!