This is disgusting. People just pick their noses in public and no one bats an eyelash. What’s up with that? First of all, it’s just plain unhygienic. Second, it’s rude. Third, well…it’s just gross and I don’t like it. Plus, I know for a fact that all Chinese people carry tissue with them in case they need to use the toilet so I don’t accept the excuse that a student gave me that they had no other choice. This is China. People have tissue.
There is trash EVERYWHERE. Why? Because of a peculiar case of mass social apathy. How do you get rid of some household trash? I’ve seen numerous people just throw it out the window. At night, street cleaners come and gather up all the trash in the streets. If there were no street cleaners (God forbid) then all of China’s cities would be uninhabitable within a month. I guarantee it. No body cares. And due to a waste disposal oversight, there are no other alternatives to street cleaners. There’s even trash in national parks! I’ve never seen so many people not care about something so important. Littering is my only real bugaboo it really makes me feel sick to my stomach.
A quick trip to and from Hong Kong will show you everything that’s different between most Western countries and mainland China. People push and shove, and despite all the talk about family and community Confucian values, no one cares about each other on the mainland. Go to Hong Kong where people are courteous and accommodating in general and see the difference a few decades of foreign culture makes. It’s actually turned me into a worse person. When people try to push past me or cut in front of me in a line I grab them and toss them aside. Meh. When in Rome…
When most people think of China, chances are they probably imagine factories churning out billowing clouds of noxious fumes and in some places, that view is spot on. It’s a rare day in Guangzhou when the sun is shining and the air is clear. In fact, in the past 30 days I can count on one hand the number of nice days we’ve had and I believe I’ve developed a form of acute bronchitis or something. My nose is often clogged up and I’m always horking loogies. Much like the Chinese men I’m around.
This is China. You will almost always be surrounded by crowds of people. At first, I felt suffocated by them. But now I’ve managed to tune them out for the most part. I’m usually so tuned out that I don’t even see them. I see shapes around me but not people. That’s the only way to bear living in a mega-city I think. In addition to the crowds, you also have to deal with the noise. There is always noise here. Deal with it or go crazy.
I’m going cold turkey on youtube and facebook (despite the fact that I hate the latter) and even though I can see them through a slow proxy, it would still be nice if the CCP wasn’t so insecure with itself that it felt like it had to block all the best foreign websites. I understand why it did it. (To give domestic websites a chance at success and not because the foreign sites wouldn’t block stuff the CCP doesn’t like because they do that for other countries.) But it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
I’ve had college graduates in class who were unable to find China on a map which is embarrassing and makes me a little angry. I’ve had students who think that the US intentionally bombed the Chinese embassy during the war in Kosovo. I have students who routinely praise Mao Zedong as being the greatest leader in China’s history. Ignorance, and blind nationalism, which can also be found in the states although it’s much less zealous than what I’ve found here, are cancers of society and whenever I encounter it I feel both angry and sick. Angry that the public education system failed these people and sick that one day these people might be in a position of power.
The fine, lead-based paint in my domicile comes off with the gentle rub of a finger. Also the walls are plain concrete with one layer of paint slapped on. Also, there’s no insulation to keep the heat outside in the summer and the warmth inside during the winter. Guess they overlooked that part. Also, 50% of the surfaces in my house are tile which ensures that I’ll be waging a never ending war against mold during the warm season in tropical south China.
One of my greatest fears is being involved in a hit and run where the driver breaks every bone in my body and drives away while the passersby leave me to die just like that little girl in Foshan. Drivers here are the worst I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I’ve been to New York City, Los Angeles, even Puerto Rico, and no drivers are as rude, reckless, or downright stupid as Chinese drivers in mainland China. My mother would have a heart attack if she saw the kinds of traffic I’ve had to cross.
And at last, I continue my crusade against Guangzhou’s other foreigners. Maybe it’s not that bad but I’m still continually disappointed and disgusted with the other Westerners I come across. It’s recently come to my attention that there’s a group of Americans who go around jumping over beggars on the street. Just jumping over their heads as they kneel on the ground, pleading for money. On top of that, whenever I take the initiative to greet a fellow expat, I usually get ignored or they pretend not to notice me.
I guess that about does it for things I hate about China. Did anything get left out? If you’re in China then let me know what bugs you the most!
See 10 Things I Love about China here: http://wanderingamericantravelblog.com/2012/04/05/10-things-i-love-about-china/