29th/November/2011 – 6th/ December
I have been dragging my behind since coming back from my two weeks trip which saw this group of nine crossed three provinces and visited many tourist attractions.
I will strive to pin the proper names in Chinese later so the essence of the regional flavor does not get lost in translation. One thing though, China is a huge country, November is considered a tourist low season, to my casual observation, if this is low season, I wouldn’t want to come in high season, each scenic spot through out our route was always full of people. From a few hundred, to a few thousand, you build it; they will come, by the bus load.
I am not griping, but my fellow countrymen here sometimes display their public manners make me wonder if our five thousand years of cultures really has any influences on our daily values.
All the places we visited has plenty of waste baskets placed strategically, always two in a row, one clearly marked recyclable, one marked non returnable. They are not only written in Chinese, but with symbols, and you guess right, people made the effort to put the garbage into the bins, but that’s it. They are not placed properly.
That’s not to say, people in other places/other countries follow their proper social manners to the TEE, but we the Chinese, always proud of our culture, are one of the worse offenders of public display of inconsideration to other fellow inhabitants on this planet earth.
I have always taken the stance of “It is harder to educate a vast number of people than educating a smaller number of people.” I realized it is a lame excuse that I invented for myself when I first take up residence here. May be there is still hope and time…..
But this one time, when I saw a young boy, no older than six, stepping down the front steps of a road side rest area, and just like that, threw away the peelings of his orange on the steps, then turned sideways, spit onto the steps.
I do not blame the kid; I blame the parents who set a very bad example in social etiquette, adults clear their throats loudly in public, and when I hear that, I look out from the corner of my eyes where the culprit is, and I am ready to jump out of the way in case he spits my way.
I must say though, men are almost five times more incline to offend than women, people
forty or older spit more in public as compare to student age younger generation. Not to
lay blame on any segment of the society, well dressed people are just readily clear their
throat and spit than their less well dress counter parts.
Pushing and rushing in transit: People in China for a long time had to registrar when they
arrive in a new city; travelling freely between cities was an almost unheard of luxury up
to a good many years ago, many of our fellow travelers – sightseers inevitably travel in
groups, they might be from the same township, work unit, or the same village. And they
look out for each other during their group outing, and inevitably some would rush to stay
within sight of each other in case some might get lost. It is unfortunate, but this minor
etiquette got overlook a lot of times together with other misbehaving.
I must give local tourist spot organizers a lot of credits for trying to keep the places clean,
there are plenty of waste baskets along the way, plenty of service people to pick up after
the few mindless litterers. Public toilets are reasonably clean and are free. Bring your
papers though. Running water is always available.
A very interesting phenomenon though, many of the public toilet for “# 2 Event “has no
privacy door in your cubicle, so, unless you really have to go, I did not see any body use
them. I remember in the mid 70’s that many public toilets in China charges 10 cents for
using the facilities, some actually managed to eliminate the ammonia smell by using
bleach. Not so this time, all of the travelling hot spots charge admission fees, but none of
them manage to rid of the smell of nature.
I am back down to HK now, enjoying my Face Book, access to emails and other
amenities, living space is cramped here, but feel I am a fair bit more safe when I walk on
the pedestrian because there is no electric bicycles creep up silently from behind.
Christmas decorations and carols are very evident now, both in Ningbo and HK, but I
Think it is more to do with commerce than religious reasons.
By the way, travel light; air lines these days are very stringent with their luggage policy!
More about my trip later.