I don’t think I’ve ever actually fallen asleep at work. Certain meetings or training courses have taken me to the brink, but I’m sure that I’ve never drifted off. A friend who taught in Hong Kong told me how the Chinese are capable of taking a kip anywhere at any time, even for just a few minutes. I would love to be able to do that, and am quietly envious whenever we come across anyone sleeping on the job, like these guys:
We are constantly coming across mannerisms that seem to be typically Chinese – the ubiquitous peace signs when posing for photos, or the squat – when leaning or standing would be just as comfortable. It’s encouraged from an early age and is great practice for ablutions in the local facilities. Sound technique here is vital.
We notice a complete lack of respect for authority in certain situations. The Shanghai metro uses a somewhat random security system. There are scanners for bags and passengers, but these are not at every station, and when they do exist, they are voluntary. Occasionally a very timid officer in uniform asks a commuter to scan their bags, but this is generally ignored by locals. Only foreigners unsure of the consequences seem ready to comply.
We also see many examples of bikes carrying precarious loads, but nothing ever seems to spill. Often the family are squeezed in – the younger and smaller they are, the easier they are to pack.
Chinglish is an easy target, but still a damn funny one. I mentioned the “no striding” rule in an earlier post. I’ve included it here again, just as a reminder if you find yourself in Guilin and about to stride. Here it is, along with some other fond memories:
And it was great!