Thursday, April 21, 2011

Things That Don't Transition

I've talked about a few of the ways that I have adapted to my life in China...but there are a few things I haven't mentioned....most of these are things that won't transition well back into life in America. Awareness is a good step for me, I suppose, since I will be spending a few weeks in the States this summer. Some of the ways I've adapted "too much" to the culture:

  • Pushing people out of the way in line. We don't form lines here. We shove. Old people, children...everyone is equal in this regard. Because many of those old people are stronger than me.

  • Yelling for the waiter when I want something. That doesn't go over well in America. Neither does not leaving a tip (we don't tip here).

  • Giving unsolicited opinions/advice constantly. Or even just remarking on things in an annoying fashion. I used to hate it when people did things like I do it all the time. Case in point, last night: "Did you eat enough? Are you really full?" "Oh, 你吃很小! (You eat so little!) Eat more!" "Are you still sick? Are you taking medicine?" Yep....all things that I said last night. Just call me Grandma.

All that to say, I beg advance forgiveness from those people that I may annoy with nagging, or shove, while I am at home this summer.

For any other expats out there, in what ways have you noticed you're adapted to the culture in what might be perceived as negative by your fellow countrymen?

1 comment:

  1. I think it's just being polite in a Western or in a Finnish sense. Chinese people don't say thank you all the time when they are buying or selling things. They just throw the money to the counter! I think I should be careful when I visit Finland after two weeks.