Okay, real talk for a moment, I love China, I do. I love living here and all of the wonders and stresses that that brings. And in the past, we have posted about how these stresses can be wonders of their own. For one brief moment, though, I’d like to take time to highlight those things so purely Chinese that I still haven’t adjusted to? Those cultural differences that I see every day and fail to assimilate to?
“Ramming” - This term refers to when a Chinese person decides that you are in their way and chooses the tried and true method of literally ramming you out of the way. There are several different styles of ramming, but the two most popular are the shoulder to back ram and the swim move.
|Except Betty White is tackling you.|
For the latter, the swim move is especially successful without being as physical in nature. Imagine you are walking, once more, towards a busy intersection. You and twenty others are waiting for the cross walk sign to turn green. It does, you take your first step forward, then you feel and arm wrap around your middle and pull you backwards into the masses. You have been swim moved. It requires a breast stroke like motion of usually the right arm that bands across the person a half step in front of you, then you propel yourself forward by pushing this person behind you. Works like a charm while utterly bewildering the person you have used it on.
|The move takes place during the 'insweep.'|
|You may also recognize|
the 'swim move' from football.
|Except, it's all service, all the time,|
shirts as an after thought.
|Remove the 'no' symbol and have |
at littering to your heart's content.
|Zax's on the move! Get out the way!|
This is equally applicable to bicycles or e-bikes. If a bike is head directly in your direction you best leap out of the way or be clipped at the best, run over at the worst. Yes, the entire sidewalk to your right is empty and yes there is traffic stopped to your left, but if you don’t dodge to the right, you will get destroyed. Could the bike far more easily change course and ride around you on the side that is empty? Yes. Will they? Absolutely not. Should you ever go walking in China, you will always find yourself playing Sidewalk Chicken, but just remember that you will never ever win so stay alert and ready to dodge to safety at all times.
|Mmm, boiling hot water,|
chicken soup for the soul.
You might think I’m kidding, but I’m not. Not even a little teeny tiny bit. Because these are not random examples, my dear readers, these are conversations that I have watched happen, that I have listened to, that I have committed to memory.
So please, should you ever come to China, don’t mention any illness you have or might have unless you desire to be told that the correct and only cure, is in fact, hot water.
I love China. I love all the things that I just can’t quite adjust to. I even love the damn hot water. Culture shock never entirely dies and that isn’t only for China. I can only shudder to imagine what people find bothersome about living in America. Our obsession with Target? The excessive amount of fast food joints we have? Our love of Uggs and Northface? Who knows. It doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is that you embrace the differences between the cultures and remember to be grateful that you ever got to experience them at all.