2004.10.23 Urumqi, China

Traffic Light Timer

Before coming to China, I of course expected there would be differences living in a culture other than where I was raised. I suppose it's a natural part of any expatriate's experience that the way things are done back home should feel the most comfortable. Even trying to be open-minded about it though, I just can't understand a good bit of the behavior I see in China on a daily basis. It sometimes strikes me that were I fluent in Mandarin or Uighur, life here would still seem just plain weird. So, to share some of my present pet-peeves and occasional confusions of my existence here...

In contrast to the cultural differences I can't comprehend, there are some things I've observed here which make so much more sense than how we do things in the U.S.:

I realize the examples of things I find more logical are a matter of China having built up its infrastructure at a much later point than the U.S. Still, why don't I see these things surfacing back there?

I still observe something new to me on a daily basis. I'd guess for every one thing I notice which makes more sense, I encounter ten others I simply can't understand. It's fun either way. What things do irk me are always minor; it's hard not to laugh at the relative weirdness of existence here.