Steve's China Blog

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Short dates and queues

I am not sure if I mentioned it before, but a lot of Chinese prefer to live with their parents for as long as possible... even well after graduating college and finding work. It is not too uncommon to find several generations of a family living together here in China. Some of my Chinese co-workers do find it curious that young Americans usually leave home the first chance they get. I guess we are just more independent spirited. I don't have anything against people staying with their families for a long time, but it does present some unexpected surprises...

On Saturday night I took a friend out to dinner, and she told me that her father wanted me to be sure she was home by 10:00pm. I really can not remember the last time I heard that before. Anyways, dinner was very nice. We went to Paulaner's and had German food, listened to the band, danced, and chatted. I got her home by 11:00pm. I did not mind the early end to the evening since the last time I took her out I didn't get her home until 1:30am and we were both a little drunk. I guess her father didn't want that to happen again.

One thing I know I have talked about here on my blog is queues (or lack of them) in China. The other day I found this interesting news article about how Beijing is trying to do a monthly "Queuing Day" where people are encouraged to form lines on the 11th of each month...

Beijingers line up on Queuing Day - with a little push

Waving little red flags, 64-year-old Ma Yingxin and his 62-year-old partner Chen were up to serious business yesterday: the two helped form six queues for people waiting for six buses at a stop in the upmarket Wangfujing shopping area.

The two men were volunteers for Beijing's first "Queuing Day". The event, on the 11th of each month, was launched by the municipal government as part of a campaign for residents to exhibit "civilized behavior" ahead of the 2008 Olympics.

I was struck by the quote from this lady...

Also, no queues could be found at bus stops where no volunteers had been designated.

"I know it is Queuing Day, but there must be an organizer to help people line up," said a woman in her 40s surnamed Xu. "Otherwise, who is going to do it?"

I know that self-initiative behaviour was not really been encouraged here during communist rule, but it still strikes me as odd when someone says something like this.


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