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Author Topic: Things considered impolite by foreign people  (Read 62355 times)

Andy72

  • Guest
Things considered impolite by foreign people
« on: January 12, 2011, 11:57:37 PM »

..i want to start this topic (cannot find any similar) taking from a sidestepping direction started on a differnt topic here:
http://hefeiexpat.com/forum/i'm-looking-for/info-on-whether-i-should-move-to-hefei-or-not/msg5402/#msg5402

so, as YetAnotherCanadian was saying, that several foreigners think it is impolite:

-staring ... staring ... staring ... staring
-burping/farting aloud in public
-saying 'LAO WAI!' loudly every time you see a foreign person
-taking pictures of foreign people (this is very, VERY rude!  Please do not do this.)
-yelling on your phone when you're in a public place
-spitting

and for me, as i mentioned earlier, what really pi$$ me off is:

people staring constantly in my shopping basket when in shops..
ohhh, i hate that!!!

so, what do you hate?

and it would be cool if our Chinese friends would start a similar topic, what they hate about us (ok, my staring back at Chinese pretty girl's legs is probably one of those things!  ;D )
« Last Edit: January 13, 2011, 12:10:26 AM by Andy72 »
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YetAnotherCanadian

  • Guest
Re: Things considered impolite by foreign people
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2011, 12:07:37 AM »

I'll add two:

-I hate how sometimes I will say 'hello' to someone walking through the hall where I work (I don't know them, I'm just being friendly) and they will stare at me like I am some kind of alien.  I think they want to say 'why are you saying hello to me, you loser!'

-I hate how most local people seem to have no consideration for the comfort of people around them (driving motorcycles on the sidewalk is a good example).  Or, where I live, the garbage gets picked up at 5 in the morning.  But instead of being quiet (like most civilized people), the garbage lads throw around the garbage cans, break bottles, yell at each other, etc!  I can never sleep!!  Luckily, the garbage collection is only once per week.
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YetAnotherCanadian

  • Guest
Re: Things considered impolite by foreign people
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2011, 12:17:01 AM »

I also hate all the lying.  Maybe it's different in Hefei, but here most things locals tell me turn out to be not true.  >:(  I don't understand how the economy can operate efficiently when you can't believe anything anyone says!  ???
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lewin

  • Guest
Re: Things considered impolite by foreign people
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2011, 02:31:39 AM »

Dear Canadian,

1. Try learning 'Ni hao' and some other useful phrases. I work on the assumption that I have no God-given right to expect a Chinese to speak even a word of English to me. If they do, then I am lucky and life is a little easier. Greetings such as 'Ni chi guo la ma?' are common. But generally speaking, Chinese don't greet random strangers walking by. I admit the rule is sometimes broken for laowais--but not always.

It's also true that if they respond in English, they might feel like you’ll try to further the conversation in English and they’ll be shown lacking.

2. Chinese have enormous consideration for each other (and for laowais) in the social sphere. You only have to partake in a few dinners with colleagues or family to experience what I mean. People will select the best food and make sure you have it. They'll make sure you're seated at the most important position at the table. They'll drink to you first. I arrived in a new city late in evening and hadn't booked a hotel. A travelling businessman went out of his way to assist me find a clean and affordable place. Why? Because once someone had done the same for him. I was walking in the rain without an umbrella and a Chinese student came over and let me walk under hers. Chinese also put much thought and expense into buying gifts for each other. There are countless examples...

When you live in populous places, some things in life are a little harder. The bus to and from work every day is jammed with people, supermarket lines are long, the wait at the bank or post office can be frustrating, taxis might be scarce when you really need one,  there's a noisy school next to your apartment, lots of dirty construction happening to accomodate more people etc. etc.  Daily life requires more patience and less sensitivity to physical inconveniences. This can (but not always) result in a lack of sensitivity to others on the street. I asked a Chinese friend about this once and he said that first and foremost people must have a stronger sense of their own safety and wellbeing, then it will be ‘morphed’ to others. It is part of the human condition, and I have experienced exactly the same in Western cities where there are many people.

p.s. You should seriously avoid using the word 'civilized' like you understand what that means, newfie.
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Andy72

  • Guest
Re: Things considered impolite by foreign people
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2011, 03:31:42 AM »

1 - chinese don't greet random foreigners???? rule is broken sometimes?????
where do you live????  :P

where i live, south of hefei, sorry, it's completely the opposite!!
and they are so happy when i answer some "ni hao, "ni chi LE ma?"  ;D

maybe you live in an area with many foreigners.. or you never go out!
kidding of course..

but when i started this thread i was more thinking about what i wrote in the title..
and still i think that most of us, foreigners here, are enjoying staying here.. nobody is obliged to stay.. (i speak mainly for myself)
so do not take too bad the comments we write..

also no need to state comments like "Daily life requires more patience and less sensitivity to physical inconveniences".. keep them for church meeting maybe..
i was trying to get some fun and funny comments from our cultural shocks..
for those sentences, i can get a fortune cookie..

so, relax mate, keep your smile and tell us what YOU did not like and learnt to accept!

don't understand your need to take so seriously every words written here..

please, don't get angry with me or my bad english  and keep your smile!!

andy
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Andy72

  • Guest
Re: Things considered impolite by foreign people
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2011, 03:34:18 AM »

besides, dear Lewin i would really love if some chinese or maybe people that seem to know chinese society and tradition so well would start a parallel thread:

Things done by laowai considered impolite by locals

really!!
please, anything.. keeping a smile!!!
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ebby

  • Guest
Re: Things considered impolite by foreign people
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2011, 04:02:16 AM »

@Lewin,  I can understand how you feel, but you are not sincere , I don't know how many years you 've spent in China but it's obvious except you don't want to say the truth.

 However, let's stick to the point , things foreigners considered impolite.

1. There is no'SORRY' in their dictionary. Bumping into you anywhere,anytime is considered normal and even laugh it off like nothing happened.

2. Where are you from?  I experience this more than 100 times daily. ( To know who and who we should associate ourselves with)

3. How old are you?  I am older than you, so you should call me ..blaaaablaaaaa...

4. What about calling you names especially when you are 'coloured'
 
5.Crowding around you when you are discussing with a friend 'LACK OF RESPECT FOR PRIVACY'
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YetAnotherCanadian

  • Guest
Re: Things considered impolite by foreign people
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2011, 04:52:52 AM »

Dear Canadian,

1. Try learning 'Ni hao' and some other useful phrases. I work on the assumption that I have no God-given right to expect a Chinese to speak even a word of English to me. If they do, then I am lucky and life is a little easier. Greetings such as 'Ni chi guo la ma?' are common. But generally speaking, Chinese don't greet random strangers walking by. I admit the rule is sometimes broken for laowais--but not always.

It's also true that if they respond in English, they might feel like you’ll try to further the conversation in English and they’ll be shown lacking.

2. Chinese have enormous consideration for each other (and for laowais) in the social sphere. You only have to partake in a few dinners with colleagues or family to experience what I mean. People will select the best food and make sure you have it. They'll make sure you're seated at the most important position at the table. They'll drink to you first. I arrived in a new city late in evening and hadn't booked a hotel. A travelling businessman went out of his way to assist me find a clean and affordable place. Why? Because once someone had done the same for him. I was walking in the rain without an umbrella and a Chinese student came over and let me walk under hers. Chinese also put much thought and expense into buying gifts for each other. There are countless examples...

When you live in populous places, some things in life are a little harder. The bus to and from work every day is jammed with people, supermarket lines are long, the wait at the bank or post office can be frustrating, taxis might be scarce when you really need one,  there's a noisy school next to your apartment, lots of dirty construction happening to accomodate more people etc. etc.  Daily life requires more patience and less sensitivity to physical inconveniences. This can (but not always) result in a lack of sensitivity to others on the street. I asked a Chinese friend about this once and he said that first and foremost people must have a stronger sense of their own safety and wellbeing, then it will be ‘morphed’ to others. It is part of the human condition, and I have experienced exactly the same in Western cities where there are many people.

p.s. You should seriously avoid using the word 'civilized' like you understand what that means, newfie.


Hi Lewin,

I'm sorry my post pissed you off enough that you had to open an account here to reply (I notice that your rant marks your first post at this forum).

If my reference to people throwing garbage around at 5 in the morning as 'uncivilized' doesn't match your definition of the same word, then I'll rephrase it as 'inconsiderate'.  One thing I don't get is why you tout yourself as someone who hates labels, yet you label me a 'newfie'?  Do you know what that word even means?

Anyway, as I stated before, these are just a few of the things that piss me off about China, and I encouraged our local friends to retort with things that piss them off about foreigners.  Andy made it clear this thread is for a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun, perhaps not suited for the overly-sensitive.

Maybe when I get to Hefei, you can take me out for dinner.  Then let's be civilized and get real drunk and walk through family areas of Hefei, breaking bottles and yelling at 3 in the morning.
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YetAnotherCanadian

  • Guest
Re: Things considered impolite by foreign people
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2011, 05:19:49 AM »

1 - chinese don't greet random foreigners???? rule is broken sometimes?????
where do you live????  :P

where i live, south of hefei, sorry, it's completely the opposite!!
and they are so happy when i answer some "ni hao, "ni chi LE ma?"  ;D

maybe you live in an area with many foreigners.. or you never go out!
kidding of course..

but when i started this thread i was more thinking about what i wrote in the title..
and still i think that most of us, foreigners here, are enjoying staying here.. nobody is obliged to stay.. (i speak mainly for myself)
so do not take too bad the comments we write..

also no need to state comments like "Daily life requires more patience and less sensitivity to physical inconveniences".. keep them for church meeting maybe..
i was trying to get some fun and funny comments from our cultural shocks..
for those sentences, i can get a fortune cookie..

so, relax mate, keep your smile and tell us what YOU did not like and learnt to accept!

don't understand your need to take so seriously every words written here..

please, don't get angry with me or my bad english  and keep your smile!!

andy

Haha, nobody is making fun of your English!  (If you heard my Italian, you'd laugh!)

I hope this thread hasn't been killed.  Would love to hear from some of the other users on this site!  If you're foreign/Chinese, post what pisses you off!  :P

My wife (Chinese), hates how foreign people (well, me in this case) don't normally shower before bed.  I now shower both in the morning and at night.  :)
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Andy72

  • Guest
Re: Things considered impolite by foreign people
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2011, 05:26:57 AM »

please please, make your wife starting the parallel thread of what chinese hate about us!!!

 ;D

i'll ask my chinese friends...

maybe something like:

1 - when you walk around you don't say "ni hao" to all of us
2 - you oblige your poor children to wear diapers and not go freely in the nature
3 - you don't enjoy drinking baijiu from normal water glasses but you always ask for the tiny ones...

 ;D
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YetAnotherCanadian

  • Guest
Re: Things considered impolite by foreign people
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2011, 07:22:42 AM »

lol actually, one thing I don't hate about China is bai jiu.  It's a perfect winter drink (aside from the fact you feel like hell the next few days).  :P

My wife says she hates how foreign people wear too much perfume (actually, I used to wear it to until she told me to stop).
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Joeyhf

  • Guest
Re: Things considered impolite by foreign people
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2011, 07:49:08 AM »

Chinese  people like to be a  "FIRST IN ROW"  ;D
Everybody want to board plane or train first ,even have seat reservation ;D .
Driving car in China is the same.Everybody want to be a First.

I hate when walk with my wife and chinese guys have stupid comment about us.
There's much more things I hate here but still possible to live with.  >:(
Spitting in the plane into plastic bag all the way from Europe to China is tradition.  >:(
People say: "Spitting is Chinese national anthem" probably have to agree with them  ;D


Joseph




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YetAnotherCanadian

  • Guest
Re: Things considered impolite by foreign people
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2011, 10:02:22 AM »

Hi Joseph, yes I get the exact same thing with my wife.  Guys say very, very, VERY rude things sometimes (I'm not going to type them here).  Anyway, my wife is much stronger about this stuff than I am. 

I take it you get that sort of thing in Hefei, too?  In Shanghai, we get harrassed pretty much every day.  It's one of the reasons we want to get out of this place.  I look forward to the day when we can sit in a restaurant and be treated with a bit of respect (no staring/picture taking/rude comments, etc).
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Andy72

  • Guest
Re: Things considered impolite by foreign people
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2011, 11:39:26 PM »

[can't say anything about the serious topic of inter racial couples, but i am sorry to hear that..]

i forgot one thing also annoying:

one of my colleagues from time to time (it means once per day!) starts suddenly singing very loud in the office. we are about 10 people in the office and when he sings it is KTV style, loud and with passion!

ok, he has a very good voice.. and the first 3-4 times i thought it nice, funny, cute..... now, i just fantasize to get to his desk and smash his face on his keyboard!

 ;D
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lewin

  • Guest
Re: Things considered impolite by foreign people
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2011, 12:15:38 AM »

yeah, now verbal abuse is something legit to gripe about. I've experienced it especially in Shanghai. You probably go out to do something nice with your wife--like go the movies or drink tea together--and you come home to find out she had been silently copping shit from people on the street the entire time. (And not just silly comments, really hateful stuff). She understands every word, but hides it from you because she doesn't want you to go ballistic on someone's ass in public. It can continue to affect both of you for the rest of the day or evening.  

It happens infrequently here in Hefei and your choice to move here is a good one.

Quote
so, relax mate, keep your smile and tell us what YOU did not like and learnt to accept!
 OK Andy. Something difficult to accept at first...inviting Chinese to a restaurant and then at the end they physically restrain you from paying because they are being considerate. So you've gotta play the 'no, no, no it's my turn to pay' game. It can get a little repetitive. Now I take care of the bill well in advance.

<ps. Canadian, I accept your invitation to dinner, but I won’t fight you for the bill  ;)>

People stare in my shopping basket, I let them and go about my business. In fact, once a little old lady reached in and removed the dofu gan I bought because she thought it would be too spicy for a laowai <ha> She was just trying to be considerate.

Quote
.. keep them for church meeting maybe..
I wouldn't know what is said in church meetings. But you seem to.

Quote
for those sentences, i can get a fortune cookie..
You see my sentences in fortune cookies?? Someone should be paying me royalties for that.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 04:08:12 AM by lewin »
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