July 26th, 2010
21.07.2010 - 26.07.2010 35 °C
It's always best to start with the bad news, so here's, in no particular order, a (non-exhaustive) list of what I won't miss here in China:
1. Crazy traffic. Cross the street at your own risk here! You ought to have 360* vision because there are pedestrians, bikes, cars and electric bikes coming from every direction! Electric bikes are, as far as I'm concerned, the most dangerous vehicles, since they go as fast as certain cars and make no noise! And no one stops!! Not cars for pedestrians, not pedestrians for buses. Everyone just swerves around each other!
2. Spitting. I hear it used to be worse before the 1998 Olympic Games but nevertheless, I still find it utterly gross! It's mostly a male thing. Guys spit when strolling down the street, holding their girlfriend's hand. Several times, I've seen men spit in the pool water, as I was swimming by. But most often you'll hear them behind you in the street, racking heir throats, getting ready to expel a big luggie and that's when you pick up your pace and run for cover!
3. Little emperors. Thank goodness most of my students are well behaved. But once in a while, you get a real spoiled brat, a kid ( a boy 9 times out of 10) who's been so spoiled rotten that teaching him becomes at best a challenge! His parents are tickled by his disruptive behavior and if you interpret it as anything else than cute and endearing, they start to question your teaching abilities! How do yo expect to have any authority in the classroom when parents don't take you seriously?
4. The food. Oh gosh, even before my near death experience, the spicy, greasy food never really agreed with me! Notable exceptions: Beijing duck, hot pot, and Korean BBQ (not Chinese per say, but still scrumptious!).