Monday, February 12

China’s Campaign to Eradicate Rude Behavior

The BBC reports on a campaign being launched in Beijing to end line jumping (and other “social ills”) before thousands of foreigners arrive to attend the Olympics next year.

Thousands of volunteers have been out on the streets trying to persuade people to wait in line in order to present a better image to visitors.

The campaign was launched under the slogan: "It's civilised to queue, it's glorious to be polite."

This cracks me up! Before traveling to China for the first time in 2003, we were warned that the Chinese do not line up. We experienced this a few times mostly in the airports, the grocery stores and while shopping in downtown Guangzhou. We were not offended by it because we went in informed with the attitude that this is the Chinese way and then, we put our elbows out and made our way through the crowd.

The article concludes with this sentence: Officials in Beijing also want to tackle other social ills including spitting and dropping litter.

What about the children relieving themselves via split pants on the side of the roads? Cute, but not very sanitary. I really didn’t see any litter at all when we were in Beijing, but I did witness a lot of public spitting...which is why it's a good idea to remove your shoes on entering your hotel room and replacing them with a pair of slippers that you will probably just want to discard in China before you come home!