Living in China gave me an entirely new outlook on many things. I learned a lot about another culture, saw my own culture in a new way, and generally gained a new perspective on the world. That's what the study abroad office told me would happen, anyway. But there were still some things that just didn't make sense to me. And when it did make sense, I could find logic to why if someone thought about things logically it would no longer make sense. Here are some confusing realities about the China I saw from my apartment window.
A few at the end weren't "through my window", but you get my point.
This post contains a ton of videos. Just letting you know ahead of time. :)
My first example of things I just didn't get was the traffic in China. Although these cars must know from experience that in this type of traffic jam, NO ONE is going ANYWHERE for a long time, they still feel the need to honk incessantly. My confusion with this phenomenon is this: why keep honking at the person in front of you when there are 20 cars in front of them, and no one can go anywhere because the traffic jam is so bad? Honking is not going to help anything, and of anything it is just plain annoying!
I was slightly annoyed at the time I took this video because I'm pretty sure this was around 7 am.
On a similar note, something that I completely didn't and still don't understand was this - a street cleaner that plays songs, it sounded just like an ice cream truck. This truck played "It's a Small World." This was one aspect of Kunming's weirdness that definitely always brought laughter and excitement, but also the confusion of "why does the street cleaner sound like an ice cream truck?"
THE REAL ESTATE OFFICE
Other things that completely confused me was the morning routine of the real estate office directly below my apartment. Every morning, the employees went out and stood in lines on the sidewalk. Every morning, they would sing the same three songs. Every morning, they would perform exercises to a recorded version of one of the same songs that they just sang. Yes, I took videos because I found it really odd...and I would never want to sing songs and jump around every morning in whatever line of work I end up doing one day.
TONS OF STUDENTS RUNNING DOWN MY STREET
I'm sure in actuality, this event was not random. The color coordinated clothes, tons of students shouting and running down the street. But to me, it was completely random...especially when it woke me up.
I guess it is because China is a very old country, or maybe becase it is a developing country....but sometimes I just couldn't help but wonder what the people who built things were thinking. Take a look at the pathway to my apartment...there were an unreal amount of tripping hazards...especially since there were no lights at night!
THE CITY OF ETERNAL SPRING
...is a big fat lie!
It is the city of Spring during Spring, Summer and Fall. But it most definitely has winter. And it most definitely does not have heaters, insulation, or ample supplies of warm water.
What I don't understand is why they want to call it the City of Eternal Spring while after November hit, I had to wear a coat and gloves in my apartment, to my school, in my class, in my sleep...basically they were my new bodily extensions.
|I called this my "Where's Waldo" jacket. It was soft and cheap, so I just wore it around my apartment.|
No words. There are just no words.
I CAN PLAY...
Is this supposed to be sexy? I never understood many of their English sayings on shop names and on all the clothes.
What things did you just "not get" while living in another culture?