Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Culture Shock 1: Spitting

Anyone who has ever been to China can agree with me when I say that one of the most unpleasant behavior of many locals here is the spitting. I mean, it is completely gross! No "civilized" human being spits in the subways (stations and trains), buses, classrooms, offices, hallways, streets and EVERYWHERE! I quoted civilized because the Chinese like to boast about having a LONG history with many thousands years of civilization. However, I don't see any sign of these in the people (more on this later).

Back to the subject, it's not just the spitting that grosses people (mostly foreigners) out, but it's the forceful expulsion of the mucous that completely grosses ME out. I mean, weren't they taught in Bio class that their system needs those mucous for the proper movement of materials in their body?
And then what annoys me the most is that they don't look around them for any passerby before spitting. So, you could get spit on while walking past someone. Fortunately I have never seen this happen, but I've come really close few times in the past. 

I remember walking across the bridge behind a man on a windy day, who then decided to spit over the bridge, only for the wind to blow the spit back in tiny mists on the faces of the unfortunate people behind him. Gosh I was ANGRY, I wanted to throw him and the rest of the spit inside him over the bridge! Just kidding, but indeed I was angry.

So what do I do to avoid being spit on?
I just simply say a quick prayer before I walk past a guy or I will tap him on the back to let him know I am about to walk past him so that he can hold his spit while I walk by.
Mind you, it's mostly the men who do this, along with many other gross and questionable behavior.And of course, the kids do it too. I always pause teaching a class whenever I catch a kid spit in my classroom, I make sure he cleans his spit before I can resume teaching the class.

I guess the only positive experience that has come out of this culture shock is the fact that I am more tolerant of gross habits, and I can even continue to eat while someone or millions of people are snorting and spitting all around me :)


JenJen said...

I'm with you spitting is really gross! If you need to spit use the bathroom and clean yourself up. Yuck!

Curl Love said...

Eww! That is horrible!

Anonymous said...

Omg that's soooo grosss!!!!!!!! I am with you 100%!!!! People need to be more repsectful of others. Once we lose respect we lose everything