Sometimes Thais ask me about how things are done in America. It’s a whole different world, that’s for sure. I smile and say, neither way is better, they’re just different, I think both cultures have things to learn from each other.
One thing that Asian culture can learn from Western culture, which I can say without qualification: how to get on and off an elevator (it’s the same with subways).
Riding on an elevator in Asia and arriving at your floor, the doors open and, if there are Asians there waiting for the elevator, they barge into you en masse and act like your presence is a big surprise, and you are in their way. This complete violation of common etiquette really twists my nipples.
Related phenomena: Asians in general cannot grasp the concept of lining up for something (a mob forms and everyone pushes towards the front); Asians frequently come to the end of an escalator ride, take one step, and come to a full stop, often in a group (with total disregard for the ten or twenty people whom the escalator is delivering into the same space).
It’s a two way street, but Asians have a couple of things to learn.