Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We Can Learn From Each Other

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.


Anonymous said...

Not to mention what fucking lousy drivers Asians are in the US. Guess when you go from pulling a rickshaw to driving a Chevy, the mind can't handle the technology transistion.

Nanute said...

I hate to sterotype,but from what I've seen here in the states, Asian driving skills aren't much better. Someone came up with DWO."Driving While Oriental."

Vince said...

Which reminds of a very scary incident last year at the Clapton-Winwood concert at the Madison Square Garden. Way too many people attempted to get on the escalators at the same time, which spelled disaster. The people that were coming off of the escalators had no where to go, as the landings between each escalator were overloaded with people, and the throngs kept coming. It's amazing that someone didn't get killed. Some people did get injured. I actually jumped over the side of an escalator as it was getting close to the bottom to avoid the back-up of humanity at the bottom. They finally got smart and shut down the escalators, but it took a long time for someone to get the old gray cells working. Moral of the story: 1) Wait a while; or 2) Take the steps.

fred c said...

Asian drivers remind me of my wife: she drives, and she doesn't hit anything, but her driving causes other drivers to have accidents.

Asian drivers are good at not hitting things. My friend T could turn her back to the wheel and search around the back seat for her ringing cell phone with both hands without hitting anything.