Capn's Blog

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back from China

Hello everyone. As you'd know by now, about three weeks ago I arrived back from China.

Best thing about being back: Family and food.

Life in China is so strange. Shop attendants very rarely smile or seem glad to see you. Some seem quite annoyed if you ask them a question. Chinese shop staff just don't have the "service oriented" attitude of people in the West (and in fact, of places like Hong Kong and Singapore).

And yet, my friends in China were just so overwhelmingly generous and helpful. Time and time again, as soon as I said that I was looking for something or planning to do something, my friends were thinking about how to help me, and often spent a great deal of their time helping me. They were so helpful it was often quite embarrassing for me, because I'm a very independent person.

It wasn't just my friends, it was perfect strangers too. Several times I would talk to people on the bus or the tram, and if I said I was going somewhere, that person would insist on coming with me to make sure I knew the way. And they didn't even know me!

How can friends and strangers be so friendly, yet people in shops be so cold? I don't know. But I know that the thing I miss most about living in China is my Chinese friends.