We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Go, but go prepared. Public behaviour and civility.

Which Shanghai hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Liverpool, UK
1 post
Save Topic
Go, but go prepared. Public behaviour and civility.

I had a great holiday in China but was unprepared for the surprisingly high level of aggressive behaviour in public From the incessant honking of drivers to the pushing and shoving in shops, public transport etc. and all appear to be the accepted norms. Often people would behave as if I wasn't even there and cut in front of me or talk over me. I've travelled extensively and never experienced such aggression, even in equally crowded cities. People push, shove, spit near you, no lines, its a surprise given my expectation of a well mannered, civil society. Certainly go to China, but prepare youself for much jostling and pushing and the not so occasional (and totally gross) spitter!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
83,916 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Go, but go prepared. Public behaviour and civility.

Different country; different culture; different behaviour. It's called "travel".

Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
39,751 posts
815 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Go, but go prepared. Public behaviour and civility.

When you blow your nose in a tissue paper and put the kleenex back in your pocket afterwards, the Chinese think this is pretty gross. This is what cultures are all about. So when you travel you need to be prepared for differences and accept them.

Edited: 05 December 2010, 11:29
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
76 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Go, but go prepared. Public behaviour and civility.

Totally agree! Ran into this a lot today at the pavilion. I also got a lot of staring. I'd smile back but they'd just stare.

Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
2,754 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Go, but go prepared. Public behaviour and civility.

"When you blow your nose in a tissue paper and put the kleenex back in your pocket afterwards, the Chinese think this is pretty gross"

this is soooooooooooo classic!

Level Contributor
730 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Go, but go prepared. Public behaviour and civility.

Everything I loved about china and Chinese people... First came across this in HK... It's was funny and amusing to us... I guess we are more chilled out on holiday, because if that happen in the UK we wouldn't find it that funny... Miss china!

Providenciales
Level Contributor
843 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Go, but go prepared. Public behaviour and civility.

Yeah the shoving and queue jumping can be annoying especially if you are using your home country standards of politeness and never getting anywhere....

You have to just jump in, elbows flying :-) The good news is they won't hate you for pushing and shoving back and you can have a right good scrum. Like all travel experiences, best to do as the romans do eh?

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
133 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Go, but go prepared. Public behaviour and civility.

welcome to china...

London
Level Contributor
100 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Go, but go prepared. Public behaviour and civility.

Indeed, these are all characteristics of a different culture.

However, you have mistaken this for aggression. It is far from it. Aggression is more like people getting drunk and trying to start a fight on a Saturday night, something I have yet to experience in China, but something ngreenUK93 you'll probably see a lot more of in Liverpool.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
79 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Go, but go prepared. Public behaviour and civility.

OK ... I was going to write my own experiences separately but I will share them right here :)

First of all, Chinese medicine is very popular here in Vancouver. I had my sinus infection treated by a Chinese doctor 6-7 years ago, and have not suffered since then, and I swear by it!

While in Shanghai, I noticed many people were coughing up mucus and phelm and spitting it on the street, yellowish green, obviously infected! I wondered how come they cannot treat their own people with Chinese medicine?

I have travelled extensively, and China was one of my last places to visit, unaware they were living in a different world with no fear of H1N1, bird flu or similar diseases that we are freaking out over in North America :):) Girls picking their nose in the clothing stores, and picking the clothing from the racks for you to try, or the guy at a "diner" picking his nose, and turning around to offer the food holding with his somewhat clean fingers... ha ha ha ... that's pretty hillarious ... here in Vancouver those businesses would be closed within several hours.

The other thing is I am not originally from Canada, but realized that I am now one spoiled girl who forgot all about pushing people in a line, or jumping in front of a vehicle in cruise to cross the street etc. Pretty quickly I started doing what they were doing (good old memories from my country or I should say my city!), and nobody had a problem with my elbows, or pushing someone to the back of the line -when they tried to go in front of me ... strong elbows, and hands! Well, I did not start spitting mucus on the ground, or picking my nose ... it was just the elbow stuff I was talking about!!! :)

Anyway, I guess everybody sees differently ... Enjoy Shanghai ... and remember, things I have seen on the back streets (that I was not supposed to see) were even more gross than the yellow/green stuff on the streets ;)

Idil ...

p.s. and as a real "Istanbul" gal, I was trying to show my Canadian boyfriend how to use his elbows too ... he improved pretty fast ... just try!

Providenciales
Level Contributor
843 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Go, but go prepared. Public behaviour and civility.

Everyone is constantly spitting up mucus and picking coal boogers out of their nose because of the unbelieveable constant air pollution.