We were watching the buses come out of the side street, trying to time our family’s position so that we would be among those able to get on the bus. Sound simple? Maybe I should explain…When the bus pulled up we ran/walked/pushed/shouldered/eyes averting other peoples’/jammed our family one-by-one through the door of the bus trying to keep in physical contact with each other the whole time until we were all five through the door. All of this was, I think, not only acceptable and normal, but expected and hopefully not even rude. Yeah.
Because there are more people in our city than in a similar city in the US, maybe they have had to adjust their personal space to allow for complete strangers to stand shoulder to shoulder or bump into each other while walking. Maybe there are other reasons. Some Americans say that people here are impolite, don’t mind bumping into each other, or have no personal space. When in fact, there are just a different set of rules for being polite. There are polite people and rude people here just like there are in the US.
I don’t want to be rude to those around me. I was lucky to grow up in Texas, USA where being polite was an important skill. Being rude to someone was, well, almost the unpardonable sin!
I often feel rude since moving to China when I’m doing things that are actually acceptable and polite here. And, unfortunately, I’m probably often actually rude to those around me when I’m feeling polite! Country to country, even city to city there are acceptable cultural norms and expectations. My aim is becoming comfortable with as many of these as I can, and mitigating the stress of those that rub me the wrong way!