OK, this is going to be a rant of a post. And here it goes: I have NEVER seen so many self-absorbed narcissistic people in my entire life as what I see here in Shenzhen!!! I know not ALL of China is like this (nor all Chinese), but I have had my fill of the arrogant ways here. I do not want to hear from one more person, "Oh, it's their culture, you can't hold it against them". You wanna make a bet? Not shaving your legs, drinking rice wine, doing exercises where you slap yourself - I get those. But, when you are just so damn ignorant to the safety of those around you, that's just not tolerable. And, the locals with higher education are not like this (as often).
Tonight, on my way to a friend's house to watch It's a Wonderful Life (trying to get in the festive spirit), I was almost run over on my bike by another bike. Why? Because this person was texting while riding, and here, locals do not pay attention to those around them. It is your job to be on the lookout for bad drivers. It is not their job to be a good driver. But, I made it there, enjoyed some good friend time with a great movie, and was on my way back home when I was stopped dead in my tracks by a scooter. This S.O.B. came from the side, was running a light, and pulled right in front of me, causing me to slam on my brakes and nearly fly off my bike to avoid hitting him. He stopped, smiled, and said "sorry" in an non-apologetic voice. I proceeded to tell him what I thought of his driving, in English. There was a crowd around (we were at an intersection) and some of them understood perfectly fine, due to the reactions I got. This is NOT something that just happened today. It happens all of the time. In taxi's, I see it. I see it on the bus. It's always an issue on my bike. Even when in the stores, people walk around texting and just expect everyone else around them to be watching for them and move out of their way.
And in my building, where there are no smoking signs posted quite clearly, I had a man get on the elevator today with a lit cigarette!! My sinuses were going through the roof. I proceeded to tell him he will smoke outside only, not inside, and a few other choice words. He said sorry, and looked a tad frightened by my tone, so hopefully, he'll knock it off.
The "I'm gonna do whatever the hell I please and you can deal with it" attitude is wearing very thin on my nerves lately. I am ready for a break!!! I know that I could live someplace where it is a lot worse in terms of housing, food, cost of living, etc. But, I often think that I would gladly trade those luxuries for just common sense and manners. I miss those characteristics when they are not seen often. I try my best to set examples. I go around people on my bike. I say thank you when someone lets me pass, I stop at lights (and then proceed with caution), I always look behind me before crossing over, and oh, so many more things. Maybe I'm just being cranky. Maybe I'm just looking for things to dislike right now. Or, maybe, I just want common courtesy to be a thing of nature for all people. Whatever the case may be, I'm not in the festive mood right now. :(