In Global Voices, I read that a successful, well-known Chinese film director, Ning Hao, got in a fistfight with a foreign man, who wanted a swimming pool lane to himself, in what Ning described as an already crowded Chinese public swimming pool, which is understandable in a country with 1.3 billion people. I’ve been in crowds in Shanghai, Beijing and Xian that resemble river currents where I’m a drop of water.
I suggest that you click on the link to Global Voices and read the narrative, which is in English and Chinese and leave a comment.
Reading that post reminded me of my first trip to China in 1999 when I was told that it was okay for foreigners to go to the front of the line. That bothered me then and still bothers me since my parents raised me to be polite and wait my turn.
The piece in Global Voices demonstrated an arrogant attitude that should have died with 19th century Western Imperialism. However, the chances are that this rude, self-centered foreigner probably behaves like this everywhere—even the country of his birth. Rude, arrogant people are usually that way no matter where they are.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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