My Love-hate Relationship

I’ve been waiting all semester to write about the many annoyances I have encountered. Here it goes!

1. Spitting
2. No personal space
3. Failure to follow rules
4. Traffic/Drivers

Now each of these may seem like general annoyances that any big city might have, but I don’t want to boggle you down with intense descriptions in the first few seconds of reading.

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People have no problem spitting on the sidewalk. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear someone, male or female, hack a loogie and then spit wherever is convenient. Spitting is the most disgusting act ever. I understand your country is polluted and maybe you have constant shit in your throat, but my goodness, please be respectful of others.

I also have major issues with people on the metro and buses. People have no sense of personal space and think it’s totally acceptable to push the person in front of them. “Hello! We are all going to the same place, chill the f**ck out.” I know I yelled that last sentence a few times this semester. Oh well.

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You’re probably thinking why me, Justin, someone who loves NYC so much, failed to adapt to Shanghai’s city life. Well, I hate to break it to you, but adapting to Shanghai is not my idea of adapting to big city life. People in NYC don’t constantly spit, and if there is pushing and shoving on the subway, people are polite about it. Well, most of the time they are polite. There are no manners here! I don’t think I’ve heard of a Chinese equivalent for “excuse me.”

In any city, traffic is an issue. In this city with 23 million people I expected it to be a lot worse than it is. My main problem with traffic is the failure to yield to pedestrians. “I’m walking here! And I have a little green man on the walk sign.” I find myself yelling this to drivers on a daily basis. While I know they can’t hear me or even understand me, I like to think that universally people understand motions and an angry on someone’s face. Just last night I was crossing the street. I had the little green man and of course a car was turning right onto the street. I noticed the driver had no intention of yielding, so I continued to walk and then stuck up my hand in stop form and pointed to the green man with my other hand. He stopped and waited for me to cross. I think he got the message.

Well, the time has come for me to say goodbye to Shanghai. I know I have bitched a lot in this final blog post, but I have had an amazing time in the biggest city in the world. I miss my small town. I miss my family. I miss Davidson. But most of all, I miss Bojangles. Watch out, y’all. I’m comin’ home!