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Why Chinese People Can't Drive

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First, before everyone attacks me, I don't think I should have to say that I'm not a racist. In fact, my best friend is chinese. The title was just meant to be provoke your interest, and it worked, although it's not veyr appropriate. It would be more appropriate to say that "people from china" can't drive; It's a cultural observation, not a racial one.


It's always been my belief that chinese people are generally worse drivers, but I never bought into the half-baked theory that it's their slanty eyes which obstruct their vision. I'm also fully aware that there probably isn't even any stats to support the theory that chinese people can't drive. I suspect that there isn't. Even if there were stats supporting that conclusion, accident reports can tell you who was legally at fault, not necessarily who actually caused an accident.


Driving is an extremely western activity. You are literally a free agent and in complete control of your own agent, co-existing among other free agents. This is the basic mindset of a Westerner. Driving symbolizes freedom and it embodies the West's most deeply rooted cultural values. This is why driving is present everywhere in the West's popular culture, from songs to movies to NASCAR.

Being an activity which is so "western", it should be no surprise at all that Easterners would not excel in that area. Easterners view themselves as one part of a larger whole. (There's no word in Chinese for the word "individualism"). To speak very generally, Easterners view themselves and others as having an array of unspoken cultural obligations.


Anyway, I've noticed something interesting in the past few weeks. On a few separate occasions, I've found myself walking down the sidewalk when I've encountered a chinese person standing in the middle of the sidewalk. I'm walking along, and they don't move. They just stand there, in the middle of the sidewalk and make me walk on the grass. ?? it's really curious. They're not trying to be rude or careless. I think the cultural habit that causes them to expect me to move for them is the same habit that cuases driving accidents.

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The not walking aside, to allow other people pass (in addition to walking at a snail's pace), I have also noticed.


I find it extremely rude, and I can honestly tell you I have no idea why (as an Asian). From my experiences with the Asian culture, I've sort of noticed that Asians my age are brought up very spoiled, and around parents who teach not to be charitable to others you don't know (charity causes, girl guides and the like), not to tip well, and who do not stress the importance of learning the language of the country you are in.


I don't know...I think what I'm trying to say as that Chinese people are kind of stuck up and selfish, I have no idea where it stems from and we kind of think that we're better than everyone else, so it's obvious that we own the roads as well, so we can drive any way we choose.


Oh. And we're kinda short so we often can't see over the dashboard.


(I would like to stress the tongue-in-cheekness of this post)

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I've always htought it had somehting to do with the fact that some Asian metropolitan areas are so densely populated. you have to be pushy in order to get where you're going. etc That explains why asians are pushy in line for the bus, but it doesn't explain why asians sometimes stand in your way. I'm not sure that it's selfishness. I think it has something to do with obligations. i.e. you're equally as obligated to move out of my way as I am to move out of yours. you know,taosim, everything "flows together" as one. They're not as preoccupied with rules regarding personal freedom.


I've always liked the chinese tendency to not tip well, but otherwise disliked their marketplace etiquette.

Edited by heyrabbit
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I'm guessing the reason behind it is because it's normal to barter in the marketplace where they're from, but anyone who's actually asian, correct me if I'm wrong



I've worked retail before, and the most annoying thing to hear is , "discount. I want discount price. you give me for less ok?" well tha'ts nice but so does everyone else... in our culture it's rude to say "give me that." etc.


but like I said, I like the fact that they don't tip. that's a stupid custom and tradition from our culture

Edited by heyrabbit
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I am completely happy to tip if I've been given exceptional service at restaurants, salons etc. etc.


As for the bartering thing, I'm inclined to agree, because in Hong Kong, Philippines, etc etc, even in malls/retail stores (save super high end brand name stores), it's completely alright to bargain...


I mostly see the bargaining thing from older Asians though. I absolutely HATE those freaking young Asians that actually *scoff* if something hasn't been paid for, full price.


I have a girlfriend (who's Taiwanese), who was looking at things at nightmarket and said "Nono, I won't buy that here. It's not real! Only 50 bucks? It has to be expensive to mean anything!"

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