One of the that always amazes me, is how people are the same around the world. I mean think about it, they have families they have jobs, they live in communities that kinda band together, they pick up dog poop (unless your my nephew, who throws it over the fence to the neighbors yard) etc… But as much they are the same, it is amazing how they can be so different.
This week I was in Asia. If you are a regular reader of my blog site, I would imagine you think it is dribble (if you do not, you have something wrong with you). Most people can think of way better things to do with their time than tune in to see what stupidity I have come up with now. Regardless, you may recall a blog entry a year or so ago that featured a whacky whacky plane flight. If not, you might want to give it another read here. That flight was one of my all time favorite experiences traveling. I should/could probably write a book about that one. This week I am making note of a couple of other things that I have observed in Asia.
The first one is that Asians either seem to be in a huge hurry, or obscenely slow moving. I do not know exactly why that is, doesn’t seem that there is an in between with them. If you think this is already a stupid blog entry, now would be the time to move on and eat some chocolate or guzzle a beer or go back to the American Idol.
There are a few things that make you say, wow.
On the slow side, they do not walk on moving sidewalks. You know the ones that have the recorded voice that says “walk on the left, stand on the right”! In the US, you seldom see someone standing on the walkway. Occasionally you do, but usually it looks like they are doing that for a reason. (handicapped, date night, lost, foreign, eating a Cinnabon etc…). In Asia, more than half of the people get on the walkway and just stand there. They are clearly not in a hurry, or it is just not fashionable to put out any extra effort. Exercise is so bourgeois.
The other example of moving really slow is at an Asian Starbucks. Come on people, you have been to a Starbucks before, there is one on every corner. Order your coffee and get out of the way. And the people behind the counter, jeez, sample your own stuff would ya? Suck down some caffeine and get after it. In the US or a European Starbucks, they want your money, you caffeinated and out of there.
There are examples on the other end of the spectrum also. For example, if you are not just standing on the moving walkway, you are probably running next to the walkway in a funny small step run, hands down stiff armed like you are trying to be inconspicuous that you are moving quickly (Exercise is so bourgeois, you know). It makes me chuckle every time I see it.
Oh, and by the way, do not get in between an older tiny Asian woman and her luggage on the conveyor belt. It is a push your way to the front sport at the airport luggage conveyor. It is also common to push in line. Because if you do not push, there is a risk that they will close the door or something before you get in.
But, the funniest/most awkward thing about being in Asia is the soup slurping. I mean, we are talking serious out loud announce to everyone in the place “I, the funny little old Asian guy with the straight cut mop style hairdo, am having soup”!
Soup with noodles is really a good thing for slurping. If you at home are wondering how it is really done, start by getting your face down really low to the bowl. You should feel the steam and your glasses should fog up. Put the end of a noodle in your mouth, slurp it so that when it is in your mouth you get a really loud sound. If you did not splatter the guy next to you with juices from the soup, your not doing it right. Then suck some of the juice in, loud. Remember, it is supposed to be heard by everyone in the place. It is best to clear your throat, or burp really loud at this point. Look up, and see if you think everyone heard, do it again, only make it count this time.
“I, Joe Vadeboncoeur, am having soup!”