There’s nothing like random acts of kindness. And, there’s nothing like random acts of rudeness. One touches the heart. Makes you feel all warm inside. And the other, well, while often funny, is still infuriating. Random acts of rudeness, taken as a single event can be seen as hilarious even while cruel. My friend, Mr. Towel (Ashley Towle..yes, I’ll name names) admitted to once letting a door close in my face while I was on crutches in college. We didn’t know each other then, but she disliked me for good reasons like, “I saw you at your fraternity and you looked like a douche.” You know. The usual. While some people would be at least mildly offended, it just seemed completely unnecessary and amusing to me. Thanks Mr. T.
But, the random acts of rudeness in China sometimes kill me. Well, they are really funny when I see them exhibited towards one of my American friends…but otherwise they really piss me off. Here are some examples:
– A 40-year-old woman steps onto a public bus. She frantically looks around for a place to sit so as not to tumble with the child in her arms. The 18-year-old boy in perfect health pretends not to see her in her–random act of rudeness. But then, to save the day, the old man stands up and lets her sit–random act of kindness–cute, right. Yes. Gets me every time.
– We are going through a bus station security check… which by the way, I’m pretty sure is useless. They always make me put my bag on the belt and have it go through the scanner thing, but I’m pretty sure no one has ever, in the history of China, had to take anything out. What could they possibly have? A bomb? I’m fairly positive I have had things in my bad that could have been mistaken to be a bomb. Those hair mousse bottles have to look like little rockets on those scanners. Whatever. So anyway, my friend goes to grab her bag off of the belt and is shoved aside as the Chinese woman behind her just HAS to get her hands on her bag first. God forbid she waits that extra thirteen seconds. So yes. Random act of rudeness–random act of hilarity.
– Standing in line to get a ticket at the train station. Wait, where am I standing? That’s right. You, Frank, are just standing. Not in line. Lines don’t exist in China. And you are discovering this as the wave of people push past you and scream at the ticket attendant. How the ticket attendant is able to understand what they want, you will never know. And sorry, Frank, you are never going to become half as pushy as a year in China should have made you.
– “We would like to go to ChangJun new campus in the west side,” we tell the taxi drivers. “No. I don’t want to take you.” Yes, Team AD was often refused when we asked a driver to take us to our friend Katy’s school. Why? Well, it was kind of in a remote area of Changsha, but come on. And did the drivers have to be so rude upon their refusal. It was never a “Sorry, that’s in the middle of no where, I can’t go there…” It was. “NO! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING. GET AWAY FROM MY TAXI NOW.” Denial never feels good.
Still, my favorite thing about random acts of rudeness are that they provide humorous stories. So, when there is some random rudeness directed towards me, well…besides becoming enraged, I laugh about how absurd it all is. Hey. TIC. This is China. And I’ve definitely learned to deal with it all as it comes.