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2007/05/30

The Price Is Wrong, Bitch!

So another morning in Shenzhen, it went from being a very bareable day temperature wise to a torrental downpour in 10 minutes or so and now I'm stranded at Starbucks instead of in the office...

Anyways...We've talked about problems with customer service in China before and I believe everyone, Chinese or not, are familiar with these issues. We've also previously discussed some of the cultural stereotypes about Chinese people and how they are often inaccurate. The other day dealing with the minority nightmare that is Topway, these 2 points were brought home to me in a very obvious way.

Anyone who has spent an extended period in China (or just a brief amount of time in areas like Wangfujing or Nanjing Dong Lu) is aware of the phenomenon of the public fight and the tendency of people to hover towards "re nao" or the commotion. There is the occassional late night fight between drunken men, but typically these "fights" involve a middle age woman and her boyfriend/husband, but can occur anywhere you find middle age women (35-65?). This includes on the street, on buses, in stores, and most commonly in service centers. I started to think about this when, on one of my many trips to Topway, I witnessed just such a spat. A woman, probably in her late 50s, was bitching out the staff, if it was a street setting, she would have been surronded by people who would have been watching, offering comments to friends, and generally commentating on the scenario. However in this sort of office setting, everyone had to pretend like they were ignoring it and busying themselves with other things while at the same time straining (not that one really had to strain to hear the shouting) to hear the argument.

I don't know what about Chinese women makes them so succeptible to these sort of outburts, but they are surprisingly common. Has anybody else witnessed such tiffs or have similar observations or am I just crazy? The title from this is an homage from a great movie, something I was reminded of in an interview with Bob Barker in Esquire, a classic clip from that classic scene follows:

4 comments:

Patrick said...

Gods I love that movie!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to you tomorrow!

在公共场所,所有的人们都喜欢看热闹,不去劝人,他们都怕吃亏!It is an old way in China.

Rui said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

haha, that's a really funny clip, i really like Bob Barker, but i don't think he is capable of that fight, must be the magic of movie production.
anyways.. yes, i have witness many middle age females barked facelessly on the street on someone they know, or two strangers fought to strapless because one stepped on the other without apology.
look at the Taiwanese congress,a place where people are supposed to fight only orally with their saliva, --- shoes, jackets, microphone, bra, flying everywhere. aiya....Chinese people need to learn more manner and know how to constrain themselves... it's so embarrassing, being a joke to other country.