I have a few things that I wanted to mention before I totally forget about 'em because that seems to happen a lot here. I'll see something, find it very odd, try to remember to write it down, but if I don't it turns into the norm and I don't seem to take notice anymore.
- All cars here are "honk happy". I swear, during the 12 years I've been driving in the States, I think I've actually honked my horn less than 10 times and usually that was a few seconds after a person pissed me off or when some guy didn't move when the light turned green. Here, people honk all of the time. They give a little doubletap when they approach a car, pedestrian, scooter, or bike rider to inform them that they are coming up from behind. They also give those hella long honks when they are trying to wade themselves through a whole mass of people on some "walking market street". When I first got here, I was hella annoyed at the fact that people were honking so much, but now I've pretty much adapted to the annoyance.
- I remember noticing this next one during the first few weeks of teaching. People wear the same clothes for a whole week at a time. By this I mean that on Monday if you walk into the classroom and look at what the students are wearing, they will wear that exact same outfit for the rest of the week. Only a week later, on next Monday, will you see them wearing something different. Yeah...goo. I usually wear something twice with alternating outfits before I throw the stuff in the washer, but they all pretty much take three times as long.
- I recently found out about this, and I suppose it's related to #2. The students don't have shower facilities in their dorms, so they must walk hella far, into the center of campus, to reach a designated shower building. So I will be walking to class in the evening and see a whole ant line of students carrying their little wash tote with shampoo and soap, going towards a building, and then see another ant line of students walking back towards the dorms with wet hair. That would be hella annoying, but the real kicker is that they have to pay 3 Jiao EACH time they shower! That's equivalent to $.04 USD but still...add that up and it's a lot of money that these poor students who are forced to pay-to-shower. Yeah this brings me to the main point; a lot of peeps here are kinda stank, but now I can understand why. Same clothes and no showering can do that to anyone, but yeah...goo again.
- Another thing I found out was that at around 11:00PM, the school shuts off power to the lights in the student dorms to save money, which means that if they want to study more, they'll have to whip out a flashlight or candles or something, just like Abe Lincoln did. Lemme tell ya, I definitely wouldn't have made it through college if all the lights were turned off at 11:00PMish. I was most productive at paper writing during 2-4AM. So yeah, what weird constraints that these peeps have to go through here.
- Next thing of note is that I have not seen a roll of paper towels anywhere in this country. I don't think they exist, even at a Wal-Mart. Everyone seems to use a roll of toilet paper for everything, from eating at a restaurant to cleaning up a spill. I find that very odd because paper towels are a part of everyday life, just like a chair is.
- The last thing of note is that 27 years of "no littering" has been deconstructed out of me within the span of a month. There are rarely any trash cans to be found anywhere on the street, but boy are there a lot of random piles of trash everywhere. These days I don't even try to find a pile, I'll literally eat something and then let gravity take its course without giving it a second thought. When in Rome I suppose. The weird thing is that the next morning, I'll discover that all of the trash piles are gone. I think each city employs a bunch of peeps to wake up super early to clean up the streets, or maybe it's magic?