Well, mainly because I couldn’t think of 10 things without appearing to be a whining whinging old man. I’ve separated them into China vs the UK because the lists are mutually exclusive as you will see. Well, there might be overlaps but the priorities are different.
- Paying 75p for every 10 minutes for T-Mobile wireless in Starbucks (free in China)
- Waiting 50 minutes for luggage to come off the plane. I swear to God the excuse announced to angry passengers at Heathrow was that they didn’t expect our plane to arrive till later! By contrast, on arrival in Shanghai, my luggage was already on the carousel by the time I had got there!
- Paying 4 pounds (8 US dollars!) to travel one stop on the subway – I don’t think there’s anywhere on earth that’s more expensive (ok it’s cheaper if you have an Oyster card, but I’m only there a few days and don’t have one).
- People who wear socks with sandals. I am not a fan of sandals and I think Jesus Christ was one of the few people who could get away with wearing them, but if you enjoy the open air feeling you get then I don’t have a problem with that, it’s a personal choice. But to then wear socks with them at the same time is sort of like putting on a condom before sex and then cutting a hole in the tip.
- People who wear sunglasses on their head (and even worse, wearing them backwards).
- People pressing the door close button as soon as they enter the elevator while others are still trying to get in (in England, most if not all elevators do not even have a close button!).
- Spitting – SARS temporarily made spitting something that was frowned upon, but that’s ancient history now.
- Queuing, or rather, lack of it anywhere from banks to hotel check in desks.
- People who refer to even the most casual acquaintance as their “brother” or “sister” which can be very confusing to the uninitiated. An example would be when a Chinese girl friend of mine said she was meeting her little brother who turned out to be a 6 ft (caucasian) dutch guy. I’ve said it before, but unless he came out of your mother’s womb, he’s not your brother!
- People who press up and down buttons when waiting for the elevator thinking it will be quicker – it won’t! It just means that if you are going up, the elevator will stop on the way down when it wasn’t going to, thus ADDING a few seconds to the wait, you MORON!