"Rebel t3i Without A Cause"
by Lisa Luo
Mr. Man riding your mo-ped
in the middle of the highway
with not-one-but-two gas cans,
strapped to the back;
that is not safe, sir.
And please stop trying to cut this bus off.
-Shenzhen, on a bus, 12/14/13
Life in China is a dirty free for all. There are so many people everywhere that it is socially acceptable to do things like, shove your way into an elevator or subway train before letting people out, or nudge your way to the front of a line when waiting for said elevator or subway train despite the massive queue. In the city streets people just barrel their way through whatever they need in order to get to where they are going. Thefts are also extremely common as you can spot the trendy backpack-in-front look in any subway station. Luckily for me and my genetic mutation I am probably at least in the top 1st percentile of “biggest Chinese person” here so I haven’t gotten lost in any crowd. As a friend once said to me, while we fought our way through some mass of people somewhere, “there’s a reason why God gave us elbows.” I have kept this phrase with me since because I thought it was hilarious, unfortunately the rest of the Chinese seemed to have as well.
|people and cars, cars and people|
|light traffic on a smoggy foggy day in Shenzhen|
|rainy day stroll in Xingning|
For now here are some more fun facts:
- It is socially acceptable for men to have extremely long fingernails
- My favorite stop on the Shenzhen 3 line of the MTR is Caopu. Cow-poo. It’s not pronounced like that, but it sure looks like that. cstm.
- On the trend of silly station names: there is a stop on the same line called “Luohu.” My uncle’s place is right by the stop “Mumianwan”
- I have encountered more plants and nature indoors than outdoors
- Squat toilets will be the death of me (more on that later)
- You can park your car wherever your heart fancies, including sidewalks!