Graceful Chaos

There are many cultural differences living here in China and most of them are subtle and sometimes just sneak up on you.  The ones I point out are meant to be just observations.  So with that in mind, one of those things that I struggle to reckon with is that the Chinese people here simply don’t get out of the way.

For instance, if I am in the store looking at something and I see someone coming up the same aisle, I make the effort to move a bit so they can get by. As a rule, that just doesn’t happen here. It’s just one of those funny cultural differences that you manage.  I wonder if it’s just because there are just so many people here. I mean, a person could spend all of their time just getting out of the way… so just do what you gotta do, and let the other person worry about it.  That’s they way I make sense of it.

I filmed this footage yesterday in Dongman as we were waiting for our driver.  We went shopping for some fabric and I actually showed the driver how to get there – partly in Chinese!  Again, with the video, I want people to see what it looks like here.  It can be a noisy, stinky, crowded place but on that same note, China is alive.  There is always something going on, always people around, doing things, and in my mind, it’s part of the reason China is so interesting.  It’s gritty and at the same time, graceful in it’s chaos.  Somehow, it all works.

Enjoy the video.


  1. Susan Wachowiak

    Love the video Claire! Feel as if I am there with you.

  2. Kate Freeman

    Ditto what mom said! Love Ya!

  3. i love the dude with the yellow biohazard bin walking down the street! i never noticed him that day! ummm…also, i think you should credit my running commentary in your video! 🙂

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