*Write about the time when you experienced a different culture to your own, explaining in a way that would help the reader understand your thoughts and feelings at the time.
I remember the time when I just left the aeroplane at terminal 5 of Beijing International Airport, and was waiting at a queue for my passport to get stamped. During that moment, I looked around to find where the luggage counter was.
What I saw was weird but at the same time amazing; a group of Chinese porters were exercising at the corner of luggage counter; doing the same exercise at the exact time and at a constant pace; copying the manager of the porters. That didn’t struck me as much as when I noticed that all of the porters looked same as if they were from the same family; they all had the same facial structure, the same hair, the same height and the same body structure. Seeing that gave me chills through my spine, it seemed as these people have been cloned to work here. Though I was wrong; a man most probably a businessman as he was dressed all in grey talked to me through the experience I was having, though he didn’t knew what was going on in my head but I think he figured it out from my face.
He assured me from telling me that this was a tradition in the Chinese culture of exercising in the morning most specifically following what the leader of the group did. On hearing this, my senses came back to being normal and all my weird thoughts on the Chinese people vanished away, I think so for only know.
I decided to take the subway from the airport to my hotel, though I would have to walk to the hotel from the nearest subway stop. After passing by six stops I decided to ask a fellow passenger, where the Qing Ma Ti station was (my destination), but to my dismay; I was told that the station was 3 stops behind and there was no line to that station for 3 hours. So, I left the subway and decided to walk on foot to the hotel, on my way I came across a local restaurant; seeing what they had in the open stall disgusted me. There were fried insects such as fried cockroaches, fried locusts, fried beetles, and they also served boiled octopus and squid, grilled rates and duck’s tongue and things that you will never even want to think about eating it.
This was the disgusting part; now get ready for the weird part. The customers who were dining in the restaurant were eating with a pair of wooden sticks called chopsticks and to everyone’s surprise they were eating rice with chopsticks. A maximum of 5 grains of rice would rest on the chopstick till they reached the customers’ mouth. Looking at this, gave me a sense of how pre-historic the Chinese people live, eating rice with chopsticks although spoons have been invented for more than 70 year let say, still they are stuck in thoughts eating rice with chopsticks.
After seeing the unusual cuisine of China, I continued walking towards my destination. I came across a very different and at the same time a weird mean of transport, a cycle with a small trailer behind it which had 4 passenger seats and was dependent fully on manpower, here the manpower was a short, lean, and thin man with absolutely no visible fats or muscle riding the cycle with 3 people sitting in the trailer. He was pushing with all his might to move the cycle forward so he could get it running, within a minute he was able to move the cycle forwards and began cycling towards the destination of his customers, with his sweat pouring down whenever he completes a metre.
And the weirdest of all was the language the Chinese speak, they call it Mandarin but we like to call it Chinese. The way they speak is like when a 7 year old kid gets angry and tries to support himself against his parents speaking whatever comes to their mind without understanding and leaving the people listening to him with blank faces. They speak the language at such a rate that you’ll never make out whether they are happy or sad even by their facial expressions.
Looking at such a culture which differentiates itself in every aspect from the culture where I have been brought up quite startles me. This shows me how the huge the world is and how many people have made the Earth their home.