Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Cringe List Gets Longer

After over three years in Beijing you think you've seen it all -- kids urinating in the street in plain view; young lovers having a verbal and physical fight in the street; people screaming as they are being dragged away by police and an audience watching on. I even had the opportunity to watch a man pull over on the exit ramp of the freeway and urinate on the slanted road during rush hour.

Spitting on the street still irks me, along with recklessly blowing cigarette smoke into my face. Another is cutting fingernails on the bus or even in the office.

It's usually women who do this, carrying a nail clipper everywhere they go. Do they really have to do their personal grooming while in transit? Can't it wait until they get home?

But today I saw something that takes the cake in the nail clipping department.

At dinnertime I headed to a Hong Kong diner for a bite to eat. As I waited for my food to arrive, I saw a couple walk in, the man probably in his early 40s with a woman in her late 30s.

He strangely took off his shoes and sat cross-legged in the booth. 

They ordered their food and then he proceeded to trim his nails in the restaurant.

While the eatery has signs on the tables saying "No Smoking", there are no regulations about clipping fingernails... or toe nails for that matter.

As wait staff, what do you say? "Excuse me sir, can you please not trim your nails here?"

Probably being a typical Chinese man he would get all worked up and retort, "Why not? I'm a customer here, I can do whatever I want!"

Thank goodness when their food arrived, he stopped this personal grooming routine.

The sound of clipping nails really doesn't enhance the dining atmosphere...

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