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The bad habits of Beijing

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Anti-spitting propaganda in Shanghai — Beijing could take some lessons

The China Daily has published a story with this headline:

Beijing discourages uncouth behavior for Olympics

Here are the choice bits:

Beijing audiences are notorious for ... impolite expressions of disappointment and dissatisfaction at sports games.

Other bad habits listed in the report include spitting, littering, violation of traffic regulations, and jostling passengers on buses.

...Worry of a lack of etiquette topped game organizers' major concerns after the city was selected as the host of the Games in 2008 by the International Olympic Committee in 2001.

...Beijing mayor Wang Qishan once said that the most troublesome task for the city in preparing for the Games is the improvement of its residents' manners.

These worries have been expressed many times in the Chinese media in the past few years. In September this year, Oriental Outlook magazine ran an article about Beijingers' bad habits, comparing today's Beijing with a popular Internet forum post from 2001 that listed 12 bad habits of Beijingers at that time. Apparently there has not been much improvement.

The 12 bad habits are:

- Spitting everywhere
- Jostling, pushing in, jumping ahead in lines
- 'Light' awareness of rules and laws
- It's impossible to get out of the subway door — because people entering the subway car don't let the exiting passengers get off first (same applies to elevators)
- People are too impatient crossing the road, i.e. they jaywalk everywhere, causing traffic jams etc.
- The taxis suck (don't know their way, try to cheat passengers etc.)
- Excessive swearing and filthy language
- People don't smile readily
- The road signs don't show you the way
- Nobody ever says "sorry"
- Beijingers treat foreigners better than people from the countryside
- People say one thing and do another

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