I hear lots of complaints from foreigners about many aspects of life in China, and many of the complaints are justified. At the same time there are many pleasant things that happen most every day.

On my way home yesterday afternoon I stopped for a cold beer to drink as I read the newspapers. Before the waitress brought my beer, she sat a small plate of peanuts on the table, along with a partial pack of tissues I could use to wipe the sweat from my face.

A few minutes later the owner brought me two rice cakes. Then the waitress offered a few dried candied fruits. Finally the someone else laid a few pieces of wrapped candy on the table.


This kind of thing never happens in the states, but it is not rare here. Admittedly, the small favors and gestures usually are not as generous as this day. But is fairly common to be offered a few peanuts or a small discount from a bill, or other small favors in China.

On my way home I stepped in a pile of baby shit on the sidewalk. I’m happy trade the niceties I experienced today for a dirty shoe.