Thursday, April 20, 2006

Shanghai Pajama Party: What’s that all about?

One of the many strange Chinese cultural observations that I have been fortunate enough to experieince, is many of the Shanghai, Chinese people get off work (in the summer months only), bathe, put on pajamas and then set-up lawn chairs in the middle of the sidewalk to cool off and relax. This ritual sounds relaxing and welcomed. There is nothing wrong with relaxing, it is healthy. Now imagine this ritual taking place in the middle of a busy New York sidewalk at rush hour. A sea of people, bikes, and vehicles going by at fast pace trying to get home and while all of this activity is taking place there is a Chinese man or woman laying out on a lawn chair, pajama top slightly pulled above their belly as they rub it in relaxation. In more technical terminology, a manufacturing company might call this sunbathing routine a bottleneck. The sunbathing slows down the production, of getting a tired, hungry individual from their work to home.

My question to you is how can an individual relax with thousands upon thousands of pedestrians walking past and observing your belly rubbing ritual? There are over 18 million people living in Shanghai. Things that make you go Hmmmm! What’s that all about?

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