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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.

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Postby Ghost » July 7th, 2015, 9:16 pm

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Last edited by Ghost on October 24th, 2016, 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A firetruck in China

Postby Rock » July 7th, 2015, 10:28 pm

Ghost wrote:Just a little perspective for those who have never been to the "third world."

I live in China in a major city right now. Today I saw two firetrucks with sirens blaring trying to get to their destination. I say "trying" because no one was getting out of their way to let them through. To the contrary, everyone kept nudging forward in their cars trying to get past the firetruck. Not one car pulled to the side or even tried in the least to move out of the way and let the firetrucks through.

Of course it's a stark contrast to the West, where everyone is quick to get out of the way and let police/firefighters through.

There may have been no emergency. I don't know. But it's a bit sobering to think that someone may have lost their life in a fire because Chinese drivers don't want to inconvenience themselves.

If you live in the third world, you have to get used to seeing such things like a blatant disregard of others.


This is less a third world thing and more a Chinese thing. Indeed, China is NOT the third world. Even Taiwan can be somewhat like that for certain things or it used to be anyway.

The public mentality is a very self centered one. The attitude or excuse of Chinese is that ambulances and firetrucks probably just turn on their whalers just to beat traffic. And anyway, they don't give a damn about anything outside of their vehicles. If you are lying on the road, they may very well pretend not to see you and just run you over. Such is one of the darker sides of Chinese masses in public. You've been warned.
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Re: A firetruck in China

Postby Ghost » July 8th, 2015, 8:28 am

Yeah, China is not purely third world. It's somewhere in transition. But the Chinese mentality often is third world, and leads to such experiences at times. I guess no one could expect a country of 1.3 billion people to care too much about individual lives. They certainly don't.
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Re: A firetruck in China

Postby zboy1 » July 8th, 2015, 10:36 am

Most Chinese only think for themselves and could care less about anyone else. That's the way society is over here.
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Re: A firetruck in China

Postby chanta76 » July 8th, 2015, 7:00 pm

How is that different in America? I mean Americans are selfish too but how is that different from CHinese version of being selfish?

And I know this sounds like redundant question..if you decide to live in CHina but the chinese is selfish society than why live there? Is it only because of the women ? is it because being from the west gives you some advantages?
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Postby Ghost » July 8th, 2015, 7:55 pm

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Last edited by Ghost on October 24th, 2016, 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A firetruck in China

Postby MrMan » July 9th, 2015, 4:06 am

Ghost wrote:Just a little perspective for those who have never been to the "third world."

I live in China in a major city right now. Today I saw two firetrucks with sirens blaring trying to get to their destination. I say "trying" because no one was getting out of their way to let them through. To the contrary, everyone kept nudging forward in their cars trying to get past the firetruck. Not one car pulled to the side or even tried in the least to move out of the way and let the firetrucks through.

Of course it's a stark contrast to the West, where everyone is quick to get out of the way and let police/firefighters through.

There may have been no emergency. I don't know. But it's a bit sobering to think that someone may have lost their life in a fire because Chinese drivers don't want to inconvenience themselves.

If you live in the third world, you have to get used to seeing such things like a blatant disregard of others.


I did not see a lot of fire trucks in Jakarta. I followed an ambulance that had the body of one of my wife's relatives in it, once. It turned on it's siren to clear traffic. That helped a little. It's not like the US where everyone pulls over, but it's not possible to pull over with traffic that crowded, either. I don't think I've ever seen a fire truck with sirens blaring in Jakarta.

The US has lots of space and lots of open roads. We also have strong legal institutions regarding driving built up over 100 years. Many of these countries got lots of cars in a relatively short period of time in a few decades and did not have as much time to build up their legal systems and enforcement. And their cultures are different. Certain legal institutions aren't as strong. I hear in Japan, they started throwing people in jail for the night for certain traffic infractions (which may have included drunk driving) and that it helped solve some of their problems. The police need to site people who don't get out of the way of fire trucks, or they could put them in jail over night (if in accordance with the law.) Knowing the Chinese, they might put their pictures in the paper if they wanted to make a change. They can control the media and emphasize this sort of thing in public announcements.

Where do you live? What does the city look like? Are the roads big, well laid out? Are there ditches full of trash on the side of the road (like Jakarta) or is the place relatively clean? How good is the infrastructure compared to the US?

Jakarta had lousy infrastructure compared to a city in the US when I was there, but they had better public transportation in rural areas. You could probably take buses from Aceh all the way to Bali. Bangkok's seemed a bit better than Jakarta's. Singapore has great infrastructure and was extremely clean. South Korea's was relatively good in the mid-1990's.
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Re: A firetruck in China

Postby Cornfed » July 9th, 2015, 7:20 am

It is cultural artifacts of decent behavior in the West like making way for emergency vehicles that make me think the West is not intrinsically crap. A lot of deliberate effort has been put into turning it into crap.
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Postby Ghost » July 9th, 2015, 9:43 am

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Last edited by Ghost on October 24th, 2016, 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A firetruck in China

Postby Ghost » July 9th, 2015, 9:56 am

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Last edited by Ghost on October 24th, 2016, 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A firetruck in China

Postby The_Adventurer » July 9th, 2015, 2:51 pm

Ghost, are you aware that first world, second world and third world are terms to define international alliances in the post WWII era? The first world being NATO countries, the second world being the communist bloc and the third world being those aligned with neither. Rich countries like Sweden, Finland and Austria are in the third world.
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