Differences

Today it is Thanksgiving day in Canada and we planned to go to the supermarket to buy something. But all the stores are closed during the holiday. 

The same thing happened on the 3th of September also when I went to the IGA (supermarket) planning to buy something, but there was nobody there; not a single living soul; not even a dog! All of the supermarkets were closed on that day because it was the Labour Day in Canada. 

Can you imagine that such a thing would ever happen in China? It looks unbelievable. By the way, normally isn't the first day of May being the international labour day? I don't know why in Canada it is in september, maybe because the Western laborers are different from our Chinese ones? 

If it is the only difference, it would be quite OK, but there are so many other differences between our Chinese people and the Western ones. 

Jose told me that since I came to Canada, the two most frequent words he heard from me were "Money" and "Food". 

Well… anyway, in China, when we meet people on the street, instead of saying "How are you doing?" or, in French, "Comment vas-tu?" we say, "Did you eat already?" 

It does not mean that Chinese people are so eager to eat now but, yes, China had gone through difficult times in the past, or somehow it is simply a culture difference, I think. 

As far as money is concerned, first, we Chinese people have a regular savings habit and we continue our propensity to save, not like the Westerners. In contrast, Westerners scarcely have any money saved for the future.

When I entered Canada, I needed to declare the cash I brought, 10,000CAD. After counting it three times and seemingly not believing what he saw with his very own eyes, the immigration officer said, "Wow, it is a lot of money!" 

I knew that for many Westerners, financially speaking, they are very tight; they can barely make both ends meet every month. So it is difficult for them to have some savings. But for a Chinese person, 10,000CAD is not a big deal at all. 

Another thing is that we use our credit card very carefully. 

First, we limit credit-card use as much as we can; we fit our spending to our income and we spend much less on our plastic because for thousands of years, old people taught us, "Cutting your coat according to your cloth." 

We also feel uneasy to "borrow" money from anybody; even from the bank. People of my parents' age in China don't really use any credit-card at all. Some people, as far as I know, blatantly refuse to use their credit-card, like Nancy. Even if she has a very high salary, she sticks to pay for everything in cash. 

As for myself, even if I have a golden card, I rarely use it either. I think that it is a way to keep your desires within compass somehow. In contrast, European and American countries are very accustomed to the use of credit cards for consumption and they are under great debts. 

Back to the topic about the fact that all the supermarkets are closed during the holidays, which seems quite acceptable for Jose, because he believes that everybody has the right to enjoy the holidays. 

But for us, we have a saying, "Holiday Economic", which means that the best time for you to make money is during the holidays. But the Western people prefer basking under the sun than making money, which somehow seems a little bit unacceptable for us Chinese people. 

Now I understand why Jose likes to store and pile up basic things. It is because there are some moments you might be out of everything and you can not go out to buy anything either because the stores are closed or even because the weather is too harsh to go outside without risking to freeze to death. 

Anyway, every time I talked about those differences to Jose, he just listened quietly with a smile; sometimes nodding his head, that is it. 

One day,  when we took a walk by the beautiful lakes close by, admiring the wonderful scenery around, Jose said, "You know, Yuan, people have different views of the life. They could choose the way they want to live their lives and we have to learn to respect it. As long as they are happy, it is OK." 

He then pointed to a guy lying at full length, with his bike lying by his side on the grass in the municipal park we were walking in, "You see, that boy is enjoying himself so much simply by lying on the grass, contemplating the high, blue sky, enjoying the sunshine… I never saw a Chinese who would do that, because you are too rushed; your life is an ever continuing race; you never cease to compete with each other, including yourself.

But the real race has to last a full lifetime, and there is no end until you leave this world. Why not try to slow down, taking it easy with the money things and learning to enjoy your life a little bit?"

 


08/10/2012 21:42 分类: 评论(0) 阅读()
 

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