Chapter 5 : Around Town
Being a classy Chinese lady who keeps her cool shouldn't be something you just turn on at networking events and glitzy dinners – it should be a lifestyle. It's easy to be courteous to people you want to impress or who you need something from. What distinguishes class from creep is the ability to be accommodating to everyone, from waiters to business associates to cleaners to kings. As Morrissey says 'It's so easy to laugh, it's so easy to hate, it takes strength to be gentle and kind'. And this is what everyone should aim for.
Showing respect and etiquette around town doesn't mean being a pushover or letting everyone in front of you in the queue until the store closes. It means doing little things that aren't really that difficult but which can make everyone's life easier.
1. Let everyone off the metro/bus/boat before you get on to avoid having to push and shove your way in.
2. Always offer your seat to someone who may need it, particularly those with special needs, pregnant women, the elderly and those with children. Nothing screams unattractive and uncaring more than a girl sitting down when someone clearly needs the space – no matter how beautiful you are or good your posture.
3. Use earphones when on public transport. You might care about what happens in the latest episode of your favourite soap but, honestly, nobody else does. The same goes for games on your phone. Either plug it in or turn the sound off.
4. Similarly, if you need to talk on the phone – or even to someone next to you – keep it down.
5. If notice yourself breaking any of these rules, remember to apologize.
1. Stand on the right hand side of the escalator so people in a rush can get past easily (this is common in many places, including Hong Kong, where standing on the left can be considered extremely rude).
2. Hold doors open for people behind you. If someone does this for you, smile and say thank you.
3. Be polite to those working in the service industry. Don't shoot the messenger if things aren't going your way. Say thank you after a transaction NOTE: In some places, particularly English speaking countries, it is quite normal for people to say thank you five or six times in the course of paying for something.