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Q: Why can't people here walk in a straight line?

I can't understand why people have to weave and stop, and go backward and forewards. They always want to be first and cut corners for shortcuts, but when people walk here they are like ducks, man it is happening to me!! Puzzled

9 years 22 weeks ago in  Lifestyle - Hangzhou

 
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Posts: 373

Governor

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I have noticed the same thing. Today I performed a little experiment. After observing Chinese people I decided to walk the same way.

Firstly, I walked down a busy street looking at the floor only far enough in front of me to not bump into a lamp post or trip on the curb. I managed to walk 3 blocks, zigzagging. Strangely, they moved out of the way for me and I only brushed shoulder and touched hands with a few.

The second experiment was the same as the first and with the same result except instead of looking at the floor I looked at the sky.

Conclusion: they do it on accident.

They become so accustomed to walking like this it is not a problem hitting people even when they see the2m.

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9 years 22 weeks ago

Tired of dirt and lies.

 
Posts: 333

Governor

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ok...i'm the best Chinese here I suppose?

I have to avoid any touch from the stranger Chinese or foreigner on the street...I bet some of them really have a dead sense organ ..it's annoying..really.....

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9 years 22 weeks ago

I like a snowy Happy new year, rather than a no sky one...Beijing's time to ban the cars---the only solution for the time being...

 
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Emperor

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I don't know, my friend does it, too. It's like she's not paying attention at all. Even when we are sharing an umbrella, she will bump into me and almost force me to walk into a tree. It's annoying. She also has problems crossing the street, stopping when she shouldn't, almost getting hit by a car. Have you seen the way women walk? Sure they wear high heels, but a lot of them will walk like it is uncomfortable, or like a sailor who hasn't stepped on land in months. I guess I do weave slightly when I walk, but I think I always walked that way. It's not bad enough to bump into anyone, or get in anyone's way.

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9 years 22 weeks ago
 
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Actually this has an answer. But before I begin, I am NOT being racist or trying to be derogatory against Chinese people, just to let that be known. And this DOES have a basis in SCIENCE.

Take any human being on the planet and blindfold them. Ask them to walk in a straight line. They will walk EXACTLY like a majority of Chinese people do walking down the street in a normal fashion. Again, not being racist here, but this is true.

Human beings REQUIRE a visual reference point to walk in a straight line. If I were to ask you to walk from point A to point B, you would use something as a point to walk towards. Usually, your brain does this automatically. If you know the route you need to take, even if it has turns, you will almost subconsciously focus on an object as a reference point to walk towards before you take your turn.

Again, if you are blindfolded, you cannot make a visual reference point, so you will weave left and right while traveling in the general direction.

Now, before anyone tries to get all clever and asks "what about blind people?!?!", blind people use other cues to achieve the same goals: walking sticks, guide animals, or in some countries, raised sidewalk areas (that's what those patterns in the middle of sidewalks are for FYI).

So, back to the question: Why don't most Chinese people seem to be able to walk in a straight line?

Simple. They're not paying attention. Also, at least from what I have witnessed, Chinese people don't seem to put any thought into HOW they are going to get from point A to B.

When I am walking, I look. I assess the situation, then decide which way to go. This happens almost instantly. I know which way I want to go before, say, I reach the end of the escalator. I cannot count the number of times someone will stop at the top/bottom of an escalator (regardless of people behind them) and look bewildered for a moment before they continue on (or decide to make a phone call, but that's another topic).

Throw on top of this mobile phones with games, videos, and calls... Well, it's a recipe for paying even LESS attention.

This also applies to driving here - it's action/reaction; no planning involved which is ESSENTIAL when operating a motor vehicle. Again, another topic for another time.

Hope this helps. Oh, and on a side note, watch any blind Chinese person with a walking stick. They walk straight as an arrow because they are forced to pay attention.

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9 years 22 weeks ago
 
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I agree with tibs. My wife drives me absolutely insane with her meandering. I've even asked her when she's veering of course where she's going and she'll answer correctly and I'll say "well, it's that way" and she'll answer "I know."

SO WHY THE F*%K WERE YOU NOT GOING THAT WAY?!

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9 years 22 weeks ago
 
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i pay attention,i dont dump into ppl in the street,but my friends still say i dont walk in straight line.i dont know why!why!

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9 years 22 weeks ago

Lose once you get serious!!

 
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Shifu

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I've used this answer before and I'm sticking with it.

Bats in a cave

For how little the average person here pays attention to where he/she is going and the surroundings, I expected there to be a whole lot more collisions then there actually are. The only explanation, built in sonar. So the constant weaving and pausing happens because of the person trying to react to the latest ping he got on his sonar.

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9 years 22 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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I bump into ppl all the time, it might be my problem... But as I know I bump into ppl, so I really do pay a lot attention when I walk on the street and not in high heels... things don't change...

Do people know how dangerous it could be when u walk and play with ur phone?????

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9 years 22 weeks ago
 
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