American Train Station...Well, that was easy! – A Chinese American Culture Bump
Updated: Dec 15, 2020
At the beginning of our Houston life we were happy, excited and enthusiastic. One day, Catherine and Mia decided to go shopping in downtown. They are new here, so when they got to the station, they got confused and shocked.
In China, especially in those developed cities, because of heavy traffic, people mostly commute by taking Metro. Before we enter Metro Station, we have to go through security check just like the following picture.
People put their bags into security inspection machines, while they pass the security gate. Then we buy tickets from ticket machine or ticket windows, or Metro App. After we get the tickets, we swipe our ticket on ticket check machine, so that we can go into the Metro platform. Maybe it's so complicated, but it's a casual thing for us in daily life.
The great difference of method to take the metro is really a culture bump for us. It’s a universal situation to take metro. In USA, there's no ticket-check，no security-check，no security guard and no ticket inspector either. We felt convenient and time-saving when we knew that, but at the same time we were a little bit worried. In our minds, the several steps before we can get into the train are necessary ways to avoid unsafe incidents and immoral behaviors. After interviewing local Americans, we find that they have never thought about it, and they trust the driver more, which is very different from China.
Because we think the method in China is safe and considerate, we interviewed a few Americans about how do they feel safe and considerate. They told us that they will teach young children about safety, especially not to talk to strangers, or to answer the door when they’re alone at home. And there are many safety demonstrations in schools. For consideration, they will create privacy for other people by not looking at them in the street, or when they are in the restrooms. Another example is that when a student is late for class, the professor will keep his/her eyes away from the student to protect his dignity.