You are on a stool with a Catholic guy looking at the world through ethnic eyes.
Doc, or Hapsburg, did either of you notice a difference between the amount of acceptable "personal space" in China and in the US. I know that some anthropologists study personal space, or more technically, the population's accepted distance comfortably kept between 2 people. I know that in USA its something like 24 inches between 2 people and in Japan its apparently 11 inches (comfortably between 2 people). The interpretation of the data is that populations that have been living in close proximity to one another have a smaller "personal space" than countries whose populations are geographically more spread out (specifically if the population lives primarily in apartments or in houses). Also, you can notice this quality in Japanese film, at least more contemporary film. You'll notice that, for example, two schoolmates will be seemingly "in each others faces" during conversation, but appear perfectly comfortable. Is there a clear disparity between the comfortable Shanghai "personal space" and the comfortable D.C. space? -- Just interested.
Yes, of course! The Chinese live on top of each other; and much of their lives seem to be lived on the street rather than locked up in a large private space. Even the concept of a small private yard, I believe, is rather foreign to them. So in terms of 'personal space'...there is none. You can have them come right up to you and stare in your face or look at your book or whatever, and it's perfectly acceptable. While I wouldn't go so far as to say its Borg-like quite yet, there is a powerful collective element at play with regard to the space issue.
Beirut International airport just got bombed...hmmm...do i smell war gentleman?
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