In any country there are both written and unwritten rules of etiquette that people are expected to follow while riding the subway. In many cases, these rules reflect some of the more unflattering quirks of that country’s people. In Japan, there are women-only commuter cars because some guys just can’t help themselves from recording up a girl’s skirt with their smartphone.
As China has been working to expand its subway network over the past few years, including a nearly 50% increase to the Beijing Subway that as made it the fourth longest metro system in the world, the country has developed its own brand of metro manners— or the complete lack thereof .
So just what kind of offenses do Chinese subway commuters have to endure on their train rides to and from work? A local newspaper in Tianjin, China’s fourth largest city, surveyed 894 people to find out what they think are the “most unforgivable subway manners.”
Take a look at the survey results below!
1. Spitting (681 votes)
2. Defecating in the train or in the station (661 votes)
3. Smoking on the train or in the station (581 votes)
4. Crowding onto the train without waiting in line (553 votes)
5. Bringing something stinky the train (519 votes)
6. Lying down across several seats (514 votes)
7. Bringing pets onto the train (451 votes)
7. Spitting out gum in the train (451 votes)
9. Throwing trash around the train (434 votes)
10. Throwing trash onto the tracks (415 votes)
So apparently this is actually a problem in China. Fantastic.
While we’re not too surprised that spitting made it to the top of the list, some of these are quite shocking. What exactly are people bringing onto trains that stinks so bad? Do people deliberately throw their trash onto the tracks like it’s some convenient municipal landfill?
It would be unfair to label also Chinese subway riders as unruly train defecators, however, so let’s take a look at some of the “ most decent manners” given by the survey respondents.
1. Yielding seats to the elderly, sick, handicapped or pregnant (670 votes)
2. Allowing people to get of the train before boarding (662 votes)
3. Picking up trash left on the train and throwing it away (442 votes)
4. Not letting children defecate in the train (384 votes)
5. Not taking highly-flammable objects, radioactive materials or explosives onto the train (347 votes)
Defecating on the train appears to be so much of a problem in China that people actually applaud it as “good manners” when someone stops their child from doing so. You told your boy to pull his pants up before dropping a deuce in public like a stray dog— have a sticker!
As for number 5, well, if that strange, offensive odor you smell on the train resembles almonds, you might want to get off at the next station.
If any of our readers have experienced any of these while riding on the subway in China (or any other country, for that matter), we’d love to hear your story in the comment below!
▼ A few more scenes of fun on the trains in China