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Neo

10 things Chinese do better than the west

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I ran across this article at the link below:

http://aolnetscape.workopolis.com/servlet/...tion=Technology

It outlines 10 things that the Chinese can do much better than western civilations. Below are my favorites from the list.

- Informative stop lights

In Tianjin, a city of 13 million people, traffic lights display red or green signals in a rectangle that rhythmically shrinks down as the time remaining evaporates. In Beijing, some traffic lights offer a countdown clock for both green and red signals.

During a red light, you know whether you have time to check that map; on a green light, you know whether to start braking a block away -- or to stomp on the accelerator, as though you were a Toronto or Montreal driver. (That's probably why Montreal has a few lights with countdown seconds for pedestrians.)

- Transit debit cards

Wouldn't it be great to have a single debit card for buses, subways -- and taxis? That's how it works in Shanghai. Passengers don't have to fumble for exact change on buses and subways, or line up to buy tokens or tickets. Taxi drivers don't have to make change, or get ripped off by counterfeit bills, a real plague in China. And they aren't loaded down with cash, which would make them tempting targets for robbery.

(In another transit plus, forget those illegible handwritten taxi receipts we get in Canada. China's taxis automatically print out receipts with date, mileage, taxi medallion number, even the start and end times of the ride. That certainly would help you recover the Stradivarius you inadvertently left in the back seat.)

- Daily banking

We feel so lucky when a bank branch in Canada opens for a few hours on Saturday mornings. (Notice the long, long lines?) But Chinese banks are now open 9 to 5, seven days a week. Even on New Year's Day and other national holidays, at least some branches will open for business. The ones that are closed post helpful notices directing you to the closest open branch. And, yes, they do have a full network of ATMs.

- Parking data

A celebrity I once lunched with was an hour late because he couldn't find an empty parking spot in downtown Toronto. He had driven to a dozen lots, each time finding a wooden sign plunked at the entrance smugly announcing that the lot was full.

In China, roadside electronic billboards not only give directions to nearby lots and garages, they crucially reveal how many empty spaces are left.

I think wester civilizations could learn a lot from the Chinese integration of technology. The above demonstrates how we really aren't putting enough effort into integrating technology into our lives.

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Chinese redlights are equivilant to our green lights. Red is the color or communism, so Mao made it the color that meant "go."

There are some banks (at least here) that are open until noon on Saturdays.

I like the idea of transit debit cards, and parking lot directions. I wish all cities had those.

I noticed that some of those systems are just in certain cities, not accross China, so even the Chinese still have room for improvement!

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I'm currently in Shanghai for a month and a half. This is oh so true..I've experienced most of the things listed except for that really cool machine that brings your waiter. And I thought my boyfriend was the first to think of that. The west really does have a lot to learn from China and i'm sure other countries in Asia. Very entertaining article.

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