spitting on the street: in the States too

The other day I was by South Station in Boston and saw a fairly young, caucasian man spit on the street. You’d think I’d be used to seeing the spitting and peeing on the street by now, having just spent four months in China, but really it partially grossed me out, partially offended me, and yet I found it partially completely acceptable.

When foreigners (Westerners) see Chinese pee, spit, or pick their noses in China, we think it’s uncivilized… but it’s perfectly OK for a white man in the States to do the same…? Of course I’m making a broad generalization and there are exceptions for individuals. It’s just very interesting, this idea of being rather ‘natural’ and open with our bodies as part of society. Or perhaps it’s the infrequency of these bodily actions in the States that makes it semi-acceptable.. or ignorable?

What are your thoughts? Acceptable? Or not? Or just part of human nature?


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