City Exhaustion I

November 2, 2010

This is certainly not the first post or acknowledgement of people taking a nap in public in Taiwan/Japan/China. But it still fascinates me in what sort of environment, under what cirumstances people here can fall asleep. It also seems like a contradiction that it is so much accepted by the same society that actually dictates ungodly working hours. Or maybe that’s why they are forgiven to be exhausted in public: The more exhausted one looks the more he or she works (respectable).

On the opposite end there is Germany where sleeping in public seems to be very inacceptable. There are areas of tolerance, though. Moving vehicles for long distances for example like plane and train. And in parks on a picnic rug or bath towel on the floor. Napping on a bench on the other hand is not as popular since it carries too much the stigma of being homeless and who would want that!

Mainland China by the way apparently tries to get rid of the inglorious appearance of loitering comrades, at least on sites they find are representing nation and culture.  I personally got chased off a piece of grass next to the West Lake in Hangzhou. Being exhausted from extensive sightseeing and overindulgence of all sorts of Chinese food I desperately needed a rest and I had the wicked idea to do so on the grass next to the nation and culture representing West Lake in Hangzhou. Oh, I shouldn’t have! Not even a minute after I had put my scandalous plan into practice there came along a very angry looking Chinese police officer (he must have been following me). He would shout and gesture furiously and chase me off the lawn.

I moved to a bench instead to take my chance but I was unlucky again. Not even a minute after I had put my shameless plan into practice there came along the same but even angrier looking Chinese police officer (he definitely must have been following me). He would shout and gesture furiously and chase me off the bench.

One of the reasons I decided to move to Taiwan instead of Mainland China by the way. But I do like China, yes I do!

Anyway, I will share photos I have taken of people resting in public on this blog. Unfortunately the most interesting sleeping-in-public situation could not be captured on camera because I didn’t have the latter with my that day: MRT Station, while waiting for the train to arrive we notice a grandfather with his grandson, standing. Grandad himself fast asleep (standing!!), the little boy behind him, clamping on the old man’s shirt.