Yesterday, at rush hours (6:30 PM), I waited at the Shanghai Metro #1 People’s Square Station. On the rear doors of the Metro, I noticed that people started to line up – there are two lines of people for the gate, and each line has more than 15 people, that makes the lines cross the platform and even near the other side of the platform.
No one was there to help maintain the order. The lines just formed by themselves. When the metro train came, people get off board from the middle – also formed a line, and the two lines of people entered one by one.
I was amazed by what I saw, because:
First, people started to respect orders,
Second, I didn’t see it in the last few years in Shanghai Metro. At least not to this extend that 15+ people forming a straight line.
I even wondered whether I am in Shanghai Metro. Lining up for Metro is the basic practices in many cities but not in Shanghai yet.
I am happy to see that started to happen. Although it is the only time, and they are just at several doors (other doors in the middle part were still at a mess), but it is progress.
Transition in China
When I was asked about the keyword for current China, I choose the word Transition.
Current China is about the old and the new co-exist. When the old system collapse, and the new system is not well established, it is the period of transition. People say bad things about China (poor, no rules, low moral), and people say good things about China also (prosperity, development, huge market), they are all partly true, but not complete. China is just in the transition period. The old and the new conflict with each other, compromise with each other, and finally mixed with each other, until a new order is established.
That is what I felt from small things like lining up. It takes time for this “rare” occasion to appear, but based on my experience, if the first “rare” occasion appears, after 5 to 7 years, it will be the standard.
I am looking forward to a better Shanghai Metro in 2011 or later.