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It is easy to see the problems when you come here with 'fresh eyes'. Especially 'fresh Western eyes.' You can see a lot of problems in the stark differences between Western and Eastern societies.
Actually, when my 'fresh eyes' veiwed China, it made me notice more problems with the West. It's only after a much longer time that I've noticed any real problems. 'Fresh eyes' showed many differences, but to call these 'problems' is judging the rest of the world by your own standards.
It's hard to remember all, but some of the impressions of my 'fresh eyes' were:
Cleaner. Streets not covered in chewing gum stains, litter and dog turds. Roads not littered with broken glass from smashed car windows. Walls not covered in bill posters and grafitti. People dressed casually but smartly.
More industrious. Lots of 'street workers': road side market stalls, street food stalls, people collecting plastic bottles, cardboard and anything else that could be recycled. Hardly any beggars. The other way around to places like London. Workers and students start earlier, finish later. Banks have the same opening hours as other businesses rather than closing early and weekends are business as usual.
Efficient public transport. Crowded at times, yes. But efficient, cheap and reliable. (That was then.. nowadays far more cars on the roads making the transportation somewhat less efficient)
Safer. Very little crime. Perhaps a little occasional pickpocketting, but not the car 'smash and grabs', street muggings, or car theft that was witnessed daily in London. No fear of walking down the darkest of backstreets at 2 in the morning. No groups of 'hoodies' or drug pushers lurking on dark corners.
Unintrusive. No 'big brother' street cameras watching you all the time unlike UK. Where, apart from possibly at home, you never get away from that feeling of 'being watched'. Some stores and banks for abvious and acceptable reasons, but that's about it.
Convenience. Almost anything you might want is obtainable somewhere within walking distance.
More Peaceful. The lack of religion was also very noticable. 'Silence is golden' is the phrase that comes to mind. The quietness and lack of 'God this' and 'Jesus that' everywhere was very refreshing.
More communal. People playing together in the local squares, group dancing and exercising. Friends regularly dining together.
Efficient. So many things are so much quicker to get done. Whether that be opening a bank account (which took me less than 10 minutes), building a skyscraper or just needing to see a doctor.
More choice. For just about everything there is more choice. Certainly, the bottom ranges of these choices fall below western standards, but they still exist here, allowing those who are prepared to accept those standards the choice to do so.
More common sense and self responsibility. Not the blame-game culture of the west. Only in the KFC and McDonald franchises will you see stupid things like 'caution, this coffee is hot'. Roadworks just involve cordoning off a small section of the street or road with a couple of small signs - not closing the entire road or sidewalk.
The only negatives I really noticed was the mad push and shove to get on a bus rather than a queue. The terrible smell inside public toilets, and people spitting.
More car owners and roads are now far busier. Younger generations now have higher pressures due to the rapid increases in house pricing and many other living costs. Obesity is far more common. Lot's of urban renewel and inner city rennovation. More compliance to international IP rights. More environmentally conscious. More foreigners and tourists.