10 May 2009

Signs of (Behind the) Times

While we were on our trip, I started making a list of things that show, to me, that a country is not quite a first-world country. Here it is, in no particular order:

1. double parking
2. crazy traffic/disregard for traffic laws
3. (maybe as a result of #2) honking
4. street animals
5. smoking everywhere, and hardcore cigarettes
6. stinky people
7. dirty cities
8. unlabeled bus stops and times, lack of city maps
9. unremoved moles (yes, we're talking big, hairy moles on your face)
10. scary teeth

And three that I wasn't sure of, seeing as how I'm only taking experience from Costa Rica, Italy, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania:
11. few bikes (but aren't Chinese cities overloaded with bikes? Does China fit this list?)
12. something positive--there are a plethora of good bakeries (but Costa Rica didn't have many, did it?)
13. difficulty trusting people dealing with tourists (maybe this happens in every land)


  1. good list.

    I always take advantage of foreigners in the US... so... I think that's totally normal:)

  2. In the city I'm living in in Ecuador, I've noticed all of the things you've mentioned except for the excessive smoking, big moles, and few bikes. Quite a few people here get around on bikes, there are tons of yummy (cheap) bakeries, and the way people drive is soooo ridiculous.

    I would add...
    -kids selling gum or candy in the streets,
    -having to drink bottled water,
    -and CHEAP produce but EXPENSIVE canned goods (maybe that's just Latin America)

    as more indicators that a country isn't as completely developed as the U.S., Canada, Australia, and most European countries. Although... with the experience I had, there are a lot of stinky Europeans too.

  3. Good additions, Amanda. Scott-maybe Chicago is less developed. Or maybe it's full of less-developed people. Hee hee. Bryce-you would. :)

  4. China doesn't as many bikes as they used to. The video clips of just 10 years ago don't reflect the wholesale move to an automobile/freeway economy

    But I did find some really good bakeries. How about adding open sewers to your list?