|Whatever fits in one hand|
As we continued to discuss the issues, we began to realize that this abuse of "free stuff" manifested itself in many other environments as well such as taking extra office supplies from work, plastic bags from the supermarket, amenities from hotels, any gift from any giveaway, etc. There seems to be almost something genetic that drives us to take as much free stuff as we can.
|Caught red handed|
Here are some of the reasons why I think Chinese people engage in such behavior:
1) Chinese people have a competitive nature: There is a mentality that "If I don't take it, someone else is going to take it and I am not going to get any so let me take as much as I can". There seems to be a general feeling of scarcity and that you always want to take as much as you can because it is going to run out. You can see this anytime there is a panic in China (i.e. salt when Japan was hit by the tsunami and everyone was afraid of radiation).
2) Chinese people like to save: Whether it is money or ketchup packets, Chinese people like to save for a rainy day, just in case. They see the use in almost anything and they associate strongly with the pain of not taking something that might come in handy one day.
|Give me that!|
It is exactly this type of abusive behavior that ruins these free conveniences for everyone. Most rest stops no longer offer sauce packets. In China, you need to bring your own tissues and toilet paper to many of the restaurants and most amenities that would be free here must be paid for in China (i.e. shopping bags). They say it is because they want to protect the environment but judging from the amount of pollution and waste I see from other sources, I believe it is because they know how Chinese people are when there is free stuff around.
|Apparently Al Gore is on to us!|