Wait in line 排队páidùi and Cut in line 插队 chādùi

apple-1675775__480I was thinking of continuing Pinyin lessons this week but decided to save it for the next week. In this post, I will introduce two terms in Chinese. They are 排队páidùi and 插队 chādùi, respectively meaning ‘wait in line’ and ‘cut in line’.

You may have already known from my worksheet if you have contacted me requesting one, that each Chinese character is given a specific meaning. It’s a lot easier to remember today’s terms if you can recognize the characters. In 排队páidùi, the first character 排 means to line up, while in 插队 chādùi, the first character 插 means to insert.

Chinese language is pictographic. If taking a close look at the shape of 排, with little heads up on the meaning, you should be able to easily remember it. That’s right! There are a lot of lines in this character. And it’s likewise in 插, which shows an image of inserting something into a box-like object.

As usual, you may click the audio play below to find out how these terms are pronounced.

The pick of today’s word is sourced from my thoughts based on my hospital-visiting experience. Visiting hospital has become my daily routine this week, but if you start concerning about my health while reading my post up to this point—-with a great deal of gratitude—–I would kindly ask you not to do so. It’s simply because I don’t have any major health problems. Really! Let’s just say I’m not ill but needed to see doctors for diagnosis purpose. It may sound contradictory but hopefully it removes worry off your mind, if any. Because my concern is on people’s public behavior in China.

It feels people are rude in many ways. Many don’t say thanks when they should and often people appear self-centered. It happens on bus, subway train, and in hospital in today’s case.

When waiting in line for my turn to be assigned to the doctor’s consulting room this morning, I found this woman came to stay in front of me cutting the line of a dozen.

“Let me go first! I need to have this done fast!”

That’s her reason. It was frustrating to see this behavior, which I also encountered in the subway on the way going there on the very same day, and at that point, I was fed up with people cutting lines, so I protested.

“No! Everyone lined up and you need to wait for your turn!”

I became angry when she insisted saying how urgent it was that she needed to have the hospital visit done fast and get back to work.

I stood my ground and eventually she had to wait for that extra 5 min. top!

It was a small incident but was everything but pleasant. I didn’t feel it was a triumph, instead I was very much annoyed back then. I don’t think I have the anger management issue. In fact, I’m rather quiet and making a scene in public is not really my cup of tea. But things like this happen quite often in China, and I can’t help it that it sets me off from time to time.

I wish more of my country fellows become aware of their etiquette in public. Things like waiting in line are common sense! In a country like China where a large population presents, it’s even more necessary for individuals to do so. We are descendant of Confucius culture. Isn’t the proper behavior in public greatly valued? Hopefully in the future the situation like my encounter won’t be ubiquitous as it seems today. And let’s all say no to 插队 chādùi!


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