“Why did he do that?” I wondered as my driver lit a cigarette then rolled up all the windows of his mian bao che, the little taxi vans shaped like loaves of bread. After 15 years of living, working, and traveling in China, I should understand her culture and customs, but daily, I still find myself asking, “Why do they do that?” The windows were down and a pleasant, albeit polluted Kunming breeze was blowing into the car, when the cabbie lit up and rolled the windows up. Why? The real question is, after so many years in China, why do I still ask why?

Culture is a common system of knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, customs, and ...

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