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Improved manners can aid city's image

IF immigration police on duty at the Pudong International Airport were given three wishes to make their job a bit easier, they may well wish there were fewer water bottles scattered around for them to pick up, less people talking in such loud voices, and a bit more order among Chinese passengers, according to a letter they sent to Shanghai Daily yesterday.

The police told Shanghai Daily that they hoped to see more Chinese passengers minding their manners in public to make the airport environment friendlier for everyone and lessen the stress they suffer because of impolite behavior.

60 water bottles a day

The immigration police are required to keep public spaces at the airport clean as part of their regular duties, in preparation for next year's World Expo.

But the police said it's no easy task keeping the place clean. Everyday while on duty, they collect cigarette lighters, food packages, discarded boarding cards and half-eaten bread dumped near their duty windows and in the check-in waiting areas.

Sometimes they find trash dumped only a few meters from a garbage bin.

On one especially bad day, officers collected more than 60 discarded water bottles in the check-in area.

"Many passengers are just accustomed to throwing these things away when leaving in a hurry to check in. Clearing such garbage from inside our duty area has become part of our daily work now," an unnamed police officer wrote.

'Let me through first'

To keep order and ensure privacy, the airport has painted a yellow line 1-meter in front of each check-in window. While one passenger is being helped at the check-in desk, other passengers are meant to wait behind the yellow line.

However, some Chinese passengers ignore this rule, the immigration police said.

Huddling around the desks, pushing and cutting in line is common among Chinese travelers, police said.

Some even jump straight to the front of the line, telling other passengers: "Let me through first because I am in a hurry," a police officer said.

Noise headaches

While inside the departure lounge, individuals from Chinese tour groups can always be seen talking loudly, shouting at each other, mothers screaming for their children, men busy discussing which queues are shorter, and which they should join, police wrote.

Police said travelers and tour groups from other countries such as Japan, South Korea, and some European and North American nations, in comparison, abide far better by rules of public politeness, which impresses them deeply.

Police said they sincerely hope some Chinese travelers could realize that a positive change is easy to achieve if they could only pay more attention to mind their manners in public.

Conference opens on the environment

AN international conference named Call for a Green China began in Shanghai yesterday.

Experts and officials from both home and abroad will discuss how to hold a green Expo in Shanghai next year and the environmental challenges China faces.

30-day stay in Palau

CHINESE citizens can now be granted a 30-day stay in the Republic of Palau, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, according to Pudong immigration police. Tour guides and officials already visited resorts on the island in preparation for future travel packages.

Rail tickets downtown

THE Shanghai Railway Administration announced yesterday that they will reduce ticketing booths at the city's two railway stations while increasing the number of ticket sales counters downtown.

Parents ordered to pay

THE parents of a mentally ill man were ordered to pay 270,000 yuan (US$39,394) in damages to the family of a 57-year-old woman because their son tried to rape the victim and pushed her into a river, where she drowned. Jiading District People's Court yesterday ruled that Li Xiaolong, 27, didn't bear responsibility for his illness but that his parents were negligent for not properly supervising their son.


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