Being rammed in the backside by a shopping cart can be profoundly irritating, but when you turn around to see that the perpetrator is a very old, very small Chinese woman with an expression of fierce determination on her face, there’s no question as to who has the right of way. I love little old ladies. I think they should be national treasures. And I think there are probably a lot of little old Chinese ladies who would agree with me, especially those of them who came to the west from China.

Having survived some combination of drought, famine, political upheaval, war, radical cultural change, and (most of them) childbirth, they’re not going to take any crap from anybody. When they go shopping, they know exactly what they’re looking for, where to find it and how much it should cost. And under no circumstances will they be ignored, even if they don't speak your language.

There is no appropriate response to being butted by one of these ladies except to move and do it fast. Don’t expect to make amends by smiling (though it's still a good thing to do). They’re not interested in being your friend, they’re busy and they just want everybody out of the way! They’ll ram anyone, Asian, white, black – whatever - especially if you’re under 50. Nothing personal, you're just too damned slow.

Best to flatten yourself up against the shelving if you see a little old Chinese lady with a shopping cart coming your way. They may even smile at you for showing due respect.

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