reading this extract is an eye-opener. There are many little bits of details that I would miss out if i were to go on a research trip, like the signs of Do’s and Don’ts and what they imply of a given area, the languages used and how it implies multilingual communities, the icons on the signs and how it implies literacy rates in that country, or how different menus in different countries implies a certain diet adopted by the citizens, etc.
What surprised me most was how he interpreted the lack of certain signs. How did it occur to him about what the lack of signs mean? The only answer i could guess was that he had done research in so many different countries and compared them to understand it better.
The other question I had in mind was: Do the signs(laws) make the citizens, or the citizens make the signs(laws)? Taking Japan for example, they are one of the most gracious community, keeps the streets very clean even though there are no rubbish bins around (as compared to Singapore where bins are everywhere, but littering still exists), sorts out their trash for recycling, and are very considerate people. Yet, they have numerous signs and rules for public spaces.