Observations on ‘New China’: Part IV – Top 3 April 28, 2011Posted by pacejmiller in China, Travel.
Tags: Asia, China, culture shock, Hangzhou, hygiene, public urination, Rain, Shanghai, shower caps, toilets, weather, West Lake
It’s been over a month since my visit to China, and my observations are starting to slip from my memory. So before I forget everything, here are the top 3 from my short visit.
Counting down in reverse order…
3. Oncoming traffic
Child urination is no big deal really, but when I was in Hangzhou, I saw something that impressed me so much that I forgot to take my camera out.
We were driving along in a taxi around West Lake, and there was this kid, probably around six or seven, with his pants around his ankles and shooting a powerful stream of urine. The thing is, this kid was not facing the rows of trees or the brick wall behind him — he was standing on the side of the curb and pissing towards the main road at the oncoming traffic.
A woman on a scooter had to swerve to avoid getting hit head on.
2. Avoiding the rain
Another incident I forgot to document with my camera because I was too stunned. We were walking near the Four Seasons Hotel to check out some well-preserved traditional Shanghainese streets when it started raining.
As I was grabbing my umbrella out of my bag, I saw a couple of middle aged women also take something out to shield them from the rain. First I thought they were plastic bags, but upon closer inspection I realised they were shower caps. That’s right, they wore shower caps in the rain.
1. Both ends
And the number one observation of ‘New China’…was actually something I didn’t personally observe. We went into this five star hotel in Shanghai with a travel agent annexed to the lobby to buy some train tickets for Hangzhou (actually a bad idea — just get them at the station, cheaper and more flexible).
My wife went to the ladies and came out with a stunned expression. A woman was in the cubicle, sitting on the toilet with the door wide open (quite normal)…and she was eating a bento box. Amazingly, she was consuming and depositing at the same time. When she was done, she washed the utensils in the basin. Talk about efficiency.