Basic hygiene

Why is it that people only seem to wash their hands as they’re washing their food containers?

They never seem to actually wash their hands properly.
And most of them usually not at all.

I even saw one guy wash his hands before going to take a pee, and then didn’t wash his hands after.
Hahahah why?  What the hell?  What kind of logic is that?

An American colleague saw this happen as well.  So it wasn’t just a one-off.

People, if you’re taking a shit, there’s a chance you’ve got something on your hands… hopefully not, but a chance.

If you’re taking a wizz, then you’ve been touching yourself. If you don’t wash your hands……well I don’t know about you but I don’t want to shake hands with a guy that’s got penis hands.

Also its just basic hygiene.
Each time you go to the bathroom, regardless of what you do, each time you come into a house, or about to eat dinner… wash your hands, and then you’re fresh for the people you’re about to meet.

If you’re not going to do the latter, at least do the bathroom one.
Come on people, this is just basic hygiene.

Did you know that in 2003 when SARS was in full swing in China, the government had to tell people, to urge people that every time they went to the bathroom, every time they ate food they had to wash their hands afterwards with soap and sing ‘happy birthday’ twice, because this was on average the right amount of time to make sure they washed their hands properly?

My Uncle lived here at the time. And he said it was hilarious. There were grown men in their 50’s, all senior company executives standing at the wash basin singing happy birthday twice over.

The only way you can justifiably not wash your hands is if a guy was to literally not touch himself as he took a pee.
Which to be fair I’ve actually seen.
Literally this guy just pulled down his pants and underwear to his knees and started peeing.
That’s what kids do in primary school man. … you’re above that by now surely.

It was like Butters (from South Park) going to the bathroom.


Toilet answering

Every time I go to the bathroom here in China, there inevitably seems to be someone that whilst squatting down doing his business, his phone rings, and he immediately picks it up.

What?  Don’t…..ahhhh…. just don’t do that.

Just let it ring out.

Surely the person on the other end can wait until you’ve finished your business.
You’re life surely can’t be that busy where each call has to be answered straight away because if you don’t you won’t have enough time in the day to do things.

Sometimes these guys are having a chat on the phone… and of course not using an inside voice….and they’re having a particularly explosive episode of diarrhoea… and then suddenly they’re shouting even more to shout over the top of their own …umm…sound.

And there’s no apologies… its just… ‘hey YEAH YEAH, OH REALLY?, wait… *disgusting farting sound…..OH YEAH I CAN DO THAT’

Fucking hell man, do you really think the person on the other end wants to hear that?

Even if you weren’t making the sounds yourself… wouldn’t take the call would you?
Because there’s a chance that other people could be making them.

In the same way that you wouldn’t go into the bathroom to take a phone call, right?
Or are these people solely focused on the smell or something?

Errgggh… the… I don’t know… there’s just no concern for other people apparently.

If the golden rule does apply to them (the whole do to others as you want done to you) then it means that if they’ve gone through this process and still pick up their phone, then they’re quite clearly happy to be hearing another person fart and shit on the other end of the line.

Is this what 5000 years of culture has led to?

Please let it not be so.

Living in china and the 4 basic necessities

Taken from a conversation with a friend after a bout of food poisoning from some dumplings he ate the day before.

A: Honestly, I’m starting to be tired of Chinese food just because of that
-I’ve never had food poisoning in my life before coming to China
-And now this is like three times in the last year
-Pretty sure food poisoning isn’t really good for your body
B: Hahha… and the texture..
A: Nah but like so many sauces/spices/herbs
-You simply can’t taste the actual food anymore
-I think I’m definitely going stick with western food more and more
-Really makes you wonder why we like this country so much when it lacks so many of the very basics
-Food that doesn’t make you sick
-Water that doesn’t make you sick
-Alcohol that’s not fake
-Air that doesn’t make you sick
-I don’t think it gets more basic than that haha
-I can kind of understand why my friends don’t really want to visit me here

B: Food, air, water ….all makes you sick
-The only thing they’re missing is shelter that makes you sick
A: Oh I’m sure the shitty materials they use do
-And the fact that buildings just collapse every now and again
B: Oh yeah.. earthquakes… schools
(referring to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in which government built schools collapsed because the local gov was trying to save money by not meeting all required safety standards…apparently pocketing the difference)
-Wow…. china has it all

A: Although you may argue, death isn’t exactly sickness
B: Hahahahaha
-Yep that’s what the gov will argue…
A: Hey if you’re dead you’re not suffering
-And your family might even get money!
A: That’s the golden argument right there
-Moniessss !
B: Yep, Socialism with chinese characteristics!
A: What a lovely place

Water- It obviously not that China doesn’t have clean water, it’s just that it’s not available for free.
Air- you’ve seen the news.
Food- there’s a reason that the chinese go-to excuse for pulling a sick day is ‘拉肚子’ la duzi (diarrhea) instead of just saying…”I’m sick” … and that’s because it’s relatively common. Go figure.
Shelter- To be fair Chinese construction has got a lot better in recent years.  Although I think much of this came through trial-and error, a bit like Chinese medicine I guess. But either way this is improving.

What a lovely place.

So who is the illogical ones in this situation?

We are, the 2 foreigners having this conversation.
Because we both come from countries which have all these.
But in fact the reason why we’re here is because it’s almost as if our own countries are already good.  It’s gone through all the phases of progression and growth has now slowed down and relative to China everything is perfect….  too perfect.

But, its that reason why we’re here, because that is also boring to some regard.
We’re attracted to the madness of China.

The madness like explained above?  …not quite but still.

The madness of China is great, and as you see from the stories in this site there’s a lot of madness.

What a lovely place.

Lock the damn doors

Ever walked into the bathroom and tried to use one of the cubicles because you saw that it was unlocked, only to find a middle aged Chinese man squatted over a hole, puffing on a cigarette, and pumping out a bog staring at you as you open the door?

Believe it or not, this is a reasonably frequent event…. in China.

Dude, just lock the damn door.

Why is it always the same type of guy as well?

It’s not a younger person, it’s not a guy that doesn’t smoke, it never seems to happen on the ‘western toilets’, it’s literally always a middle-aged, chain-smoking, poo-pumping Chinese man.

And what’s more he doesn’t really seem surprised.

He never seems to say anything when you open the door and involuntarily groan. ‘errr…wtf?’

It’s almost as if he was expecting to have someone open the door.

And dude, come on, the door has locks. It’s just that either you’re into voyeur or you just didn’t think it was worth your time.

Again no care for other people’s well being of thinking ‘perhaps other people don’t want to see a grown man squatting down taking a shit.’

Or …on the other hand, maybe he has thought about that… and he just wants to make you suffer.

winning browny points

I’ve got a question to ask you,

How many times have you walked into a bathroom in China only to hear someone walk into a cubicle and flush the toilet straight away?

Many, right?

Well the reason as to why that is, is because often people don’t flush after they’ve done their business.

Whilst I’m wrestling to understand this, I’ve come up with a number of possible reasons, and you can comment on which one is the most likely.

  • It is simply Chinese mentality. Leaving a whole pile of stuff behind after they’ve done their business is just what is expected of people.

-They don’t care that it smells bad, it just that this is what is done, and this is what will always be done. Whilst foreigners flush it straight away because we don’t like the look or the smell, in China some things are different, and flushing the toilet as soon as you enter the cubicle is in fact China’s way, instead of flushing it before you leave. Whilst you or I may walk into the cubicle and audibly exclaim “ahh wtf??”; you never hear that from Chinese people because…that might just be the way it is done here.

  • They are really proud of their poops. And who can blame them, there’s a lot there, and they want to be able to share that with other people. So leaving it behind is the natural way of doing that.
  • The Chinese squat toilets just can’t handle the poops, either because the drainage system is not good enough… (more about that later) or because the design of the squat toilet it means that if there is sufficient ‘material’ there when the toilet flushes the water goes around it instead of washing it away because it has stuck to the dry surface to begin with and now can’t be unstuck. Further poops add to this problem.
  • They are playing ‘The game’ – the game of pissing off foreigners.
    They don’t flush on purpose because they want to hear you exclaim…. “ahh wtf?” and in fact they are lingering just outside the bathroom door just to hear your anguish. Because of this they have won points in the game which aims to piss off as many foreigners as possible. Some of them may even see a pile there, and decide to add to the pile trying to make it as big as possible to ensure that if you, as a foreigner now try to flush it away, you can’t because there’s just too much there. In this way, they get bonus points.

When you think about it, it’s not like people can just say ‘Oh I forgot’, there has to be a reason behind it.

You realise that people squat facing the door, so it means that people walk in and then have to turn around to squat down and do their business.  This means that unless they’re really pre-occupied, or somehow manage to open the door and back onto the squat toilet, they are going to see the stuff there.
And then what do they do?
Are they having us believe that after they’re done, they just pull up their pants and walk off, without taking a quick gander at just how much they feel better?
I don’t think there’s anyone that can admit to that.

In fact South Park even devoted a whole episode to it.

To be able to do your business and then just walk out without taking a quick look….that requires determination to resist the temptation.

fun times in the bathroom

Today walked into the bathroom at the office, and again with the cleaning Ayis that keep cleaning the bathrooms.

I’d just walked in so I was relatively safe, but whilst the Ayi was walking into the bathroom she yelled out her ‘anyone in here?’     but its not like she stopped to hear the answer first, she just continued walking in.  She apparently just doesn’t care anymore.  So by the time she finished the last word in the sentence she was already fully inside the bathroom.

What is the point of that?

If you’re going to do that, why not just shout ‘I’m here and I’m looking at your penis!’

Coincidental toilet cleaning

23 September 2015
It’s becoming more than just coincidence now, every time I decide to go to the bathroom at work, there is an Ayi cleaning it.

It’s the reason that I’ve decided to consistently use the cubicles instead of the urinals, because at any point in time the Ayi (阿姨) just come in and start cleaning the place.

Sometimes they shout something to which the equivalent meaning is, ‘is anyone using the urinals?’ and then they don’t really wait for an answer and just come in.

Anyway, I go in there in the morning… and the ayi is in there cleaning once again, but… cleaning the roof.
This is a bathroom, people don’t shit on the roof  People don’t throw shit onto the roof,  do they?

So I’m like…oh whatever, I’ll just go in a cubicle.  First cubicle I walk into, there’s a shit just sitting on the side of the squatter toilet, like just sitting there, not even in the bowl kind of thing, some guy shat on the tiles.  What?

Surely the cleaner should actually clean the things that are supposed to be cleaned first right?
If you need to clean the roof, ok, but do it after the toilets are clean.

It’s like those Ayis that come to your house to clean but you have to constantly watch them and guide them and tell them how to clean, despite the fact that this is their job remember, because otherwise they will start cleaning the doors or something, before they get to the kitchen.

They could be at your house for an hour and not have started on the bedroom, or the kitchen or the things that count.

In fact for that kind of situation, that’s the reason I don’t have an Ayi, well first my place is a bit shit. It’s really just for me, and nobody else should see it.
But its mainly because when I think about calling an ayi, and knowing that I have to be there, I start thinking the amount of time I have to spend for the lady to come to do a shit job…well I can just do it instead.  It’s really not about the money.
But in terms of advantages disadvantages paying for a person to waste my time and do a shit job whilst me getting thoroughly pissed off…mmm, no I’ll just to it myself.

Or… even better, perhaps it’s even easier to just convince myself that I enjoy living in filth.

what a view…

Toilets in China have long been a big topic for foreigners. … Although nobody, especially women, want to have detailed conversations about toilet conditions, because the fact that in China there are just such big extremes …this actually comes up a lot, and in much more detail than anybody would care for.

It is slowly changing…. Hooray!

But…. Depending on where you go…well squat toilets are usually the norm.

We’re talking about PUBLIC toilets here.  As in most apartments they will have proper sit down ones, and hotels… at least from my experience, they all have this.. Hostels, especially in the country side…not guaranteed, but anyway…

Sometimes you will enter a public toilet, … there will be no lights, and just 3-4 squat toilets all in a row…  all luckily facing the wall, and sometimes they will have little dividers so that you can’t see poo coming out of the person next to you..   awwww how considerate.

However there are NO doors.  So as soon as you walk in… you can see everyone squatting down taking a shit, in all the glory that this such process has.   FANTASTIC!

This isn’t even the worst of it, sometimes (country-side mainly, near petrol stations) there might just be a big trough … like a trench, where you must straddle it- one foot on either side, squat down and do your business.  Once every 10 minutes or something some water might flush through in an attempt to…well you know.  But the point is, is that you’re either staring at some Chinese trucker guy face to face, smoking a cigarette and puffing it in your face, or… you’re staring at his butthole as he’s pushing one out.   …Luxury!!

Oh and no toilet paper.
As Karl Pilkington said…. “I thought this was the place where they made the Ipod … I think I got the wrong place, because this ain’t a place you need an ipod, have a toilet roll first”

kaer toiletkaer panda

Ok so as well, the situation given means that public bathrooms are not shy affairs.

What is a contradiction to all of this… and which defies logic is that Chinese girls actually act very shy when it comes to all kinds of private matters, like sex, going ‘niao niao’ (literally a children’s word for peeing) that they use, because apparently it sounds cute, and all of this kind of stuff.

As a friend put it..    “If you’re going to act all shy about this kind of stuff, fine, but how about you put some fucking doors on the toilets, instead of being perfectly fine showing your pussy to the world?!?”


This particular one, I’m happy to say I have no pictures of.

Peeing or shitting in public.

Wow.  Yeah. That is a real thing that happens in China.

I don’t have pictures for this one, and if I did… it would be a pretty bad outlook for myself.

I once saw a grown woman at Beijing station just peeing in just outside the main corridor that leads inside.



I realise Chinese public toilets generally seem to be incredibly terrible.  But I think many of us have realised that Chinese people have got used to it.

So why this lady was just peeing in public …. I have no idea.

… perhaps these toilets were on a different level.

She didn’t even try to find a corner or something