Sunday, December 10, 2006

mysterious liquids--absorption of said liquids--i like tangerines

At any construction site in Chengdu you can see these ubiquitous clusters of buildings that look like giant erector-set projects. They have thin white walls with blue frames and they are always set up just before proper construction begins. On their sides is written "活动房," which, I guess, you could quite literally translate as "activity house." These buildings are, in fact, temporary homes for the migrant workers who are the grunt force in China's extraordinary development. By "China's extraordinary development" I mean the construction of lots of concrete things. There are a number of these buildings that I pass by on my way to work. Through the windows you can see dormitories with bunk beds. Hanging outside all the windows are clotheslines filled with men's clothes and, specifically, their underwear. Evidently these guys like washing their underwear. I am sure their crotches are thankful.

Anyway, I was walking by these buildings tonight when all of a sudden some mysterious liquid splashed down in front of me. The liquid just missed me except for a little bit that splashed up on my pants. It was obvious that it had been tossed out one of the activity house's windows. Of course, once I overcame the shock of the situation, I looked up at all of the windows with my ready-to-fight face. That way whoever threw the liquid would know I was ready to fight for my foreigner honor (note: I do not, in fact, have any sort of foreigner honor. Actually, if I had made eye contact with the aggressive defenestrator I probably would have pissed my pants. That, at least, would not have been a very mysterious liquid in my pants, and I could catologue it with the known things that they have absorbed.)

All in all this is truly exciting. How many mystery liquids do you have absorbed in your pants? I'm up to at least five. Plus, I'm living in China, so the count should at least double in the coming months.



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