Thursday, December 14, 2006

toilets--issues in chinese modernity--dying flying birds

I have observed an important issue in modern China: male university students are incapable of taking shits anywhere other than in public buildings and, specifically, my teaching building. I'm not sure why this is. I think it must be that aspect of Chinese culture that makes everyone want to do things in groups. Eight in the morning is the "group shit time" just like how eight o'clock at night is the "group walk around aimlessly time." Naturally I prefer the latter over the former and even, at times, take part in it. Except I like to walk around aimlessly and buy lamb sticks and then also eat them.

Whether or not this group shitting is a reflection of greater conflicts or changes in Chinese society I can't be certain. First of all, the holes in this particular bathroom are porcelain. Obviously porcelain shows us just how far China has moved along since the days of pure dirt holes and the even more recent concrete holes. Therefore, does the group shitting represent a kind of flocking towards westernization and modernity? Would these kids be doing this if there wasn't something shiny and modern beneath their rears? Moreover, do peasants ever shit in porcelain? If not, how does it make them feel knowing that rich kids do? These are all hard to questions to answer, so I won't bother trying.

So, Bob, you may be wondering (however, for future reference, keep in mind that my name is not Bob), what are the local atmospheric effects of this group activity? Well, I must say, not good. The first effect is to ensure that people with weak stomachs cannot walk within twenty meters of the bathrooms without collapsing in a vomiting heap upon the ground. The second is that any small animal (generally lighter than fifteen pounds) within a ten foot radius of the rooms is killed almost instantaneously. Birds flying by the open windows of the bathrooms have been known to die instantly in mid-flight and then plummet at dangerously high speeds down to the ground, sometimes taking out the dainty Chinese girls in their path.

Clearly, this is one of those issues in modern China that needs to be considered closely and may snowball into something truly significant in the future. It touches on a number of pressing issues in Chinese society, such as: the environment, overpopulation, the gap between rich and poor, dying flying birds, and, of course, the eternal question: dainty Chinese girls--why are they so cute?

Please send me money.

Thank you.



Anonymous Chris said...

if you're buying lamb sticks while you're walking around, then you aren't really walking aimlessly are you? no, you are not.

11:08 AM  
Blogger KMM said...

I hate you, Chris.

7:45 PM  
Blogger MF said...

Ha! The female students at my school all seem to want to pee at the same time. Unfortunately, it's at the same time I want to. Plus, there's the fact that the girls live in dormitories, so they've all synched up, menstrually. In fact, from like the 1-7th of each month is period time in Shanghai. You can't even imagine! That's another reason why you see so many fights at certain times in the summer in here -- all the women are hot, sweaty, and have PMS at the same time.

11:07 PM  
Blogger KMM said...

Synchronized menstruation frightens me.

11:31 PM  

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