Tuesday, April 17, 2007

China Part 2: Shanghai-Jiangnan Toilets...

Since Ash wanted me to talk about China toilets...The 100th post and I have to talk about toilets...Sheesh.

Some of you might remember the pictures of Singapore toilets I posted up some time ago. This time, I will spare you guys the agony of looking at pictures of China toilets.
Ok. Truthfully...I didn't take any. That's because, taking pictures in their toilets was the last thing on my mind. My first time experiencing cultural shock happened on the very first day itself. Fortunately, it didn't happen at the airport washroom where all of us were crowding around the three sinks to perform our daily morning ritual. Instead, it happened at a nice clean public toilet (entrance fee needed) located at a popular shopping area called Cheng Huang Miao in Shanghai.

I was waiting for my mom in the big spacious washroom, when this lady in her late thirties or forties(it's difficult to estimate their age based on their looks) entered an empty cubicle, squat down facing outside and peed! How did I know that she did all that? That's because she didn't close the damn bloody door! China isn't like last time anymore, they DO have cubicles with doors now, though some don't seem to know how to use it or appreciate the doors. My eyes widened and jaw slacked, I quickly looked away to give her the privacy she doesn't think she needs.

WHICH reminds me of what our Wuxi tour guide (we have 5 tour guides in total) told us. He said there were two things Malaysian tourists used to ask him when they first came to China.

1. Where's the toilet.
2. Where's the umbrella.

I was wondering why would they ask for the umbrella? Apparently, the umbrella was used as a makeshift cubicle door. Hah. Should have seen that.

Anyway, back to the story, I told my mom about that incident and she told me that when I was doing my business, BEHIND CLOSED DOOR, another lady did the same thing and got told off by the washroom cleaner. -_-|||

About their toilet doors. Some doors are SHORT. Some cubicle walls are SHORT. All I have to do is stand up tall and look over the cubicle and I'll be able to see the person next door. There was even this cubicle which half the door and cubicle wall had MATT GLASS. This means that everyone can see all your movements in the cubicle. Fortunately, they had the brains to cover the bottom half with wood. However, this made me use the toilet as fast as possible (maybe this was what they were trying to achieve).

China people are strong *nodsnods* Because, some toilet cubicles had their doors torn off. Maybe they didn't like using the doors. Some locks were missing. It's not like our toilets here are in excellent condition either...but I haven't seen one with the door torn off.

The most hated toilet that I have used there is the one which had a long drain and uh, all cubicles share that one drain and the only available flush is in the first cubicle. The first time I used it was kind of amusing
I opened the door and went "Mom, this isn't a toilet, there's nothing there." Of course I knew we were supposed to, er, use the drain, but...I can always hope that the toilet bowl will suddenly appear right? Because...doing your BIG business there...urgh, I've just lost my appetite. Oh yeah, they don't have sanitary disposal bins either. Everything's exposed for you to see. Draculas would probably like that, seeing all those red blood.


We'll talk about nicer stuffs now. My first morning at Shanghai. I certainly wasn't used to the cold, because when I sat down for breakfast in a HEATED room, my teeth started chattering. My mom pulled out a sweater for me to wear underneath my trenchcoat. Three layers in a room with heater...amazing. After drinking warm Milo (I had milo and coffee packets with me) and eating warm breakfast, I was alright. This is the picture I took after my breakfast:

This was taken near Shanghai Bund, where buildings here looked "London-ish". The air is pretty bad there. Worse than Malaysia. The Pearl Tower is actually in the background.

The pictures below are taken at Cheng Huang Miao. You can see the difference between the above picture and the ones below. The place below looks like ancient China.

As you can see, lots of renovation work was going on. Probably preparing for the Olympics or the World Expo in 2010.

Regarding the designs of their roofs. Chinese people used to travel by boat a lot last time, so the upturned roofs resemble boats floating in the right position. If the tips of the roof point downwards, it means that the boat has overturned, therefore, that is not a good thing at all.

Most people go to China thinking that they will be able to obtain "cheap stuffs" there. They'll be disappointed. Shanghai at least, is expensive. I ended up buying nothing from that place. I told Jyrenze that I'll be getting her her "wired-name", prob a wire twisted into your chinese name, but I failed to find the shop. However, when I was leaving, I saw the shop -_-|||. I'm sorry Jyrenze...T_T

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At 11:27 AM, Blogger Jyrenze said...

Haha, I wonder if they would even be able to twist the wire inthe shape of my complicated chinese name. They might even charge extra.
Chinas toilets must be like those that appear in my dreams sometimes when in reality I need to pee but I'm still asleep, where people can see you if they tried.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Eng said...

China stuff isn't as cheap as they used to, esp. in a city like Shang Hai. If you go to a less developed city, things might be a little cheaper than M'sia, maybe by a dollar or 2... which doesn't make much difference.

That was why I didn't buy anything when I was there. It's not worth doing the carrying around just to save a few sens.

At 1:33 PM, Blogger ashes said...

my my..im seriously gonna hav a big problem doing my stuff if im there.
i even had problem using the toilet in the plane coz i couldnt concerntrate on wat im supposed to do..i keep thinking of the moving plane..the slightly shaking floor..n the 3 flight attendants(ladies) who were standing RIGHT OUTSIDE the door(plane toilets are really small..just nice for 1 person to stand in).
I keep thinking tat the flight attendants are standing BESIDE me!!


in the end i didnt managed to do it..rushed to the airport toilet instead..:(

and im gonna hav serious problem doing it in China coz there is NO DOOR..i dont hav to imagine the person is beside me..im gonna SEE them..

i guess i will just hav to close my eyes and do it..:P

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Jyrenze said...

Poor ash, I think u would be seriously constipated if you ever had to make a trip to china

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Eng said...

but as long as you're in a more modern and developped area, you'll be ok. it's not as bad as it used to, though, still bad.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger ashes said...

haha..well i guess big job is sometimes uncontrollable la..we can just do it anywhere anytime...:P

i remember i once had a bad stomach ache in india..n the car driver stopped at some jungle n asked me to do it in there..
i walked in..n came out..
i couldnt do it..so scary the jungle man..dunno wat all insects gonna bite my protected areas..

i told him to drive abit further since i can still wait..and we finally found a toilet..:D

a ladies toilet...:P...shhhhhh

At 6:54 PM, Blogger Darke Shard said...

HAHAHAHA, hilarious! I'll be sure that if I go to China, I'll bring a portable toilet and a spare door.

And, hey, Steffi, you look really cute in that trenchcoat. :D

At 11:13 PM, Blogger Eng said...

ya know Ash, for a guy, I find that you're quite picky...

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Steffi the Numbnut said...

Jyrenze: I don't think they'll charge extra..

Ash: Like an ostrich burying your head. When I was in the plane's toilet, there was air turbulence. If I had bent down a little while standing up, I would have whalloped my head against the door.

Darke: Don't forget the gas mask.

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Darke Shard said...

Why the gas mask? You don't smell that bad, my dear. ^^



(Just kidding, please don't hurt me.)

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Steffi the Numbnut said...

Steffi:...DIE YOU!

At 10:17 AM, Blogger YSLim said...

luckily u went to Shang Hai,
the toilet still fine (i guess),

if you go to less developed city,
you will know how lucky u r!


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