Sunday, 21 October 2007

On China

Bob says: Chinese is such an indecipherable language that even ye chinese struggle. Certainly the beautiful yorkshire lilt does not lend itself to to the rather abrasive chinese pronunciations. Almost as difficult to work out is Chinglish, some of the best courtesey of our guide book are, 'Question Authority' 'Safety needing attention' 'Pay attention to civilisation' and the beautifully cryptic 'Please don't take the odds and ends put into the nightstool' meaning, obviously, don't stuff things down the toilet. My personal favourite(see above) was displayed all over Hua Shan mountain. Actually, whether this is chinglish or not could be debated, the views were exceptional up there and some sort of relief could be tempting to the most avid rambler?

Food, eating in china is a gastronomic experience not to be missed. A few beautiful peking ducks put paid to the Kyrgyz weight loss programme in a matter of days. Imagine the number of dishes available on ye average chinese takeaway menu and times by a thousand, throw in a few surprises, dog, frog, turtle and you have pretty much got it. What adds to the experience is the way the chinese eat, burp, slurp, drink soup, lick plates, smoke constantly, play drinking games and pretty much forget all the table manners yer mam taught yer. Brilliant! And if yer fancy hawking a globule, don't worry there's a bin next to the table to expend it (an old chinese proverb states 'Better out than in'). If yer table does not resemble a chimps tea party at the end then you've not done it right.

Ruth says: Just in case that wasn't all disgusting enough, and it it really is disgusting (we looked like the slowest, neatest eaters in China), there are a few other habits which are just gross. It took us a while to work out quite how the children were potty trained, as none of the babies wear nappies and they have trousers with huge splits in them from front to back. We soon witnessed exactly what was done, when a child on the bus needed the loo, their parents just held them out over the floor of the bus to wee. Lovely. This is also done on restaurant floors! When the child needs a poo, the parents very consideratley put newspaper down on the floor first. Nice!

The spitting is also at a level that i have never before witnessed. It really is hard to imagine how much people hawk and spit in China unless you have been there. It happens at least every 5 seconds, and everyone does it.

The last thing on my disgusting register is the toilets. They stink all over china,and the public toilets are just squatters with either no walls or just waist high walls between them, and definately no doors. All the better for chatting to your neighbour. They certainly take getting used to.

Bob says: The wife exagerates a bit. And as for the toilets, there are no cubicles to facilitate easy conversation, obvious!

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