This post is generally gross and revolting. S. and me had countless experiences, which left us in shock and disgust. And these food markets were quite something…
I feel like there’s nothing we haven’t seen in China. Kids peeing and pooing in public, a puddle of blood on the bus, a vomiting women carrying her child and the constant horrible noise of what sounds like people spitting their hearts out… After a full minute of hocking up, you learn to anticipate the spit. And then the snot is launched onto the pavement. The spitting in public really was a phenomenon for me. Most of these things we would call mannerless in the West, but in a way is part of Chinese culture – and also a huge part of the cultural experience for a tourist in China. Only when you hear someone choke on their own snot, you know that you’re fully embracing this country when visiting pagodas. Eventually you’ll find it amusing.
I read in the NYTimes that Sun Yat-sen, the revolutionary leader and first president of the Chinese republic said in a 1924 speech that “the Chinese pick their nose, grow long fingernails and are unrestrained”. And “even though we have great knowledge in self-cultivation, managing our families and ruling our country, when foreigners see these they think us very barbaric.” (Didi Kirsten Tatlow)
Okay, enough now. As I said, I don’t know whether I liked China or not – it’s not full of friendly people, bright colors and pretty beaches, which is what most Westeners come to Asia for (plus the cheap hotels and Fullmoon Parties) – but that’s something that made it even more fascinating to me.