Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ancient Chinglish Wisdom

In other words, don't litter. Or don't set the place on fire.

This is my all time favorite. Translation: instructions on how to pee in a Chinese toilet.

For those of you not yet acquainted with the ways of the Chinese, they eschew our sitting toilets for latrines. As far as I could tell, there are 3 kinds of latrines in China.
1. Seldom seen spiffy ones, shiny and clean. These may actually make you into a latrine convert. You just squat, without touching any surfaces and then you flush, just like any other toilet. Seems quite hygienic and easy.
2. Not so squeaky clean, smelly of ammonia and festering human refuse but tolerable, usually found in most public places like department stores or restaurants.
3. Unspeakably foul, unforgettable miasmas of shit not even Dante could have dreamed of. I ran into one (or rather ran away from one at supersonic speed) at the holy mountain of Taishan. I have a pretty strong constitution when it comes to grossout stuff but this one latrine is forever lodged in my olfactory memory as the foulest place I've ever seen or smelled, gag reflex and all.

This wall in Beijing was rather puzzling, for the patterns inside the vases depict naked women. Could this be a sign for a porn store?

At the Yellow River: Monument to the Laptop. Carved in stone. Words escape me.

All is well and good. But why is this sign displayed in the lobby of a hotel? We entertained ourselves a good while trying to discern the logic of this. It shall remain a mystery.

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