Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This week in Xining: Number 1, Number 2 or Number Barf?

- You know that you're in a cold and stinky bathroom when, once your pee hits the urinal, the steam rising up gives off a smell that provides temporary relief from the rankness of the rest of the room.

- With the temperatures on the rise, it was nice to go outside the other day and pretend that Spring is coming, and then, when I peaked my head out the window the following day, it was nice that I pulled it back inside just before it had a chance to freeze off and drop 10 floors down onto someone's Volkswagen.

- If anyone remembers the story about the Grass Police, I ran into him again.  If you forget the story, here's the applicable part:

Exhibit B
Today we had a little picnic in the grass behind our building. We had about 8 adults and 6 kids there. We had blankets spread on the grass and were trying to enjoy ourselves before a storm rolled in overhead. 
A few local people, as they usually do, stopped to admire the kids and guess what kinds of strange foreign foods we were eating.  After a while, one of the neighbors came up to us. He might have been in his 50's and he was out walking his dog. He went out of his way to tell us how rude we were being for having a picnic. That we were making a mess and that it was very rude. That we should not be on the grass wasn't really the point, as he said that it is fine that the kids play on the grass but that to have food on the grass is very rude and inconsiderate to the rest of the people who used the yard.

Time out. 

First of all, there is not a lot of grass in this country. When someone plants grass they usually put up a cute little sign which translates into "We are tiny blades of grass, please don't hurt us". What they really mean is "stay the %@#* off the grass!". So, as it goes, there are little patches of grass in a lot of areas in this city that just sit there. The only thing you will ever see on a patch of grass are dozens of piles of dog crap. I joke that the grass is only for looking at and for dogs to crap on. So, when we went to picnic, and knew that there were not any signs prohibiting going on the grass, that the kids could play on the grass, that dogs could use it as a bathroom, we figured in our ignorance that it would be okay to enjoy what little piece of grass we could find that had yet to be defiled. 

Anyways, it got a little weird. The guy asked where Dustin was from. He said America. The man asked if we would do something like this in America. He actually asked if we would have a picnic in America. Dustin said "of course" and the man laughed in disbelief. "Bu Ke Neng!" he laughed. "There is no way!". 

Anyways, we packed up and got out of there. We were basically done eating anyways and it was starting to get colder out.

The other day, I saw Mr. Grass Police walking his dog.  While a ways off, I saw his dog crap on the sidewalk.  Then, when I passed them, the dog crapped all over the edge of the road one more time.  He might have been sick.

The 2 prominent things to see on the road these days are piles of dog poop and piles of human barf.

These days, the city is buzzing with parties.  I mean, the local store is sold out of the good yogurt, so you know people are having a good time.  A lot of people find themselves over eating and over drinking.  I guess the taxis have been busy pulling over and the people have been busy tossing their over eats onto the street.  At least it's cold enough that the piles are left as just frozen splotches of color.  Kind of artistic, in a way.

Anyways, I think that Mr. Grass Police needs a lesson on training his dog not to poop all over the community.  It's at least comparable to eating a chicken wing on grass, right?  No matter the culture?  Maybe even a little grosser?  I've done everything to hold my tongue, and besides, there are a million other perpetrators.  If he calls me out for any more grass violations in the future, at least I have some ammo.

1 comment:

Lois said...

Wow ... what an incredibly 'foreign' culture to ours in Canada, eh?! (!) When we were with you at the People's Park I was kind of surprised to see all the people out on that beautiful day just enjoying the sunshine and being together with thousands of others! No grass there, though ... Maybe their idea of a picnic is to eat squatting on the concrete ... Love you!