OK. I did it again. I was using a squatty toilet in China
and forgot to empty my back pockets before emptying my, well…ya know…
This time, I only lost a Chinese ball point pen, which I had
not intentions of retrieving.
But then I started to think to the tune of the “What would you
do for a Klondike Bar”, what would I dive into a squatty for?
Here are various objects and my intentions to dive after
1 Mao (1.3 cents)
3 Mao (the price to use a public squatty)
10 RMB ($1.30)
A pack of gum
I’d leave in the
squatty but would regret it:
100 RMB ($13)
An old pair of Ray Bans (which I did last year)
A favorite fountain pen (it would give me
something to write about)
I’d might have to retrieve it:
My new cell phone (my old one would stay)
My Chinese Bank card (this would be easier to
retrieve from a squatty than from the bank)
Jeff said the only thing he’d dive into a squatty for would
be his wedding ring. I would want to know how that would end up in a squatty to
After examining my list, I have to ask: What you’d dive into a squatty for?
It’s Chun Jie in China, a two week new
year celebration where the entire country ignites firecrackers, bottle rockets and pyrotechnics
around the clock, leaving car alarms chirping
and dogs whimpering.
But the fireworks that occurred
yesterday didn’t happen in the sky. They were at the 137 bus stop.
Rewind before the explosive expletives
filled the air. I was waiting for the 137 on my way home from Kunming’s new
Carrefour, a French grocery chain where you can find Proctor and Gamble items, Oreo
cookies and chicken feet.
As I was waiting for the bus, a normal looking
Chinese leady started making conversation. By normal I mean, she wasn’t wearing
a Nordic Sweater with leopard tights and thigh high leather boots.
She was probably in her
sixties. I was delighted. It was my chance to practice my Chinese.
She asked me a few
“War Mar ma?” (Translation:
Did you shop at Wal-mart?)
“Mayo, Jolly-foo.” I
replied. (I shopped at Carrefour)
“Ni sure May Groy Ren?” (Are you American?)
“ Doi. Wo sure Jew Chi Aw Ga.”
(I’m from Chicago)
“Ni sure lousher?” (Are you
“Doi, wo sure lousher.”
Lousher, the word for teacher, is one of the few I understand.
We laughed and waited for the
137 mini bus. When our charriot arrived, we were the first in line.
But in typical Chinese fashion,
an elderly Chinese woman holding a toddler pushed her way in front of us,
getting first divs on the one remaining seat.
No big deal to me.
But the lady I had
Let the fireworks begin.
Once we were all crammed
onto the bus, she started yelling at the lady with the toddler.
It turned into a Chinese cat
They were spitting venomous
curses in Chinese, which I quickly learned,
“BUN tyen-shung duh ee-DWAY-RO!” Translation: You Stupid Inbred Stack of Meat!
and “Shiong mao niao” You!” You Motherless Goats of All Motherless Goats!
to be followed by “Gao yang jong duh goo yang!”, You
Explosive Diarrhea of an Elephant!
I wanted Captain Kirk to
beam me up and out of there, because the fight was about taking cuts in front
of the May Groy Ren Lousher, aka, me.
Everyone tried to stop them.
Then, the normal lady took up her hand to slap the lady who took cuts.
Other passengers intervened.
She put down her fist only
to remove her shoe.
The five minute bus trip
seemed to be as long as the flight from Kunming to Los Angeles.
We all got off at that last
stop, the Hu Pan Zhe Meng (Lake Side Dreams) residential complex.
The fight continued.
I wanted to blend into the
I walked with the lady who
defended me and she smiled. Dr. Fu Ling Jekyll was no longer Mr. Mu Ling Hyde.
Moral of the story?
“Rú guǒ nín xī wàng yī xiē zhēn zhèng
de zhōng guó de yān huābù yào děng dào chūn jié。Huò
dé le zài gōng gòng qì chē zhàn de zhēng chǎo zhōng.”
If you want some real Chinese fireworks, don’t wait for Chun Jie. Just wait
at the bus stop.
China manufactures most of the world’s everything, including
the world’s cutest babies. That’s why one of the first (and only) Chinese
phrases I have mastered is “hunker eye, meaning cute baby. Unless of course,
you say it to a dog in which it would mean, “Well behaved”.
Jeff and I were trying to figure out why Chinese babies are
so cute. Answer? They feel secure!
bond to their mother and keep in close contact to her, whether they are tied on
her back or strapped in a basket. They
feel safe and secure in a crowd…
Even when they have a bad hair cut.
But in America—what do we do with our precious babies? We place
them in strollers, in which these infants blaze through oncoming traffic without
their parents in site, who are sipping Starbucks behind them. Not only can’t
touch their parents—they can’t even see them! All they can view from stroller height
are wet noses of dogs, baggy jeans of teens and large McLegs rubbing together.
And we wonder why they all have Marty Feldman eyes.
If the Chinese manufacture baby strollers, they do not use
them. The handful I’ve seen in Kunming over the past 18 months were being
pushed by westerners.
In China, toddlers for the most part stay with their parents
at work. They spend their day playing hide and seek behind baskets of nuts…
guarding baskets of
gigantic bullfrogs from hungry dogs and giggling with friends next to their
Or, they figure out how to amuse themselves using more than their thumbs and a WiFi connection.
Whatever the reason Chinese babies are happy, they make me
There’s an old adage “You are what you eat”. If that is
true, Jeff and I are weirder than ever.
Take for instance, this oversized grapefruit. Actually, it’s
called a pomelo. Since there is also another saying, “never eat anything bigger
than your head or anything you could birth”, you really shouldn’t eat this. But a
pomelo is sweeter than a grapefruit with not bitter aftertaste. The skin is so
thick, that the fruit vendors offer to peel them for you before purchase.
Then there’s this “Horton Hears a Who” ball. You don’t need an exfoliating cream to
remove the red fuzz. Just peel and you’ll
find a sweet squishy fruit inside.
In Bangkok, there are not only cross dressing prostitutes on
Nana Street, but cross dressing fruit. This granny smith apple is really a
Check out these red delicious apples. Looks like someone let
the air out of them.
There is also this carved oddyessy. Do you eat it, drink it, or spin it?
In Kunming, you can get ostrich from the local butcher. It looks like Fred
And what do you serve the toes with?My guess is, a big
bowl of chicken finger dipping sauce.
How about a different appendage for an appetizer: alien fingers!
And of course, you can always get Pig face. Unfortunately, I
can’t find any Pig Face Helper.