Sunday, June 8, 2008

A "Hole" New World

I'll admit, I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to adjust to the differences in Chinese life. I didn't know how I would like the food, the hard beds, or the lack of clean tap water. But I quickly learned that I could easily adjust to all of these things. The one thing that I just could not get used to, was the toilet situation. I mean you can't even call that thing a toilet. It is a hole, with a foot lever. Each night before I went to sleep, I sat up in bed and had a one hour brainstorming session. I tried coming up with any reason for chosing to create holes instead of toilets. After hours upon hours of exploring every possible cause for this, I came to two conclusions. First, and most obvious, is that it probably saves money. Nowadays, you're looking at $100 for a toilet. A well dug hole on the other hand might cost $2.50 when labor and equipment are added up. But there is more to it than money. The reason the Chinese love their holes is simple. The ancient tradition of squatting everywhere, as opposed to sitting or standing, lends itself nicely to holes. Think about it. Everywhere we went we saw people squatting instead of, sitting (which is needed for a toilet) or standing (which is pretty much a requirement for using a urinal). I am now searching for the answer to what is clearly the next question in this giant mystery: Where did squatting originate? And why is it still being used today? I am currently investigating many possible answers to this question, and I'll be sure to let everyone know once I get to the bottom of this. But one thing is certain. I will leave no rock unturned, no hole unexplored in my search for enlightenment on this issue.

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