Beijing Travel Blog› entry 30 of 45 › view all entries
Be warned. This
entry is not so much a "blog" as it is a diatribe. A rant.
I am cranky. I am growing quite tired of
Do you remember how I said it was "foggy" on the first day I arrived? Well, it ain't fog - it's smog. Pollution hangs over this city every single day, it seems.
When not raining, it is so-o-o-o hot. You really need at least 2-3 showers each day, just to keep from reeking. The smoke and dust clog your throat and make it hard to breathe at times. I've actually had a bad respiratory infection for the past week or so, and I'm finding it hard to get rid of it.
Snot rockets and loogie-launching
But walking in
But equally disgusting is the apparently-popular Chinese pastime of "loogie launching.
Please... don't take a seat
Since I'm being disgusting, let me get into the toilet topic. Specifically, the Asian "Squat Toilet." Okay... I DO understand that the "western toilet" may seem equally disgusting to our Asian friends (I mean, touching your bum to something that was just warmed by someone else may not, in fact, be the most sanitary idea). But frankly, I simply cannot master the idea of squatting while "doing your business." Being able to aim properly - while maintaining your balance with your pants down around your ankles and avoiding the puddles around you - takes a feat of gymnastic ability that I doubt even the Chinese Acrobats possess! To make matters worse, it tends to be a "communal activity." Short walls allow for your neighbor to watch and giggle from his stall next door, or even try to start a conversation! At least there should be a door on the front to let us retain what little dignity we Westerners have left during this experience!
And then there's the habit of urinating in public, as well. At least 10 times so far, I have seen men simply whip it out and empty their bladders in the middle of the city: a subway tunnel; the side of a building; even around the corner from a sign that said "toilets."
So, yeah, I'm a little pissed off. But I guess that's better than being pissed on, right?
A sad posting today. My coughing has gotten considerably worse. In fact, many Chinese look at me terrified when I start my whooping cough - as if I might give them SARS, or something. I just can't seem to get rid of it - and the oppressive heat, pollution, omni-present cigarette smokers, etc, certainly isn't helping.
Thus, I am fairly certain that I'll be looking to end my 'round-the-world journey sooner than later. I'm about halfway through my planned 3-month trek, but I just don't think I'll have the energy to go the distance.
And - on a lighter note:
I finally found an English-speaking travel agent who could help me arrange travel out of
But the agent also helped me discover my "inner Chinese" heritage, and deduced that my actual name in Chinese was "Long Fei." This means "Flying Dragon" - a rather apt name given my temper of late, don't you agree?