I haven’t updated Tumblr in a while. Well, now I’m in China, specifically Chongqing, more specifically Tongliang, and life is very different here from America. When I showed pictures of this town to a friend he said that everything looked so foreign, yet so familiar. I found that that was a perfect description of everything around me. I’m in a relatively small town, although it doesn’t feel so small because of the buildings all around me full of insurmountable amounts of people.
The streets are full of people and taking a walk around this town is an adventure in and of itself. I have seen many things here that I never thought I would see, and even if I thought I would one day see something like this, I surely didn’t think it would be accepted by the vast populous.
One thing is the spitting! Chinese people spit, and sometimes it’s so loud that I can hear it clearly from my apartment (I live on the 14th floor of an apartment building). Chongqing is known for being hot during the summer…and I mean, hot! One way that men in Tongliang conquer this heat is by rolling their shirts up so that their stomach is exposed. It’s amusing because in my observations I find that some men do it because it’s hot, but also because they want people to see that their head honcho. Usually these men have beer bellies too!
Another thing has to do with the children. When I am walking around town I will sometimes see shit or piss on the sidewalk. Normally I would assume it’s a dog’s, maybe another animal…maybe. However, in Tongliang I assume it’s a baby’s. I have seen babies shitting and pissing on the sidewalk on many occasions in the short amount of time that I’ve been here.
I have talked to my friend about this (she’s Chinese), and she told me that many of these quirks are done by uneducated people. She wasn’t ridiculing the people who do these things by saying that they were uneducated either, she was just saying that as a matter of fact (even though she finds the exposed stomachs to be repulsive).
The driving in China is on a whole other level from the driving in America. Drivers will drive on the wrong side of the road, on the shoulder, and on the sidewalk. This is coupled with a constant honking of horns, which can be heard first thing in the morning from my apartment (I consider it to be my alarm clock). If you’re not used to crazy drivers then driving with one of these taxi drivers could be a real trip.
I miss certain things, and in a way I do miss home, if not for certain luxuries (heated buildings, western toilets, a car in which to driver whenever), then certainly for being surrounded by my friends and family.