Saturday, October 24, 2009
Rather than introducing fines like Hong Kong or pushing public campaigns against spitting as has been done in Shanghai, the clumsily named ***** Municipal National Hygiene City Establishment Task Force (昆明市创建国家卫生城市指挥部) has chosen to distribute millions of small green bags that would-be street hockers can fill with their phlegm.
Each day, the municipal government will distribute 116,000 of the free antibacterial bags, which it refers to as "environmentally friendly phlegm bags" (环保口痰袋) as well as "dragon saliva bags" (龙涎袋).
At yesterday's press conference announcing the beginning of the new anti-loogie drive, Olympic torchbearer Yang Guixi (杨贵喜) read aloud the philosophy behind the campaign:
Getting rid of the bad habit of public spitting is actually not difficult: a tiny piece of tissue, an environmentally friendly phlegm bag, this can make us have a healthy way of behaving and an atmosphere of civilized living. Actually, the bitter lesson of SARS has already told us, each and every one of us can become the bodyguard of the dignity of human lives, all that is needed is for us to spread the word and come together and we will definitely be able to eliminate bad habits!
These are some of the important issues facing many Chinese cities trying improve their international image. I thought you might find them quite interesting. I find them useful on days when I really need a laugh.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
You know those days, where nothing seems to go right no matter what you do. Yeah, it was like that. I had a strange dream that I was running football plays (American football) and woke up at 5 am and couldn’t go back to sleep. No one was on Skype so I wrote a little and tried to lay down. I got back up with Frank but was in a horrible mood and exhausted. Today we had to register with the police, which meant getting pictures taken first, then copies made of our papers and then finding the police station. Frank wanted to get the photos done in the morning before class which was fine, except I didn’t have my bike and he did. We had to leave at separate times which we didn’t and I missed my bus. I grabbed the next one that came by thinking it would pull into the main terminal and I could transfer. Nope, it went left! Time was slipping past as I raced back the way I came and hailed a cab, more expensive, but worth its weight in a little stress relief. I had him drop me off at my bike. As I got out, it started pouring down rain. Guess who forgot their umbrella? Yep, one of those days. I found my bike but it was locked to a friend’s with his lock. After sorting that out, I found Frank at the photo shop and ran in to get mine done. “You can’t wear your hat, it’s impossible.” I was told. Guess who didn’t comb their hair, only jammed it in a ponytail and under a hat? Yep, one of Those days. The woman charged us too much, but I didn’t have the fire in me to argue. We made it to school on time where we had the hardest grammar lesson yet, with sentences like: The children who brush their teeth come to my house every week. After class we picked up an air mattress and I carried it on the back of my bike, the junk bike, all the way home and met Frank to look for the police station. That actually went really smoothly. Then we headed for lunch, since we had missed breakfast and would miss dinner as well. We tried a new place and ended up paying more than twice what we normally do, again with no solution, we paid it. When we got home, I discovered that one of our goldfish had died. Ein Eugig, the one eyed goldfish with the fan tail. He was one of the original four who had survived who knows how long in a black, algae infested tank before we got the place. I had assumed he drew the short straw when food ran out, hence the one eye. Guess he couldn’t take the cleanness. Frank hummed Taps and flushed him. We left for a party with some friends and I took a shortcut from Frank’s shortcut. At the end of the road, I came off my bike for the first time. I was stopped, but the wheels went in opposite directions and I hit my sternum on some part of the frame. I fell right beside a policeman, who never budged from his post. The taxi driver on the other side of the street enjoyed the show too. When an old man started speaking to me, I thought he wanted money. It took a minute for me to realize he was actually asking if I was ok. He touched my elbow and asked if I was hurt and told me to be more careful. I was so shocked that I almost forgot to say thank you. No one helps each other here. No one! You might get accused of something, or sued. Unfortunately, my bike was not broken and I had to get back on and make my way. The party was the only thing that went right. I felt much better after being with my friends, listening to them, and laughing with them. I made it home ok too and soaked in the tub. Frank made us popcorn and now I sit telling you everything.
You know those days where the sun shines all day and everything you do turns to gold? You are riding cloud nine and nothing can bring you down? Maybe, tomorrow will be one of THOSE days!
“The sun’ll come out, tomorrow, so you gotta hang in till tomorrow…there’ll be sun.”-Annie