A "better" Chinese bathroom....

It teaches the proper horse stance. Or else. Which leads me to a very important survival rule. Don't eat the little red and green things. Or, more basically, watch what you eat, and where. Access to a real bathroom, water or no water, is highly desirable.



Bathrooms here mean different things to different people. At least he's doing it near the garbage container.


Some restaurants are like the outdoor ones, but with a small wall and roof over it. These restaurants are not much larger than my bathroom back at home. And what makes them more fascinating, is that the owners live in them. A "bed" can usually be seen somewhere in most restaurants.


He became my little buddy. He really didn't care much for Yong or some of the other Chinese, but he absolutely loved me. He would come and practice gong fu in the mornings with me. I would kick, and he would gnaw at my toes. I sure do hope the woman that owns him doesn't like hong shar dog gie


As evening started to wear on, major changes occurred in the village. People would start bringing straw mats out to the sidewalks, and sometimes parts of the streets, in order to prepare their sleeping area for the night. The nights tend to be cooler in the summer, and many people just slept outside. I noticed a lot of students doing that also. Restaurants start moving their tables outside so people can eat outside. Televisions, which is a bit of a rarity here, are brought outside along with the (thankfully rare) karaoke equipment. Evening time is the time when people come out to socialize, to eat, and to sing. They wanted me to sing the karaoke stuff one night, but fortunately, I couldn't recognize any of the Chinese characters. The karaoke songs are all the same, just like all the Chinese movies. Guy meets girl, guy falls in love with girl, girl already has boyfriend, boyfriend beats the shit out of the guy, the girl feels badly, kisses the guy, and leaves him. Guy sits by the side of a lake and thinks sad thoughts. No wonder why the other option, gong fu movies, are so popular. In those, guy meets girl, guy beats up girl, guy beats up boyfriend, and then sits at side of lake thinking what a bad ass he is. I like those better too.


This was our favorite restaurant. They did the Tang ban hong sher shie, or something like that, really well. (Don't feel bad, the waitress didn't understand me either). In English, that's tomatoes with sugar. They peel the tomatoes, slice them, and then pour sugar all over them. Yumm. Great stuff. There's a reason why they peel the tomatoes.... At least, the "better" restaurants. You see, I discovered what they do with all the refuse from the Chinese toilets. Almost kind of like a Soylent Green solution. They pick up all the rotting stool from the pit outside the Chinese outdoor toilets in buckets, and then, with large ladles, scoop it up and put it at the base of each plant in their little farming areas. Life is one big circle, and they really know how to maintain the cycle. Problem is, disease spreads rapidly from one person to an entire village in this fashion, so the peeling of vegetables, or the thorough cooking of them, is paramount. Which leads us to a really important survival rule. Don't eat uncooked vegetables, and don't eat the exterior of fruits. Or else you'll end up contributing to the "cycle" for many days... And don't eat at restaurants that have large funny looking ladles hanging on their kitchen walls.


The kitchen of our favorite restaurant. Actually, a cleaner kitchen than most. Absent are the rats and other furry creatures that you occasionally see in these areas. All mostly basically the same, they have a coal driven fire upon which rests a large wok or two. Food is largely kept in an unrefrigerated state, and the vegetables tend to be fresh, bought from local farmers on an almost daily basis. Note, there are no funny looking large ladles hanging on the wall. A good restaurant.