Spitting and Nipples
Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
123Trip End Ongoing
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Everything Vinny says about Beijing is true....
All I can add is that I went off to watch some Kung Fu after spending the day being ill while everyone was off marching up a secret wall of some greatness. I was accompanied by Kate the Australian, and it was a toss up between Kung Fu and Chinese Opera... I won.
Although they decided to make a musical of the Kung Fu Buddhism story, which is all fine and dandy but involved one or two too many ribbons and dance routines for my liking. Then they redeemed themselves by artistically working into their sensitive story a guy breaking blocks with his head. The finale was a struggle of conscience for our young hero, torn before the physical and the spiritual. Fortunately he settled it by laying on some swords, balancing a double sided bed of nails on his chest, another bloke on top of that and a paving slab on top of him - and then being hit with a sledgehammer.... If only more spiritual struggles were settled so responsibly.
Also, two other observations worth noting.
Firstly, the spitting. People talk about the spitting in China, that it is a cultural thing in the same way mugging the elderly is in England. But they don't quite prepare you for the reality. Everybody spits all the time. And we're not just talking about a chav marking his territory. We're talking hacking up for several minutes, projecting from the diaphragm and really letting rip. Seriously - it's hard to resist the temptation to cheer the best efforts. The net result however is that the floor everywhere is covered with slimy splats of spit. Makes walking more fun.
Secondly a note on fashion...
The discerning Chinaman about the town cares not for this season's summer selection from Paris. For him, pastel colours are out. As are vest tops, sunglasses and caps.
The Chinese gentry instead adopt a 'freestyle' approach to wearing their t-shirts. To do this they roll their t-shirt up to above their belly, and wander around 'airing' the big fella. The more rotund fellow can support his t-shirt with his belly - these men are held in high regard across the land. Other less fortunate in the girth department are left with two choices - they may support their t-shirt under their arms or, to really make their mark in polite society, they can hook it over their nipples.
It is only a matter of time before this fashion takes the western world by storm. Just remember - you heard it here first.