I haven't been taking a lot of pictures lately, and so it's a great thing that a sweet (non-State) girlfriend of mine has. Because even when my life is upside down and backwards, and even when my husband isn't being paneled for an onward assignment after almost a year of bidding, and even when all of our family's plans are totally up in the air... China is still here.
Being all China.
Behold! The land where dogs don't even need leashes!
You're going to think I'm making this up, but I'm not.
Here in China, the dogs are so well behaved that they walk where they're supposed to, when they're supposed to, exactly how they're supposed to. They follow after their masters, who walk on ahead as though the pet dog literally isn't trotting behind them - as though the owner doesn't even have to glance back to make sure that said pet dog is behaving itself. Because it is. ALWAYS.
After living all of my life in America (and after being a dog owner many times over), this phenomenon is AMAZING to me. Utterly amazing. Because in America, the dogs all have to be on leashes (or behind fences) or they would kill each other or other human beings or would end up darting out into an intersection after a squirrel and would get smooshed in traffic or whatever. But here in China, the dogs are just as well behaved as the people. No leashes. No fences. Yet such order.
I can't help but wonder - are Chinese dogs BORN this way? Or are they magnificently trained somehow? If so - how the hell do you train them to be like this?
And speaking of dogs and traffic - it's the opposite of the States. In the States, drivers will brake for people, but animals will often end up as roadkill. Here in China? If a dog decides to cross the street (often all by itself, if it's a neighborhood dog that is obviously Big Stuff in that area) the traffic will stop - even on a six lane, heavily-traveled street - and let it pass by and do its thing. Even just a teensy little poofy dog will stop all kinds of traffic in order to go sniff the other side of the road. But a human being? Oh, hell no - they will MOW YO AZZ *DOWN* and not think twice about it.
Let's see, what else...
Oh, yes. Fixing electrical wiring. While balancing on a bamboo ladder that has its rungs tied together with smallish pieces of rope. While weaving the wiring around in the huge clump of other wires. WITH YOUR BARE HANDS. While people walk around underneath like you aren't even doing anything right above them.
Or how about:
My friend had the HARDEST time trying to figure out which brown sugar she should buy at the high-end expat grocery store near the Consulate (at Treat - if anyone cares - in the Raffles Mall). You know, since she wanted to be able to go home and use the brown sugar to make cookies.
What do you think, you guys? Does the "Old Brown Sugar" (at least it's honest?) sound better, or does the "Donkey-Hide Gelatine Brown Sugar" (God help us if that translation is a good one) sound better?
And - last but not least - POP QUIZ, YOU GUYS!!!
Okay, so - you look at that picture and you tell me, y'all. Which container (the blue or the green?) is for recyclables, and which one (the blue or the green?) is for normal trash? The correct answer may surprise you.
[Hint: It's different than in America. SHOCKER.]