Squat or not? Flush the paper or tossed in the circular file? Is this latrine for a number one only or a number two zone?
Rules regarding Waste Management are as vast in China as there are possible causes for a dash to the can. Or as they say in Chinese, “cèsuǒ zài nǎli” (where is the toilet)?
But what about the times in China when you dash to the can but uh…can’t? Your kids don’t want to be dropped off at the pool?
While you can mainline Metamucil in the States when things are backed up, you can be out of shit luck in China. Western colon blasts are as hard to come by as calcium fortified pulp free low acid OJ. Plus, you may not find Fiber One or Two Scoops of Raisins to help deliver the occasional food baby. That’s because the typical Chinese Walmart has tanks of live frogs where the cereal aisle should be. Breakfast favorites such as corn pops and puffed wheat can be purchased on street. Sorry, no free prize inside.
To help remedy intestinal gridlock, you can visit a local pharmacy. They offer a blend of Traditional Chinese and Western medicine remedies.
An ambitious salesclerk pulled out her phone to translate her suggestions for Biàn mì 便秘 (constipation). The first was a seven- cent disposable enema. Her translation of how it functioned was less than poetic:
Shove this up your ass three times.
The next suggestion– slightly pricier– was gift box of Chinese Liquid Plumber, or lactulose, each in dose pre-measured in its own amber ampule.
There is always option number three: just drink the tap water.
Or eat fish from a coffee shop or anything sold on a skewer at a night market.
Last but not least, you can get your gut fumigated due to a stomach fungus. It’ll be showtime in no time!
So if your backed up like Beijing traffic, have no fear. There are many ways to get your system going in China.
Just don’t do it here.