Thursday, December 01, 2005

Urban Gardening

It takes alot anymore for me to call something bizarre. Just when I think I'm pretty comfortable and accustomed to the culture around me, though, China throws something new at me. Today, it was this display of what I'm calling urban gardening.

urban garden

These cabbages were sitting outside of the cafeteria today just like this. This is bizarre to me for reasons that are probably quite a bit different than your reasons. I know the food I eat isn't clean. I know that it sits on the floor of the cafeteria where people walk, and then isn't washed before it is cooked. I know that it probably has all kinds of things on it that I wouldn't want to eat otherwise. However, I'm not dying from eating the food. I have grown to be okay with sanitation standards that leave quite a bit to be desired - and by "I," I mean my stomach.

I often see the food being delivered to the cafeteria by men on bicycles. They have huge carts attached, and they ride through the streets with the food only partially covered. The food is exposed to the elements and the pollution. Fine. So am I. That's wonderful. Often, I'll see food sitting on the ground waiting to be brought inside, too. This is slightly more disgusting. I'll get into that soon.

What I don't understand about this is that the cabbages are set up in a single layer, in rows, making a rectangle that cuts off access to a message board. Why didn't they just throw the cabbage into a pile like they have on the floor upstairs in the eating area? Why the rows?

The other things about the rows is that it assures that every cabbage is exposed to whatever is on the ground there. I'll spare you the full detail of that situation, but rest assured that no small number of people and animals have released various bodily fluids onto the area.


I guess what gets me about this is that they seem to have standardized the lack of hygienic considerations today instead of actually doing something useful about it. It looked like a celebration of poor health standards. A beaming garden of filth awaited those entering and exiting the cafeteria today. We know it isn't clean. Is the cabbage parade really necessary?

And what I find the most entertaining about this situation is that the disregard for sanitation is not what I find bizarre, but rather the lack of a pile. I wouldn't have even noticed this if it weren't for the rectangle. This did, however, prompt me to not get my usual lunchtime cafeteria fare - lettuce noodles.


At 8:04 AM, Blogger Nick said...

This is hilarious. I love the noteboard integration. I think it must be art.


Post a Comment

<< Home