Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Precious & Scarce

We take some of things for granted in the West…like tissue paper at critical moments or napkins in public eateries.  Because my squat stats are 0 in China I never experienced one of those tissueless critical moments but I was always prepared to supply my Beloved with his needs because there are no tissue dispensers in public WC's in China, at least not in the dozen cities we have visited.

Our students taught us to carry with us at all times the ubiquitous, tiny packet of tissues. Students never needed to ask to leave class as the reason was obvious when they hurried out carrying the precious tiny packet. It was sweet to see a student's kind generosity as a packet was quickly handed to a friend as he/she rushed out of class.

For some reason, paper and public don't mix in China.

What passes for napkins in even the finest restaurants can be best described as tissue paper…small tissue paper. Only one tissue-napkin per customer was handed to us as we paid our bill at our favorite Chinese buffet restaurant.  Sometimes a nice restuarant will give you a small box of tissues perfect for blowing one's nose but scarcely adequate for protecting one's lap or wiping ones hand's. Come to think of it, maybe that's not what the box of tissues is for?

One of the reasons for my 0 public WC stats is that precious tissues are stashed in open baskets rather than flushed in China. Not going there.

Even after giving this paper dilemma a thought or two, I can't figure if this scarcity is due to the lack of this resource in China or the general lack of regard for people's needs.

1 comment:

  1. Two questions.
    1. Aren't there plants with leaves in China? If not paper, there must be something else that could be developed instead.
    2. If your Beloved is anything like mine, how was one tiny package of tissue enough?