Wednesday, 21 May 2008

The water is hot!

There are some things that we regard as normal, but our Chinese friends experience strange things in our apartments. On Saturday I had a student with me, and she came to my apartment.

She asked for a towel so that she could wash her hands. I produced one of my hand towels and she went into the bathroom. I might add that the foreign teachers here have a "western style" toilet - we can sit to do what we have to do. Chinese people squat to "go" - and a western toilet is foreign to them.

The student appeared with a question. "Di, why is the water hot?"

You see - here in this city it is unusual for hot water to come from taps. The students and other workers around the city that I have seen get hot water from a central supply somewhere in large thermos type flasks. In their dormitories they would pour hot water into their wash bowls.

Here we do live in luxury in comparison to their lives. We have hot and cold running water - in the bathroom and kitchen, and unlike the college dorms, we have reverse cycle air conditioning.

My student friend learned a few things on Saturday. I wonder what she thinks of the way we live?

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