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China: please don't spit

That sweet sound of hacking...

Our most enduring memory of China will always be the national custom of public spitting. Small pools of saliva could be found at regular intervals on the side-walk and in most public places throughout China. Apparently the constant need to spit is a universal phenomena common to all citizens and occurs at a frequency so regular that the soundtrack to our trip in China would be the cacophony of hacking accompanying this vehement expulsion of saliva. At first we were puzzled; was there a national outbreak of a rare gastro-intestinal disorder? Was the food that awful? Everything was made clear when we were informed that the habit stemmed from the belief that swallowing one's own saliva was unhealthy. Makes perfect sense now....Only we still don't understand the habit of using the lavatory in full public view with the door wide open when there is actually a door. Perhaps somebody could explain that?

Posted by dodging_cholera 06:02 Archived in China

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