China-focused Satire, Social Commentary, Comics and More

When in China… The Sidewalk is Your Spittoon


A quick gander at the above picture will set the scene and circumstance: a well-dressed man is vending inflatable rat hammers in what appears to be pleasant public space, shaded by full trees, with an expensive car parked on the street, and several passersby.

But closer examination reveals that the picture is not so unexceptional as it first appears. To facilitate the discussion, we have included an extreme close-up of the region of interest (See below). What you will see, clear and incontrovertible, is a long stream of a white, viscous substance projecting with great velocity from the mouth of the aforementioned rat-balloon vendor:

For those unfamiliar with the public hygienic habits of the average Chinese citizen, allow us to enlighten you. What we have captured here with such astounding photo-journalistic accuracy is not merely the unique actions of one unsanitary individual – this is, in the most restrained and professional language possible, the standard. It also occurs with startling frequency. To fill out the experience for you, this glob of spit was most likely preceded by a harsh, prolonged, phlegmatic cough, the sort of thing that most people would reserve for the privacy and convenience of a running shower. But in China, no one bats an eye when a man or woman, young or old, summons up their excess mucus and launches it to the sidewalk, or even the floor of a restaurant (the more sophisticated may opt for a nearby trashcan).

So remember, when in China, don’t be squeamish about clearing your congested cavities. That’s what public spaces are for.

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