At the foot massage place was my first encounter with the quirks of Chinese bathrooms. After all the tea I really had to use the bathroom, so Shirley brought me into a different, unused massage room with a bathroom. She said the public toilets were squatty potties so I could use this western one. Well thats great and all, but this western toilet didn’t have its own supply of toilet paper. Thank god EVERY tourist site I went on said to carry around tissues, because I did, and they saved me from an unfortunate experience. First Chinese bathroom disaster, averted.
The next Wednesday on an attempted trip to Guangzhou with Daniel and my mandarin tutor, Celia, I wasn’t feeling very well. I hadn’t felt well the night before so I skipped dinner, and though I’d had a little breakfast, for all intents and purposes, I was running on empty. I drank a lot of water to avoid dehydration, but it sloshed around in my stomach and made me feel sick. I told Celia this while we were in a 7-11 getting drinks, because the smell of whatever food was in there about drove me over the edge. We rushed to a bathroom, which had squatty potties.
Already unenthused about upchucking in a public restroom, trying to aim into what looked like a horizontal urinal on the floor would be too much. Then came the smell. This indoor, public restroom smelled like a port-a-john at the county fair, minus the blue disinfectant stuff. In a moment of divine will, my body was able to suppress the involuntary act of puking, because the conditions were so unfavorable. This is probably the first time in history that the smell of human waste has prevented anyone from vomiting, because often it seems to induce said vomit. Bathroom disaster #2, avoided.
I held it in until the conditions were more favorable, which my body decided was in the underground, in front of all the people on the train we were supposed to board. Needless to say, we waited for the next train. At least I made it to a garbage! My body needed to purge its self of the sprite and water inside my stomach, and couldn’t wait any longer. The subway ride back to Foshan was twice as long as the trip to Guangzhou seemed. Subway disaster #1, right on target.
This was the first day I had McDonalds in China. It made my quivering, empty stomach feel light years better. Thank god for the convenience of McDonalds, and I apologize to any Chinese who have witnessed my health issues.