Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Picture I Couldn't Post On The Blog

So there we were, sitting in a long distance bus, making our way from Beijing to Chengde. Chengde is the mountain resort that the Qing Emperors built and then used as their summer escape from the heat of the capital city. Essentially Chengde served, for a couple of centuries, as China's Camp David.

(By the way, notice the word "summer" in the above paragraph. For weeks, we have been taking grief for our plan to visit Chengde in the middle of winter. I think you should go to Chende in the summer. And...Chengde would be better in the summer. And...Chengde is a summer place. Message to China...You have no idea what you are missing! Chengde in the winter rocks! More on this in subsequent posts...)

But back to the bus ride. Oftentimes, on long distance trips like this, you are jolted out of your sleep by the bus slamming to a sudden stop and the driver or ayi announcing "xishoujian!" You groggily stumble down the stairs and join the crowd heading to the bathroom.

Now, most of the time, these stops are in fairly out-of-the-way locations. This little detail is important because the bathrooms in such places tend to be, shall we say, "not up to Western standard."

But, hey, we live in China, so these are the kinds of details we hardly notice anymore. Today's bathroom, though, even caught my attention. (And Julie's too...right Julie!?)

I really want to show you what this bathroom looks like on the inside, but I just can't bring myself to post the picture I took. I'll tell you what...If you are sufficiently curious, I will e-mail the photo to you privately. I'm serious! And don't worry...I won't think any less of you...After all, I'm the one who took the picture in the first place!

~Steve

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