Sunday, January 18, 2009

It Can Be Very Draining

Imagine the drain in your bathroom. Now imagine if there wasn't just one in the tub or sink, but also one randomly placed in the floor. Oh, I forgot, you have no tub...just a shower head coming out of the wall. Put up a shower curtain somewhere in the middle of the room, from wall to wall, and you're all set. As long as you're in the bathroom, you're also in the shower. (Just don't go into the bathroom with socks on after someone else has just showered...)

Now step into your kitchen. Somewhere near your kitchen sink, imagine a drain...not only in the sink itself, but also one in the floor.

When we first moved here, I thought the placement of these drains was rather odd. Actually, I couldn't understand why on Earth one would need a drain in the floor of any room. Now I realize that Chinese builders and architects are actually much more clever than I had given them credit for.

There are times when I observe the actions of Chinese people, or even the methods they use to solve everyday shiqing (issues), that seem to make absolutely no sense. Then I step back and consider the context of what I am seeing, and suddenly the "fog" disappears and it all becomes clear. The old adage "necessity is the mother of invention" rings true in Chinese daily life.

So back to the floor drains. While not aesthetically pleasing, both the bathroom and kitchen floor drains do serve a purpose. Both provide a convenient way to remove liquid substances from the room. In the bathroom, for example, a hose from the washing machine (which also happens to be there) can be run from the machine to the drain so as to provide a receptacle for the water from your dirty clothes. In the kitchen, there's no need to spend a lot of time mopping...Just throw some water on the floor and squeegee it down the drain. No worries about overflowing sinks and such here...It all goes "down the drain."



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