I had a professor in university once quip that all the flora and fauna in Australia, I think it was, would try to kill you. I vaguely remember descriptions of poisonous animals and toads that would bite your hands off and bushes that would spontaneously combust (and if you’re Australian and I’m wrong, sorry).
Well, wherever that is, it’s no match for China these days. In fact, I am almost starting to think I would welcome spontaneously combusting shrubbery.
I mean, first, I was being shot at by unknown assassins.
But since that didn’t work, China is ramping it up in an attempt to finish me off altogether.
It’s a multi-pronged attack, in order to ensure that if one angle fails, one of the others will surely succeed in bringing about my demise.
Part 1: Food Supply
Never mind the fact that most Chinese kitchens I’ve seen (at homes or in restaurants) are a bit on the (ahem) less-than-clean side or that refrigeration seems to be hit or miss. The food may not even be safe when you buy it in the market!
Between melamine in the powdered milk and the actual liquid “milk” (and I use the term loosely, because it can’t possibly be real milk if the expiry date is a year from now, can it?), gutter oil, beef that is actually pork, fake eggs, exploding watermelons, cancer-causing agents in the bai jiu…there may be very little that is safe to put in your mouth in this country.
Wait, check that. I’m sure the vacuum-sealed chicken feet snacks are safe, because no one would dare mess with those. But that doesn’t really help me, since, ew…feet.
Part 2: Water Supply
Although I never drink the water from our taps anyway, I’ve always used it for cooking, washing, and bathing. I’m starting to rethink that.
A few weeks ago, our water was turned off on a Saturday afternoon. This is not entirely unusual, but what was strange was when it didn’t come back on by dinner time, and then later, when we discovered that it was not only our building, or our residential zone, but the entire city! All kinds of rumours spread online about the reasons, with my personal favourite being that a Japanese spy had released a toxin into our city’s water supply (because forget Beijing or Shanghai – a tiny, backwater city would definitely be their first target!).
As it turns out, our city gets its water from a river, and five days earlier (!), a factory upstream had discovered a major leak and had been releasing chemicals into that river for the full five days, if not longer.
A few days later, after they moved the pumps to another water source for our city and resumed supply, the officials from the factory and the upstream municipality did say they were sorry it took them five days to actually let anyone know about this major leak, so…you know…that seems fair.
One possible solution is to stop using water – so, you’ll still love me if I stop showering and get really stinky, right?
Part 3: Air Supply (“I’m all out of love, I’m so lost without you…” – no, not that kind of Air Supply)
Many of you have probably been hearing about eastern China being under the worst pollution (or if you’re in the Chinese media, “fog”) in decades, if not ever, lately. Many a story has been written about how terrible the air in Beijing is.
Well, if you think that’s bad, I’ve got something that will blow your mind.
Beijing isn’t as bad as it gets. In fact, it isn’t even in the top 10 worst polluted cities. We happen to live in the number 2 most polluted city in China during this “airpocalypse” – I’d gladly go to Beijing these days to get a breath of fresh air.
So you see, it’s inevitable – China is going to be the death of me, and chances are it’ll be sooner rather than later. A lot of people would probably stress out and worry and buy masks or air filters or water softeners or go organic or whatever, but frankly, those seem like a lot of trouble, and since literally everything is trying to kill me here, I’ll just take my chances.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…right?