Spitting, Peeing, Snot Rockets, and Me (part 2)
08 Dec 2005
My time in China has exposed me to my fair share of public spitting, peeing, and snot rocketing. Thoughtful fellow that I am, this makes me all introspective. What are the effects of five years of phlegm? How potent is the power that all that pissing poses to me, personally? Let us examine.
PART 2: INDOORS
I hope I’m not disappointing anyone, but I’m not going to tell stories about Chinese people spitting on the floor or peeing in the living room. This is about me. And I don’t pee in the living room. (I don’t know any Chinese people that pee in the living room either, fortunately.)
This is actually about shower behavior.
Back home in the States I somehow got in the habit of swallowing a fair amount of water while showering. I’m not sure why I did it, but it seemed like a fine idea at the time.
When I got to China, it was clear that this habit would not work. If I didn’t cut it out, I’d be getting diarrhea from every shower, and that’s not cool! Still, habits are hard to break. As a result, I find that I frequently get water in my mouth while I shower, realize what I’m doing, and then have to spit it out. If I want to get as much water as possible out of mouth, though, I have to be fairly enthusiastic in my spitting.
As a result, I find that I spit in the shower quite a bit in China. There’s no phlegm or anything, though, so I don’t see it as gross in any way.
OK, I’ll admit it. I pee in the shower from time to time. Some online research confirms what I suspected: a lot of people pee in the shower. Some people are even of the opinion that everyone does it. Furthermore, if you’re not peeing on the shower curtain or on someone else, I don’t see how it could be considered dirty. You just aim for the drain.
> Although urine is commonly believed to be ‘dirty’ this is not actually the case. In cases of kidney or urinary tract infection (UTI) the urine will contain bacteria, but otherwise urine is virtually sterile and nearly odorless when it leaves the body. However, after that, bacteria that contaminate the urine will convert chemicals in the urine into smelling chemicals that are responsible for the distinctive odor of stale urine; in particular, ammonia is produced from urea.
I can’t be sure, but I suspect I harbored some emotional resistance to the idea of peeing in the shower while back in the States, but I don’t anymore. I still don’t do this regularly, just when necessary. (And I never pee on the shower curtain.)
OK, now we’re getting down to the real meat of the entry. This is the question that inspired this whole two-part entry.
Let me give you a scenario. You have a really bad cold. You’re taking a shower. Suddenly your nose starts to run something awful. It seems like sniffling is the only thing you can do, but it doesn’t solve anything and it’s only getting water up your nose. You have to do something.
You have two choices: (1) Stop your shower and dry off a bit to blow your nose, then continue your shower. There is no guarantee that you won’t need to blow your nose again almost immediately. (2) Do a snot rocket into the drain.
Last week I found myself in this desperate situation. I actually remember being in this same situation back in the USA once, and I stopped my shower to blow my nose. I felt there was nothing else I could do. Not this last time, though. I have been influenced by my surroundings. I chose the snot rocket. Everything seemed to get washed down the drain immediately.
Immediately afterward, though, I had to ask myself: was that just completely disgusting? It brought up lots of other questions:
– Do other people do this?
– Will my friends still like me if they know I’ve done snot rockets in my shower?
– Is mucus water soluble? (it’s gotta be, considering it’s mostly water)
– If I had a really nasty infection (which I didn’t), could doing that clog the drain?
OK, I think that’s about all the “introspection” you readers can handle for a little while….