Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Comfort

One of the teachers here made a comment last week that I never really thought of. He said that nothing here is designed for comfort. I never really realized it, but he's totally right.

My 'couch' is wood, with a half-centimeter thick pillow that sits on top of it. At many restaurants, they sit on stools that are 6 inches from the ground and don't fit half their ass. The beds are as hard as the floors. The toilets are a hole in the ground that you must squat over. No furniture is ever padded.

Tonight I saw the first couch with padding in it. All other ones are just wood. People here must have asses of steel. My butt hurts by the end of the day from sitting on wood.

He said he doesn't think the word comfort doesn't even come to mind to most Chinese people. This is the way it's always been. Comfort isn't a luxury they're familiar with how to use. Only recently the very rich are starting to think about how it might be nice to be comfortable once in a while. Maybe to sit down on the toilet, or relax on a couch that actually feels good to sit on.

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