Things Could Be Worse . . .

bya Gabrielle at 4:00 AM

This particular post was supposed to be put on here a long time ago, but for some reason it got saved as a draft and stayed like that for a few months. The picture above was taken from the top of the never ending staircase that we had to climb on a daily basis. Read on.

Compared to that of the normal middle class Chinese household, I live in the lap of luxury. It’s not my home back in the States that I am referring to(that’s quiet another lap of luxury all together), but instead, the apartment I live in now, here in China. Even though my apartment is fairly simple by American standards, it far surpasses what you can expect to find of the homes in and around Fuyang.

I only really come to realize this when I visit the homes of friends or students. It’s only then that I truly understand what I have and what others don’t because for the most part I’m in my own little comfort zone. I’m either in my nice warm apartment, relaxing and watching movies at school, or staying in nice hostels as Phil and I travel. It’s not that I wasn’t aware of how things were before I came over. Even then I had a grasp of how poor the poor really were, but being here and seeing it is different than one can really expect.

There are many well-to-do families in Fuyang and Hangzhou – I’ve seen their homes too – but a great many of the families have only a shell of what I live in. I’ve got hard wood floors. In some homes, a slab of pavement decorated with a rug may be the only thing in most homes. I’ve got a nice hot shower/sauna while many others just have a spout sticking out of the wall – if they’re lucky. Some just get a basin and wash cloth.

The basin in the above picture is exactly that and a little more. All of the people that live in the building across the way from us wash their clothes and dishes there. They even use it to bath. Yes, out in the open for everyone to see. They aren’t naked or anything. They wear as little as possible, wet their wash cloth and wash as best they can. And they do it with out complaint.

That’s enough preaching for one day though. I guess you just have to come here to understand.

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