The Main Sound in the
October 24, 2006

And to think when I went to the Middle East people warned me to watch out for ‘spit’ when I got close to camels...

Maybe they should have saved that warning for when I got to China!

I know this sounds bad. But anybody who has ever been knows exactly what I’m talking about. There is absolutely no way to
escape the hacking noises and spit-wads that ensue. All I could do every time I heard the hack coming from behind me was just
pray that the spit would be directed in a direction that wouldn’t cause it to land on me.

I thought I could get used to this. I really did. But I didn’t. It’s their culture (or at least it seems like it is) so I couldn’t give a glare
like I would at home. The one time I did glare was when somebody did this inside the main pit at the Terracotta Warriors. I paid
over $10 to be there. I felt entitled to glare. Especially since I didn’t think UNESCO would condone spit droppings all over the stairs.

If you think you are ever in an area that might be exempt from spitting, think again. Obviously it happens on the streets. And on
the buses and trains (people spit right out the window). But it happens at airports (you will see the people search for a trashcan to
spit into after the initial hack). And just when you thought you were safe on the airplane, you will soon find out that there is another
use for the ‘barf bag’. In China, it turns into the ‘spit bag’. As I said, the spitting was inescapable.

And there is no stereotyping as to who is a ‘spitter’. Men, women, kids, elderly, working class, people in business suits…heck,
women in business suits. They all have the public ‘hack and spit’ down.

In my hotel room (with nobody else around), I decided to attempt a hack one day. I had no luck. It is not an easy skill to pick up. I
guess I should consider myself lucky as I see it as a pretty gross skill.

Oddly, while it was beyond gross listening to and watching this everyday, several times a day…it didn’t come close to
the grossest
thing I saw out here…

A misfired snot-rocket that was aimed into a trashcan…only the ‘rocket’ lacked the force that was necessary and was left dangling.

Back to China.