Sometimes it's hard to come up with witty titles for blog posts. A lot of people ask me "Gus, you are the wittiest motherfucker on the planet; how do you make it look so easy?" But the truth of the matter is, it's not easy, and sometimes you really have to hunker down in front of the computer for a good 25 minutes before you eventually decide that "hurei for hubei!" is a better title for a post about a trip to Hubei province than "hooray for hoobay!".
But getting right down to it, Jon and I just came back from Hubei. We braved the Golden Week crowds, I braved the onset of diarrhea (this post was almost titled: "hoobay, where my poop-ay was soup-ay"), and we put ourselves on a comfortable 14-hour train to Wuhan city, spending a total of three full days in Hubei and one hellish bus ride (also 14 hours) back to Guangzhou. Jon took a lot more notes than I did (I wrote two lines, both about funny t-shirts I wanted to remember), so interested parties should be sure to check out his blog too. I'm using my photos as notes, so if I didn't take a picture of it, it didn't happen.
The only thing I'll say about the train and bus rides, before getting to the meat of a Hubeidubei experience, is about babies. Most babies I see in China are wearing some sort of assless chaps which allow them to defecate with ease, kind of like the anti-diaper. Their parents can be seen holding them over trees, gutters, corners really anywhere that isn't right out in the middle of the sidewalk and just letting the baby do it's thing (which is pooping, in case that was unclear). This is all fine and good, but having now seen not one but two babies being held in this manner and urged to defecate into a bucket on a moving vehicle, I've learned what exactly these mothers and fathers are doing to induce bowel movements: they're whistling. Whistling a single tone right into the baby's ear. Who would have thought? And judging by the smell on the bus, it works! My question is, does hearing that same whistle provoke the same reaction in later years? Can I sneak up behind one of my students in the lunch room, whistle in his ear and let the humiliation begin? Can I hijack the microphone during morning announcements and cause the entire campus to foul themselves? Including the teachers and staff and Party representatives, even the curmudgeonly Headmaster Wu!? I can't believe no one has thought of this before. Somebody tell the U.S. military to prepare the recording of a gentle monotone woman's whistle to broadcast on the front of tanks in the event of World War III.