Sunday, May 24, 2009

Split Pants. Potty training or Assless-chaps training

Before I came to China, a friend of mine (shout out Sam Graham!) asked me to find out if the legend of the assless chaps babies was true. I had never heard tell of this legend, so I was skeptical. Assless chaps? On babies? Surely my friend was joking, confused and/or slightly disturbed.

Shortly after we arrived I learned the slightly disgusting, surprisingly practical and thoroughly different truth about assless chaps and babies. Yes, they exist. Yes, millions of Chinese babies are walking around with their genitals waving in the wind.

If you are still reading, and your work internet monitor hasn't blocked my website because it mentions "assless chaps" and babies so close to eachother, keep reading. It only gets weirder.

You may have heard about all the efforts China, and certainly Beijing, went through to clean up for the Olympics and the world press. Cars could only drive on certain days depending on the last digit of their license plate. Plastic bags for groceries weren't sold. Certain practices were outlawed, etc.

What you didn't know is that the Chinese have been engaging in a large amount of environmentally friendly practices for generations. One of them is assless chaps on babies.

You: "But Marc! How do assless chap on babies help the environment?"
Me: "That is a silly question. How do assless chaps NOT help the environment?"

I've been here long enough that assless chaps, or split pants as they are ACTUALLY known, do not startle or surprise me when I see them on the street. Actually that isn't completely true. Despite my familiarity with them, I'm always a little shocked when I SEE them helping the environment.

Disposable diapers barely exist here. Cloth diapers are only really used during the winter, when split pants are not feasible. Every other season, the split pants serve as potty training.

It is not uncommon to turn a corner and see a parent holding a child up over a sewer grating or over bushes and helping them create natural fertilizer, through their split pants.

Children here don't have to worry about sitting around in their own excrement, and the waste management system doesn't have to deal with millions of dirty diapers. Instead, children in split pants turn sewer drains into their own public toilets. And their parents are so proud.

I hope you understand why I can't really post a picture of this. I was out with my camera yesterday, thinking about how or if I could take a picture for this blog entry and realized that being deported is a bad thing. Sorry.