After one whole year in China the rants decrease in frequency, but mind you, they will always be there.
Today, I am going to rant about the Chinese hatred for hot water (in all usages apart from drinking it straight out the glass which is basically the only thing it’s NOT good for, what the fuck???).
The absurdity of doing your laundry here in China is something which I can spend hours ranting about, but as one needs to maintain sanity, I’ll keep it fairly neat. The gist of it is this:
The average Chinese washing machine does not operate with hot water. I’ll write that again in bold: the washing machines don’t have hot water. This is because the Chinese think it’s a waste of energy (how this goes hand in hand with the story below, I don’t know). So, to compensate for the cold water wash they pour in insane amounts of detergent which – of course- does wonders for the environment. Being something of a washing- expert (seriously, I was obsessed with washing machines as a child), I know that it does not matter how much detergent you put in cold water, because the water has to have a certain temperature to activate the enzymes in the detergent which dissolve the schmuts on your clothes. This is something which most internationals agree with which is why you will find international students at CUPL looking like idiots pouring down buckets of boiling water into the washing machines.
The Chinese, however, vehemently oppose this and insist on washing clothes in cold water which inevitably does not help clean them at all. Schmuts, schmuts, schmuts!
This has led to such tension between me and my ayi (cleaning- lady, literally meaning ‘aunt’) that I now simply hide my clothes from her. She is not to subject my wardrobe to her toxic cold water nightmare!
Another hot water insanity which constitutes quite the mind-puzzle in my head is the shower in Oliver’s and my apartment. GET THIS!: In order to have hot water in the shower, one has to open a tap outside the bathroom which will pour down scorching hot water down the drain. One needs to open it wide enough so that the boiler in the kitchen is activated, but then slowly close the tap to the extent where the boiler is still activated but the tap does not consume all the water. The shower then gets the difference in volume between the amount of water which is heated by the boiler and the amount of water which is consumed by the tap which simply pours good, nice, hot water down a drain. This difference constitutes the water- pressure in the shower, and I can tell you: it’s bleak.
Everytime I have a shower in the apartment, I face disappointment and… unpleasure (not quite as strong a word as ‘discomfort’, I feel that my home- made word ‘unpleasure’ describes it pretty well).
Please China, stop with this madness! Embrace standarized usage of hot water!