Tag Archives: flooding

Incredibly instructive signage

China never fails to disappoint when it comes to instructive [and entertaining] signage. Here are a couple of my favorite instructional signs.

Shenzhen recreation area

Shenzhen recreation area

“A small step close toward urinal, a big step toward civilization!”

Until I saw this sign (a male companion brought it to my attention- I did not discover it by being in the urinals myself), I would not have equated urinal usage with civilization. That being said, I totally get it. Hardly a day goes by without observing a child’s bare bum, often relieving itself in the public right-of-way. If you’ve been to China, you are likely familiar with crotchless pants that young children adorn. Also likely, you’ve observed some questionable parental judgment when it comes to excretion. While I understand many of the benefits of not diapering a small child, there’s a critical age at which public excretion just seems like a slap in the face (let’s hope not literally). And of course, not just children are to blame for human waste in the right-of-way. So yes, perhaps, a small step close toward urinal is a big step toward civilization.

Shenzhen recreation area

Shenzhen recreation area

“The slight effort to do environmental protection gives our children a beautiful earth”

Beautifully put. It may take a bit more than a “slight effort”, but stewardship, personal responsibility and trans-generational thinking are always good lessons.

All your emergency provisions in one park

This way to all of your various emergency service needs. And, just in case, please feel free to vend an emergency life jacket should the man-made pond reach one thousand year floodplain levels.

Shenzhen's Lichee Park

Shenzhen’s Lichee Park


Guangzhou MTR

Safe escalator use

I’ve always been a cautious escalator user, but I was not fully aware of the dangers and responsibilities of escalator use. Thanks to this example of incredibly instructive signage, I now am. The messages conveyed here may be too numerous by our signage standards, but, hey, this is China (“TIC”).  

Wayfinding on Hong Kong MTR

Some more incredibly instructive MTR signage (although, quite a bit more useful)…

Hong Kong MTR

Hong Kong MTR

Shenzhen performing arts center

Shenzhen performing arts center

“Dry your hands, keep away drops” Yes, while drying your hands certainly will keep away drops, I can’t help but to wonder if this is the most important message to disseminate at the sink basin. Yes, I have an agenda. So far in mainland China, I have yet to see a sign about the importance of washing hands with soap- or the oh-so-familiar signs about washing before returning to work. I’ve been conducting my own study of sorts. At my office, males and females share the sinks in an area outside of the squat toilets. Covertly, I watch the handwashing behaviors of my fellow office workers. Over the past four weeks, on only two occasions have I seen anyone use soap, despite the fact that it is conveniently placed beside each basin. I try to withhold my public health reflex of repulsion. Back to the sign at hand (pun not intended): while entertaining, for me, this sign states the obvious, but misses the point.

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Analyzing the Floods in Beijing

Well, I was going to blog about how to get a haircut(as well as the awesomeness of a Beijing ‘dry wash’) while in China, but in light of Saturday’s events I think I want to discuss some water systems planning issues as promised in last week’s blog.  I apologize for the lack of pictures beforehand.  I was not out on the night of the flood and the area we are staying in was left relatively untouched by the rains.Image

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Flooding Chongqing (Updated)

Flooded downtown Chongqing (Yuzhong District) on Tuesday. Source: Xinhua News Agency

You have probably heard a lot in the Western media about the flooding going on in Beijing due to torrential downpours. (If not, here’s coverage from NYTimes, BBC, and China People’s Daily.) But you may not have heard that the Yangtze River has also decided to flood and areas of downtown Chongqing (Yuzhong District) and the parts of the city across the Jialing (Jiangbei District) and Yangtze River (Nan’an and Jiulongpo Districts) are now under murky water. Having just visited both Yuzhong and Nan’an Districts on Sunday before the flooding, it seemed a post was in order. The images below (mostly from Sunday) are paired with flood images taken on Tuesday by a Xinhua News Agency photographer (the rest of their images can be found in the gallery here).


I added two more sets of pictures after learning that the ancient port town of Ciqikou (near Shapinba) is also underwater now. We visited Ciqikou on Saturday. Click here to view the rest of my images of this unique old town before it was flooded.

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