I am strong advocate of learning Chinese the way native speakers do. When I just started learning Chinese I read a ton of children’s books and I can honestly say it did more for my Chinese than many of the language courses at school and university. That’s why when I came across the book “100,000 Whys” I bought it without any hesitation. I mean, learning the facts of life for only 7.5 yuan. That’s a pretty sweet deal in my book:
As you can imagine other than simple yet very useful educational texts, the book is also full of delightful images. Two of them were so cutely disgusting (or disgustingly cute, you choose) I just had to share them. I call this piece the Happy-Poo-Page:
Isn’t this adorable? The paragraph on the left deals with why we poop (in Chinese – 大便 – dà biàn – big convenience) and right paragraph deals with the color of poop and why it’s brown.
By the way, before I came to China I was warned by friends who traveled here before me that Chinese people are not at all embarrassed about public displays of their bodily functions such as spitting, burping and farting and even more in some cases. Maybe it’s because I live in Beijing and not some remote village but so far I must admit it’s much less worse than what I was led to believe. In any case I think I located the source. Take another look at the book cover. See the girl on the top-right corner?
That yellow flow and naughty smile mean exactly what you think they mean. This girl is the star of the page which deals with flatulence or as most people call it – farting:
The left paragraph explains that farting is a natural phenomenon and the right paragraph warns against the consequences of holding it in. I know they are totally right about this but still the girl comes of as a little asshole (pun intended). I mean it’s quite obvious she’s enjoying this.
Before I sign off, in the spirit of education and digestion I would like to wish you all a very happy Pi Day. Go have some pie!