While the 33rd Beijing Marathon ended successfully with a new record, pictures of people urinating on the street became a matter of embarrassment, which quickly became a hot topic on Weibo, China’s version of twitter.
With 30,000 participants taking part in October 20’s marathon, the shortage of toilets suddenly became a big problem for the athletes. Beijing simply does not have enough public toilets or mobile toilets to accommodate so many people’s nature’s calls. And the result? Well, take a look for yourself.
“Raining on the red wall”... That's the wall of the Forbidden City, mind you. It was capital offense back in feudal China, guys... Photo: weibo.com
“Urinate Beijing a river”, the most humiliating rendition of that famous song: Cry Me a River... Photo: weibo.com
When nature calls, men and women are... equal... I guess... Photo: weibo.com
Many people consider it as a big slap on the face for the organizer of the event. “It is a tradition of the Beijing Marathon,” wrote many sarcastically in their comments on Weibo. However, there are different voices too. Long distance runner Pan Xiaobin, and Han Junxian, a director of the Sports Training Center in Shaanxi province, offered their two pennies’ worth.
“Because the athletes have to drink water along the way, there is always this need to relieve themselves despite heavy perspiration,” Pan said in an interview, “As there is not always a mobile toilet available, they have to do it right there and then. You can’t ask them to hold on, because it will affect their result. The race is the most important.” Pan Junxian, on the other hand, provided an even more embarrassing detail: most people who choose to drain their veins on the street are amateurs while the professionals would choose to “soil themselves” because “they would not want to stop and break their rhythm because that will affect their performance.”
This is not the first time the loo hit the news in China. There has been some equally, if not more, embarrassing news earlier this year.
In February, the Ministry of Health solicited public opinion on a new mandatory Hygenic Standard for Communal Toilets, in which, believe it or not, there is a stipulation that says, “There can be no more than one fly in an affiliated public toilet and no more than three flies in independent public toilets.” So basically, a toilet with no more than three flies is a clean toilet, according to the standard. “But how can it be carried out?” asked many Weibo users. Well, go figure.
If the fly quota is not ridiculous enough for you, here is a more absurd one. Starting from September 1, Shenzhen put into effect a new regulation on public toilets which says that those who urinate or defecate outside the toilet will face a 100-yuan fine from the authorities. So, if you ever visit the public toilets in Shenzhen, aim well, otherwise you might have to fork out a 100-yuan fine.
This ludicrous device is aptly called “Straight Urinator” which costs 10 yuan. If you are a poor shooter, then you perhaps need to get one of these. This is not a joke! Photo: weibo.com