The city as their urinal

Almost every evening, on my stroll home from the office, I pass by a long stretch of a wall that encloses one of many giant construction sites found around Shanghai.

The wall smells undeniably of urine, despite the occasional fresh coats of paint carelessly slapped on. Which is quite hard to fathom, considering the wall faces a very busy intersection cluttered with cars and pedestrians.

I sometimes imagine that come nightfall, when the district quiets down, construction workers would wander out en mass after a modest meal of rice and vegetables, stand in line to relieve themselves while catching up on the day’s activities.

On my walk home, I would pass by cabbies urinating into bushes on the side of the road. Some would have the courtesy to wander deep into the foilage, while others just stand on the pavement and aim freely onto the grass.

This is made more ironic by the fact that only steps away stands a public toilet, built specifically to deter public urination.



  • Reply November 9, 2010


    Enroute to Puxi from Pudong airport before the elevated highway, a few drivers had parked their car on the road shoulder and stood on the grass, relieving themselves on the lawn.

    • Reply November 10, 2010

      Sue Anne

      Ah yes, you see a lot of that. I was in Xinjiang and they’d just hop off the truck/car to pee against the the expressway lane rails. Oh well..

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