Tag Archives: babies

The power of a safety pin

Walking around Thailand, one will notice that most pregnant women have a safety pin attached to the outside of their shirt. At first I thought it was to attach the shirt/dress to an undershirt to prevent the wind from blowing it up. But then I realized it must have real meaning because it was even on tight clothing. I asked the Thai English teacher I work with (his wife happens to be pregnant). He told me that it is used to protect the baby from bad spirits and keep it healthy inside of the womb. A safety pin is even put inside of children’s clothing to protect them as well.

Another S and more notes from China

In addition to the previous post I made about the Ss of China, I would like to add a fifth – shoving.

While we were beginning to enter The Forbidden city, a group of us decided to use the restroom. It was too early in the day for the experience we had and there was definitely a bit of culture shock. In Western cultures, you make a nice orderly line (actually in the Thai culture they do as well) but in China, as we had discovered on the trip, it is a free for all. You grab your group of ladies and find a stall. Then everyone waits outside of it, guarding the door and taking turns going to the restroom. As a result it seems like a cattle call, with Chinese women yelling, pushing, shoving, and hoarding their space. We were not expecting to have to fight to use the restroom. I was able to snag a stall though and another lady got a stall as well, so our group of 8 ladies used the restroom Chinese style. I can laugh about the experience now but at the time we were cranky and sleep-deprived having just gotten off our third overnight train.

Other notes:

Remember when I talked about smog in an earlier post, well the Beijing marathon was just held despite calls to cancel it. The US Embassy found that the pollution was at 400 micrograms per cubic meter. The World Health Organization recommends no more than 25 micrograms per cubic meter. Most runners wore masks and ended up dropping out early. You can read an article about it here.

Pregnant women are rarely seen in China. Because of the one child rule (although there is always a way around this when $$ talks), women we protected during their pregnancy and spend most of it at home.

When walking around it was common to see bare-bottomed children due to a slit in their pants up the middle. Traditionally, Chinese children do not wear diapers so the slit allows them to go to the restroom anywhere rather quickly without soiling their clothing.

It is common for men to carry their girlfriend’s purse. It’s to show they are “together.”