Everyone knows how bad the pollution problem is in China but most people just think about the billowing smoke clouds coming out of factories and smog so thick you can't see down the block. In my last trip to China I think I was so amazed about being in another country that I didn't notice how bad the littering problem is. The big cities hire people to clean up the streets but smaller cities and towns don't have such services. We went to a small suburb city about 3 hours outside of Guangzhou to visit some of Jen's relatives and I have to say I was astounded. There was trash everywhere. In the water, in the roads, in the fields, everywhere. It was ridiculous.
The very water that they use to irrigate their plants and give to their animals is black with waste. Since it was the New Year there were piles and piles of red firework wrappers all over the place and the whole town was just a mess. Even though we were far way from the big city and surrounded by mountains and trees as far as the eye could see there was still an unpleaseant smell in the air. How could it get this bad? It's simple. No one gives a shit. There's no garbage service to get rid of the trash so people just throw it wherever. We had a dinner with about 20 people and the aunt we were staying with threw all the trash in the chicken coop. The chicken coop. Word? And it's hard for me to believe that there isn't some hard metal soaking into the ground water and getting in peoples food. Urrrg. I had to try really hard to keep my mouth shut and tell myself that this is how they do stuff in China. So be prepared if you go out into the country. And for the love of God, don't drink the water.