and by the way, thanks for sharing.
"I actually had time to answer this, sometimes, pretty weird questions"
—disgruntled survey taker
The following is a selection of the responses to a long list of "sometimes, pretty weird questions" that we posted to our e-mail list members as well as all of our Facebook and Douban friends.
What do you do when you're in the toilet and discover you have no paper?
Some people claim that this has never happened to them. Others have creative means of solving the problem. In any case, fuck, this is nasty.
"I bounce a couple of times and then lift up my panties quickly, shake a bit and hope that it will dry fast"
"I think I have reused a semi-clean piece nearby and then doused my hands with Purell"
"Look for the cleanest used one"
"No. 1? Jiggle"
"Use the underwear to wipe my ass, and throw it in the trash bin"
"Do like the Indians do ... . Use your hands instead!"
"Just use the ol' fashioned wash-your-hand-afterwards trick"
"If I was in my dorm, I'd ask my roommates to do me a favor. If I was in a public toilet—oh no, that will never happen"
"Use my pantyliner to wipe or just shake it off"
"Ha, this happened only once. I used the change in my wallet, about 8 jiao"
"Call somebody on the phone to bring me some"
"Squat until somebody comes to lend me some paper"
"Use my socks"
"I'll leave the toilet with a dirty ass, and look for advertising tissues in my drawers. If there aren't any, you'll have to take a shower I guess, eh?"
"Grab my phone. If I didn't bring my phone, grab my wallet. If my wallet's not there, grab my underwear. If I didn't wear underwear that day ... well, that hasn't happened yet, and I'd rather not imagine it"
How many bicycles have you had stolen?
When we first came to China, we lost two bikes in as many months. Over the years we've heard many stories including one in which a foreign university student showed up to park his newly purchased bicycle in the parking lot only to find the bike that was stolen from him the week prior sitting there. Turns out a classmate had purchased it, "secondhand."
"Never had a bike but I'm sure if I did, it would have been stolen"
"Nine in four-and-a-half years"
"One (its name was Roger)"
"One, because I've only bought one"
"N bikes where N is a number greater than 5, if we're counting both bicycles and e-bike batteries"
What's the most annoying sound coming from your building?
most popular answers include animals, aspiring musicians, and construction.
"Cats in heat in the middle of the night"
"The voice on the elevator that announces every time the door is opening"
"Beeping next door on the security door"
"Clicking of high-heeled shoes"
"Whoever's jumping rope upstairs"
"The landlord's dog in heat"
"Cock-a-doodle-doo ... from 2 to 6 every morning"
"Rats playing in the walls"
"Zongbei Middle School soundtrack"
"What sounds like 'machine porn' late into the night, aka construction"
"The sound of our damn piano-playing neighbor that's been fucking up the same song since I got here six months ago ... YOU'RE NOT GETTING BETTER!!!
GIVE IT UP ALREADY!!!"
"The guy/girl playing this goddamn piano all day"
"The volatile couple next door fighting and then having makeup sex"
"The guy who has apparently been training to sing opera all day every day for the past year and hasn't shown any signs of improvement"
"In the morning, the rice seller, and in the evening, the crying neighbor on the top floor"
"My building is pretty quiet"
What do you do when your Internet drops out?
[some people are frantic ...]
"First I cuss in my native tongue, then slam my mouse down, run out into the staircase and pull all the network cables out of the box, plugging them back in randomly, and try again. When it still does not work in furious anger I run to the network office and force them to come to my house immediately"
"First go crazy, then go read a book"
"Dial 10000 and ask them what happened to my Internet"
[others are crafty ...]
"First curse, then try plugging all cables out and back in and finally move to Bookworm"
"Freak out ... then use the Bookworm's wireless"
"Go to the cyber cafe, until I drop out"
"Call my roommate"
[still others are just patient ...]
"Wait, try a net cafe if need be"
"Make a cup of tea and try again in half an hour"
[while a few are quite smug ...]
"let it be."
"Mine is pretty solid. That's why I pay the big bucks, I guess"
"Panic on the Titanic, the people which can't live without the net, I can't feel a pity for them!"
Don't have internet.
[and the rest are easily deterred.]
"I will probably watch a movie instead"
"read or go for a bike ride"
"read a book"
"restart my computer ... if that doesn't work, I read history ..."
"masturbate. Oh wait, I need Internet for that."
What is something you've always wanted to do in Chengdu but never did?
"see the pandas"
"take a bus at 9 in the morning and get off at 9 in the evening, to observe all the people"
"I CANT WRITE THAT DOWN"
"run around Tianfu Guangchang naked"
"see Ashura or Soundtoy live at the Little Bar"
"go to Happy Valley"
"sit by the river drinking tea"
"start a theater group"
"go to the Sichuan opera"
"get onto the roof of the building opposite Mao and take some photos. Actually I tried, but the stairwell had a bicycle lock on the final door."
"see Dufu's cottage"
"fall in love"
"release a fart bomb on a crowded night in the Shamrock"
Where's the best public toilet in Chengdu?
"that is a paradox"
"behind the trees in any big park"
"Sofitel, just go in and act important. Very nice"
"don't really have a prissy need to judge toilets. You poo and go. simple."
"in Floraland, no dispute"
"actually, the best one is in downtown Mianyang by the park"
"well, the ones in the staircase going to Hemp House always smelled nice"
"The People's Public Toilet"
"the one at Chunxi Lu"
"the one next to the Jiaozi Concert Hall because it appears every time I need it"
What is your favorite intersection or landmark in Chengdu?
Shamrock • Little Bar • Hooters • Jinli • Yanshikou • West Gate of Chuanda • Blue Caribbean Square • I like the giant Mao statue • Hongxing Lu Pedestrian Street • the TV tower that has been under construction for 10 years • the bridge on Second Ring Road on the way to Metro • The highest part of the bridge that runs over the south train station. Every time I see it, I know I'm going home. • Is the only choice Dufu's Caotang or Wuhouci? • The overpass at the end of Renmin Nan Lu, near the art store. I think it's a 2m clearance, always pretend to stand up on my bike and clothesline myself. • bronze statue of Sun Yat-sen on Chunxi Lu • Renmin Nan Lu and Tongzilin Bei Lu • the one between the orange bar and the neighboring house because it's just a dirt path with nice old guys fishing every now and then
Where's the best place to find a date?
"If you find out let me know"
"If you want to find boring beautiful people go to a club. If you want to meet interesting people, honestly you have to just make conversation on the street."
"Anywhere, if you're attractive enough."
"Have no idea. if you know, please tell me."
"Dave's Oasis (not really)"
"Anywhere but English corner"
"hell if I know"
"Easiest or best? I would recommend Sichuan university for people looking for quality and any of the clubs for quantity."
"我是宅女,没有约会 (I'm a good girl. I don't date.)"
"anytime you see the Xinjiang guys with their huge cart of dried fruits ... those are the best dates ever!"
"Thailand, delete it if i did not answer ur question"
"for a boy: panam, for a girl: in your dreams or outside of China"
"Park near my house (Dong He)"
Where's the best place to take a date to impress him or her?
clearly, we need help.
"I have no idea. I've only been on a handful of dates and they all were not that good."
"the Shangri La's lunch buffet then a movie"
"Hang out in Renmin park at closing time and hide when they lock up. Take a boat and paddle around the pond in silence."
"NOT THE PANAME"
"pub quiz? impress him/her with your knowledge. seriously, in my opinion if a gentleman want to impress a girl, take her to a professional horse riding club. it shows that you are caring, rich, sportive, patient ..."
"out of Chengdu for a daytrip to one of the mountains or to blue cheese pasta at my apartment"
"If you have skills you can make shao cao [sic] impressive"
Where is the best place for a blind date?
"Yanshikou, gives you a good spot to check out and run away if needed"
"Random teahouse in the north of the city so nobody you know sees you"
"Don't really do the blind date thing"
"At their mother's house. They can lie, their family can not"
"Cinema, because it is dark and we don't have to talk"
"definitely not buffet dinner!"
"The Swinging club of the tiger men from Chengdu"
"OMG TOTALLY LIKE THE BOOKWORM!"
"The doorway of Ito Yokado"
"Next to the bus station?"
When was the last time you had la duzi?
"Can't remember, maybe when I was in primary school"
"My stomach is made of iron"
"I have never had la duzi"
"Few months ago in Kenya while I was with Sichuanese"
"Don't remember ... over a year ago"
"Come on, I have a Chinese stomach"
"Usually every year one bad one, but not 2008"
"The last day of February—I ate too much barbecued meat"
"The day before yesterday"
This article was first published in CHENGDOO citylife Magazine, issue 21 ("questions")