One man’s bedpan is another man’s flowerpot

#82 Shit

After moving to Shanghai, I quickly fell in love with the old metal tins, trays, bowls, and containers that seemed to be forgotten fragments of an earlier time. Spray-painted with lotus flowers and double happiness characters (囍), they appeared happy and encouraging despite their rusted edges and chipped sides. While most of these goods rested in piles at “antique” markets, I realized a similarly painted urn could be bought brand new at the local hole-in-the-wall knickknack shops. For less than a couple US dollars, I was the new and proud owner of a beautiful Chinese urn. Excited to return home and display it on my shelf, I carried it with me all day. Since I got a haircut the same afternoon, I gave it to the salon assistants to store away for me while I sat with the stylist. As they returned my bag after my haircut, they smiled and chuckled as they handed it back over. I just assumed they were being friendly despite our inability to communicate. After placing what I thought to be a kitsch urn on my shelf for display, I was quickly met by chuckling again. My Chinese friend then told me I had just bought a piss pot. I guess that’s why my flowerpot didn’t have a drainage hole…