Have you ever seen a traditional toilet, of the kind used by people hundreds of years ago? Do you know what people used to wipe their bottoms with in days gone by? Your curiosity will be satisfied after visiting the toilet exhibition in Yilan County’s Dong Shan Township. The exhibition was organized by Jenju Village’s development association, which asked the village elders to build traditional toilets, and display an array of utensils that once served as toilet paper, such as pieces of bamboo. The exhibition lasts until the end of June.
In a time when toilet paper hadn’t yet been invented, all kinds of things were used in its place, including ropes, tree leaves, tree branches, stones, and even the leftovers of corn on the cob! Four interns from the social work program at the Chinese Culture University’s School of Continuing Education, as well as five others from National Yilan University did their homework and asked elders of the Jenju Village to make small pieces of bamboo sticks, another kind of “ancient toilet paper.”
In an era without toilet paper, naturally there also wasn’t any modern sanitary equipment. In the countryside, it was customary to dig a hole in the ground, then two wide wooden boards would be put over the top leaving some space between. Those who needed to go just stood across the space with a foot on either side of the wooden boards and let nature take her course. Of course, the toilet was hidden behind “walls” made of rudimentary materials, such as bamboo sticks, wooden boards, and covered with thatching.
The community published the results of their survey and invited village elders such as Chuang Jin-tien and Chen Cheng-kuei to build traditional toilets in the vegetable farm the community has “adopted.” They spent five days building a square toilet 2.36m high and 1.27m on each side. The walls of this new old-fashioned Taiwanese countryside toilet are made of bamboo and the roof is covered with thatching.
Visitors are not only allowed to “visit” this toilet, but they can also use it. However, there isn’t any toilet paper so visitors have to content themselves with the small pieces of bamboo sticks, just as their forebearers did.
When the exhibition first opened, a group of school kids had a quick look at the toilet. While they all wondered how people could possibly use a bamboo stick to wipe their bottom, they had fun getting to grips with the squat toilet.
(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY TAIJING WU)
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Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (4/5) 坐我的新車去兜風吧（四） A: So what do you think of my Mini? B: Well. . . apart from the fact it’s absolutely boiling inside without any air conditioning — and the wind noise is quite loud compared to a modern car — it’s actually pretty cool! It feels a bit like I’m in a go-kart. A: That’s because of the Mini’s ultra-wide wheelbase, which means it handles corners really well. Modified Mini Coopers won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. B: Wow! It feels like we’re driving in a piece of automobile history. A: 那麼，你覺得我的迷你車怎麼樣？ B: 嗯……除了車內沒有空調，感覺快被煮熟以外──而且風切聲跟現代汽車比起來有夠大聲──其實真的很酷！有一點感覺像是在卡丁車裡面。 A:
Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (5/5)
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A: Hello, I’d like to book a table for two please. For 7 o’clock, if possible. B: Certainly, sir. Let me see if I can fit you in. I’m afraid we’re fully booked at that time, but we do have a space at 8pm. A: No problem, 8pm will be fine. B: Thank you. I‘ve reserved you a table for two for 8pm. Just to let you know, we operate a “bring your own” policy for wine, and corkage is NT$50 per bottle. A: OK. See you later on. A: 你好，我想要訂位，兩個人，方便的話晚上七點。 B: 好的，先生。讓我看看能不能幫您安排座位。不好意思，我們那段時間的訂位滿了，不過晚上八點還有空位。 A: 沒問題，晚上八點可以。 B: 謝謝您。我幫您預約晚上八點，兩個人的座位。另外，提醒您本餐廳關於「自行帶酒」的規定，每瓶酒酌收新台幣五十元開瓶費。 A: 好的。我們晚點見。 （Edward Jones,