Chinese Bathroom PSAs Are the Best PSAs

Spending six weeks in China was an unforgettable experience to say the least. It was a great opportunity to get an inside perspective on the world’s newest superpower — to gauge the political pulse and feelings of locals, assess future growth prospects and hurdles, and so on. Also, the dumplings; my god, were those good. I’ve briefly touched on each of these topics in previous posts, so I’ll spare you any further commentary (read: bloviation) on them here.

Rather, before moving on from my China-centric posts, I want to share what was perhaps the single most memorable part of China for me (OK, that’s an exaggeration, but only slightly): the hilarious public service announcements that can be found in most Chinese bathrooms. There’s no single theme present. Some are from a government-led campaign to, er, improve accuracy in urinals, some focus more on what you can and can’t do in a given bathroom, some are borderline inexplicable and feature pictures of dying men being carried to the hospital and/or peeping toms. It’s really just a potpourri of hilarity and questionable translation.

Anyway, I’ll just let these pictures speak for themselves:






Finally, this one wasn’t found in a bathroom, but rather a market in Lijiang (though I thought it could look good framed and hung in a bathroom; Zibby disagreed). That said, it felt right to post it here. Yes, this is in fact an airbrushed t-shirt featuring Avril Lavinge. You’d think this would be found amidst a much greater collection of celebrity t-shirts, but no, this stall only sold Avril Lavinge t-shirts. Touché, China, touché.


2 thoughts on “Chinese Bathroom PSAs Are the Best PSAs

  1. And for those of you whose initial reaction here is, “You mock these PSAs, yet you were the one sketchily taking photographs of them in the bathroom…”, well, I’ve got no real valid response to that, it’s a fair point indeed. Suffice it to say I was discrete as could be, but these simply couldn’t be left undocumented.

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