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January 24, 2006

What's that smell?

Friends of ours once had a horrible experience on a trans-atlantic flight -- or almost had a horrible experience. They were seated next to a woman who, by their description, hadn't bathed since she was in grade school. As they were contemplating their fate, and looking for the exit doors, a flight attendant came by and, without saying why, invited them into First Class. When they got there, she told them she was sorry and the airline was offering this to them as compensation.

Some people aren't so fortunate. Say, about 120 million Chinese peasants. According to Reuters, train travel before the Chinese new year leaves something to be desired:

BEIJING (Reuters) - Migrant workers in south China are wearing adult diapers on packed trains heading home for the Lunar New Year holiday because they have no access to a toilet, state media said Tuesday.

About 120 million peasants from China's vast rural areas swarm the cities for work and all try to make it home for the holiday, filling all standing room on trains and making access to the toilet impossible during trips often lasting 24 hours or more.

"During the peak travel period last year, some passengers even became deranged on their journeys because of the conditions and jumped out of the carriages," the China Daily said.
Adult diapers? Well, that's one solution, I guess. The article notes:
Many supermarkets in southern Foshan had reported a 50 percent increase in sales of adult diapers for the train trips, the China Daily said in what some local commentators called the "shame of the nation." It did not mention other cities.
"The shame of the nation"? I'll say. Isn't that the name of one of the Amtrak routes?

(via Fark)