On Memorial Day, we visited Nai’s side of the family. They live in Jiaxin, about an hour south of Shanghai. One of my mother’s cousins works for the government of Xitang, so he gave us a tour of this peaceful watertown, located just outside JiaXin.

We took a ride on one of these boats. The water appears quite clean, as it is “live” (mixes with the river). The building pictured has two corridors, one facing you and the other along the other side. Couples who want a son walk through one corridor while those who want a daughter walk through the other. John and I walked through both, hoping one would negate the other: barren womb forever, man!

The houses in Xitang are 300-400 years old. They do not contain bathrooms. Potty basins are collected twice a day and hauled off site. I didn’t ask for details.

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