Posted by: travelrat | January 10, 2016

Travel Theme: Routine


On our Yangtze River cruise, I was taking my early-morning stroll around the deck, when I saw the ‘gash boat’ alongside, collecting the ship’s garbage. I had my camera with me, so I leaned over the rail to take a photograph.

Why did I do it? After all, I don’t take pictures of the garbage collectors (sorry, ‘Refuse Disposal Operatives’) at home. And, I can’t imagine that any Chinese visitors to the UK take pictures of our bin-men at their work.

What did the boatmen think of being photographed? Why did this foreigner find their daily routine so interesting? I just thought it so strange and exotic, even though it’s something I wouldn’t have given a second thought to at home.

But, there are visitors from all over the world who like to photograph policemen, Guardsmen, Scotsmen in national dress  … and even stallholders and tour guides at their work, even though, to them, it’s just … routine.

More routines at


  1. Great Post

    • Thank you!

      • welcome

  2. […] travel rat […]

  3. I think at home the garbage would be off-loaded in a dumpster bin where appearances are kept tidy. In china there is quite a range of useful high and low technology ever present and in view. In the new word you don’t see less energy sponge practices like individual transfer of huge amounts of garbage in one lump batch like this.

    • Actually, I was rather surprised at the amount of garbage a ship could generate, but then, afterwards, I thought maybe the scow visited a number of ships offloading their trash. I wonder what happened to it afterwards? Probably landfill, although I did hear somewhere that China has some power stations fuelled by burning garbage (???)

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