Oh, where do we begin? With the virgins or the urine? With the eggs or the soaking of said eggs in the urine of virgins?
How does a story on Reuters — written by Royston Chan (
broaching poaching topics no one else will) — that begins like this:
It’s the end of a school day in the eastern Chinese city of Dongyang, and eager parents collect their children after a hectic day of primary school.
Get to here:
Basins and buckets of boys’ urine are collected from primary school toilets. It is the key ingredient in “virgin boy eggs”, a local tradition of soaking and cooking eggs in the urine of young boys, preferably below the age of 10.
Wading through sentences such as:
It takes nearly an entire day to make these unique eggs, starting off by soaking and then boiling raw eggs in a pot of urine. After that, the shells of the hard-boiled eggs are cracked and they continue to simmer in urine for hours.
The popularity of the treat has led the local government to list the “virgin boy eggs” as an intangible cultural heritage.
I am poorer for knowing that a governing body somewhere in this country thinks enough of ingesting the piddle of virgin boys — simply because it’s been done for a long time — to give it the imprimatur of “intangible cultural heritage.”
HOWEVER. However. And if this makes me a bad person, I micturate on your judgmental soul… I am slightly heartened by the knowledge that somewhere, somehow, a tourist —
Tony Troy Parfitt, perhaps — could possibly stumble upon a vat while backpacking through a town deep in Zhejiang province and be taken by the balmy aroma of steaming eggs soaking in the bubbles of schoolboys’ trickle and think, ONLY 1.5 YUAN FOR THIS DELICIOUSNESS? WHAT COULD IT BE?, and toss aside the last vestiges of hesitation upon seeing the hand-scrawled sign, INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE.
Questions I have at this moment:
Do the boys have to be virgins?
How does one select the right kind of pee?
Are urine collectors interviewed for ability… or what?
The only thing I know for sure is: it’s 2:40 am on Friday morning Beijing time. When I wake up, this story will be viral. Dongyang, Zhejiang province: welcome to the map.