Shanghai is not exactly the cleanest city in the world. People hack & spit on the street, dump buckets of grease on the sidewalk, & toss their garbage anywhere they please. Even the children do their part to keep the city less than pristine. After living here for six months, I guess I've gotten used to all the grime.
Still, they do try to keep things clean. There are thousands of people dressed in blue sanitation uniforms constantly sweeping & generally picking up after everyone. But in a city of 20 million people, it's almost impossible to stay on top of it all.
The other day, I awoke to an insistent banging on my apartment door. I crawled out of bed & I groggily opened it to find the apartment manager excitedly waving at the pile of trash outside in the hallway.
She demanded to know who had left it there. "不是我的 - bu2 shi4 wo3 de - It's not mine." She reproached me a few more times before she went banging on the rest of the doors on my floor. She must not have found the culprit, though. Two days later, the garbage is still there.