Taiwanese Plumbing From Hell

Taiwanese plumbing from hell
A creative plumbing job beneath a sink in the bathroom of a breakfast shop in Keelung.

This afternoon I snapped this photograph of the seemingly crazy plumbing job beneath a sink in the bathroom of a breakfast shop in Keelung 基隆. It was a hit on Facebook with many people sharing the photo to their own feeds. Some compared it to the work of M.C. Escher, others suggested this shop is stealing water, and one friend weighed in to say it’s an unsightly yet sensible design. Many foreigners in Taiwan have a sardonic catch phrase for this kind of half-assed job: chàbùduō 差不多, which translates to “almost” or “nearly”. (Apparently Taiwanese people don’t use this phrase in a negative context. Perhaps it is only laowai slang?) Maybe this crazy system of pumps and pipes serves its purpose—but it certainly looks like madness to the inexpert eye!