Chairs with a view
There is no doubt that with their one-point-two billions of people, the Chinese have a different concept of privacy and personal space than do we occidentals. In Yinchuan, near the central mosque, we found to our great surprise that dentistry is performed right out in the open, in full view of the public. We walked by the plate-glass windows of a string of dentists offices, all in a row, like kitchen supply places on the Bowery. In many of these vitrines we saw dental technicians groping deep into their patients' mouths, as if having a root canal is no more traumatic than getting your bangs trimmed at a hair salon. Nobody seemed to find this in the least odd, and we were the only gawkers.
Space available: walk right in and sit down for some while-you-wait teeth-cleaning. The logic seems to be that customers, seeing the empty chair in the window, will be tempted to pop in on the spur of the moment to finish up that nasty bit of bridgework they've been putting off.
Some of the dentists' shop windows displayed jars of teeth, as if to show that they had been in business a long time. Nonetheless I found this macabre advertising rather counterproductive since I, when and if I ever visit the chair, am of course very much hoping that no teeth whatsoever will be removed.