Can you guess what the man on the left is doing? If you are a Kunming resident, you might well recognise a collector of "gutter oil". These secretive and unscrupulous characters scrape off large quantities of waste oil residue which has built up on the sewer walls. They take it away, boil it up to remove any obvious impurities and then sell it back to restaurants to reuse as cooking oil. Gross, right?
There's been quite a furore about it recently, with many foreigners being put off using small restaurants altogether for fear that they are cooking with the stuff. Some restaurants even have signs up assuring customers that they use decent cooking oil. The authorities are trying to clamp down on it, but with limited success so far. Gutter try harder, guys!
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