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In China, the thermos bottle is ubiquitous - there may be running water in an apartment - but everyone uses the hot water bottle for water used in making tea, for drinking, and for cooking. One of the daily chores was to go to a central location on the campus with your thermos bottles to have them filled.
Each person/family had between 2 and 6 of these bottles that they filled each day.
Sometime during May of 1988 the price of coal doubled - on October 15 of that year, the school reacted by doubling the price charged to fill hot water bottles. Small bottles (about a quart) that had been 2 fen to fill were now priced at 4 fen. Large bottles (2 quarts) went from 3 fen to 6 fen.
Notice the thermos bottles!
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