Today I went to see some colleagues who work on another floor and then spied one of the women wearing a smock.
In China, it's the sure sign she's pregnant.
She confirmed she was due in mid August.
How did you know? she asked.
"Because you're wearing one of these things!" I exclaimed, pointing to her navy blue smock that's sleeveless and with pleats at the chest to create more room for her soon-to-be bulging tummy.
She explained that pregnant women wear these anti-radiation aprons especially when doing office work. "It helps to cut down on the amount of radiation exposure we get from the computer and cellphone," she said. "The manufacturer says it cuts it by 30 percent."
I asked her if she knew for sure this piece of clothing would really help, but she shrugged and said, well it's to protect the baby.
Then I retorted we should all be wearing these anti-radiation outfits. I also added I'd never seen any pregnant woman with these smocks on. You'd think North America would be leading the way in anti-radiation to protect unborn fetuses... or is this something the Chinese know and we don't?
Months ago I saw another female coworker, in her mid 20s wearing a smock too while she was working in front of the computer.
"You aren't pregnant, are you?" I demanded.
She affirmed she was not, but said she wore the apron to protect herself from the computer radiation.
However, the slim, trendy young woman only wore it a few times and since then I haven't seen her wear it.