This line in Connection.init looks like it should be
conv[FIELD_TYPE.CHAR] = u
CHAR, BOOL and TINY are all equivalent, and by default
mapped to int, which is definitely what you want for
It's only when enabling unicode translation that this line of
code executes and causes transformation of CHAR/BOOL/
TINY fields to unicode strings...
Sorry if this is a known issue, I didn't dig around too far.