Thursday, March 7, 2013


Time for a look at what's been making people laugh, look puzzled or blanch in embarrassment around China recently. Today's collection drawn from some avid readers, some more casual readers, the China-wide-web, and me.

The Chinese culture is one that can often leave the westerner perplexed about the right and the wrong thing to do ...

But this effort from across the way in Taiwan makes it pretty clear how to avoid this disease, which was more fun when known as Swine Flu ...

Loose lips don't only sink ships.

Want to combat sexual harassment on trains? Simply sneak up on bum-gropers armed with a shield.

What's slightly disturbing is that the guy has a fairly long nose. Do we assume he's a westerner, imposing his will and his grubby mitts on a poor Chinese girl?

Regardless of the artist's view of
foreign perverts, there's one detail
that's true to life. In the background
you can see noone has offered
their seat to the pregnant woman.

However, here is one sign that leaves patrons of this swimming pool in no doubt ...

Try not to swim in, say, office attire. Or shoots.
I do feel a bit sorry for the coach though.

Chinese signs ... telling it to you straight since 1979 ...

I suspect it was written by an overweight eight-year-old boy.

Obviously that's not what it says in Chinese.

It says: "F--k fruit".

No, it says "Pickled Vegetables". Not sure how this mis-interpretation came about, but it's surely the Holy Grail for people looking for funny English translations the world over. Best one since I saw "Plop" chocolates in Stockholm on June 10, 2006.

At least the sign makes a statement. Nothing worse than ambivalent marketing, like this shop sign I found in Beijing ...

" ... and probably some other stuff I suppose.
Look, why don't you come in and see for
yourself, unless you've got to be somewhere."

At least it's clear what this place does ...

And this one, sort of ...

But this one leaves a few questions unanswered ...

There was possibly some room for confusion around this set of traffic lights outside an unidentified theme park in Chongqing. Perhaps it was Traffic Light World.

With 14 lights on the one pole, it was little wonder, then ...

Local authorities reported the traffic was moving
"as smooth as ever". Still, it was later reported the
light-o-rama was taken down.

In western-goods shops here in Beijing, there are always letters advertising the services of maids.

Rule 1: Always start with a compliment ...

Even when addressing a trans-gender person ...

... who may get about in this sort of garment.

But spelling in English is always tricky, with a few traps to watch out for ...

Remember, 'O' before 'I' except in 'Detriot'.

I'd like to take this opportunity now to mention my good friend Mark Dobbin, a TV cameraman who used to be based in Beijing, but who is now in Bangkok. He recently went to Rapa Nui, which was also more fun under it's old name of Easter Island, and took these pictures.

Marvellous work, that. Mark's an extremely gifted cameraman and still photographer with a wonderful eye for the visual image ...

But he's also a damn fool.

He didn't have to go across the Pacific for his photos of the statues.

He could've come just up the road to Beijing.

For centuries people have pondered the eternal mystery of these massive sentries - or fairly big sentries anyway - who watch day and night over, erm, a Beijing office building.

When were they erected? Who put them there? And how did they do it?

Probably by crane I reckon.

Unless someone just drove them up and unloaded them.

Though you're not supposed to drive around them now.

China's great like that. Not content to already own some of the world's most famous landmarks, they've built some more with inspiration from abroad.

For example, this is in Suzhou ...

Mind you, this is in Las Vegas, so ...


Here's an inspirational publicity photo of a very famous band in Australia that we all grew up admiring in the 1970s ...

They were called Sherbet.
And they were big.
What needs to be said? There's simply nothing wrong with this picture
at all. Although, to be fair, the man on the far left - lead singer and
resident heart-throb Daryl Braithwaite - looks well disturbed.
And come on, long forgotten guy on the right: This was supposed
to leave a bit to the imagination.
As I recall, bubble bath was expensive in Australia back then.

This was brought to my attention from a very funny website called Awkward Band and Musician Photos (google it ... or else there's a facebook page by the same name if you take out the spaces).

I agonised as to how I could link this to a blog about China and parenting. I couldn't. But I can tie it in with these other ones I found ...

Parenting ...

I'm not sure which one is more creepy. But I do know that little girl is about to burst into tears.

This one ties into China ...

And this beautiful, moving album cover dove-tails nicely with my piece on romance from Monday ...

I'm with you, Babs.
If it's true that romance is dead, I'd say it
was bludgeoned to death by Romantica.

And that's about enough gratuitous usage of weird album covers and music promo shots.

Oh OK, one more, just for fun ...

Like the statues of Rapa Nui, here is
another enduring mystery. Noone
can understand how these guys didn't
sell millions.

See you again on Monday!

(Thanks for pics to readers Juliet London and Al Rawack. Other pics from and

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