汉语世界(The World of Chinese) 2016年2期

The love shack is a littleold place where……

By and large, if youre traveling by plane during the Spring Festival, prepare yourself for the worst. Its going to be awful. There are likely to be delays, everything will be crowded, and you try to keep in mind that you are the “lucky” ones—imagine going by train. A couple of young, single women were about to travel to Chinas scenic city of Hangzhou when their flight was canceled. The airline found a hotel for them, but in what sounds like the start of a dodgy porn film, it turned out that they had been put up in—well, theres no tactful way to put it so to use the parlance of the Global Times—a “kinky love hotel” complete with “chain restraints” and a piece of furniture intriguingly described as a “love chair”. The two young women—who we should point out at this point to dissuade any overeager readers were not lesbians or porn stars (sorry to disappoint, but cmon, you didnt really think that right?)—were more than slightly offended by the airlines choice of accommodations, and posted a series of pictures to Weibo. The red-faced airline promptly apologized.

Elephant roadrrage

The Spring Festival can be a pretty frustrating time for young Chinese. When they go home they face incessant interrogation from relatives on everything from marriage and having babies to their job prospects. And perish the thought of visiting a tourist site; theyre all overrun with, well, other tourists. It was all too much for one elephant residing near the G213 highway in Yunnan, who was sick and tired of all the humans clogging up the roads with their cars. Between February 11 and 15, this elephant vented his rage on cars parked along the highway near Yexianggu (Wild Elephant Valley). One anonymous park ranger sheepishly told media that the elephant was probably bothered by all the traffic and people. All told, the elephant launched three separate attacks, damaging over 20 cars, seemingly emphasizing the “wild” part of Wild Elephant Valley and rather effectively telling the human motorists he was sick of their crap. While humans tend to get enraged at such vandalism, elephants are protected in China, so police basically had to cordon off the area and evacuate motorists until the elephant declared victory and left of his own accord. Well played, big guy. Frustrated motorists stuck in traffic know exactly where youre coming from.

Suizhou goes Gangnam

The Hubei town of Suizhou wants you to know all about its mushrooms and tourism. So eager for your tourism dollars, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that a company operating at the behest of the local tourism bureau has created its own pop video which sounds rather similar to Korean pop star Psys 2012 hit “Gangnam Style”, and even uses some of the originals video material in its clip. Suizhou authorities probably should have taken into account the fact we all desperately want to forget that song, but in the true vein of stodgy officials everywhere, theyre a few years late to the party (the clip was originally released a few years ago, and is slowly picking up steam). But did they really have to have the line “OppaSuizhou style”? Just…ugh.

Whats inthose bras?

Australian police with the help of Chinese agencies recently busted a record drug haul heading into Australia from Hong Kong, netting around 712 million USD worth of liquid methamphetamine. Aside from being a nice bit of police work, which started after Australian customs inspected a shipping container in Sydney, the find was interesting due to the ingenious method the smugglers had used to hide their wares. The police that investigated that shipping container had to poke around in some gel inserts that were used as padding for womens bras. Rather than just giving women more comfort or a more ample bust, the gel inserts were there to conceal the drugs. So next time a policeman asks to feel your bra…Well, no, its probably still a bit weird.

Spring cleaning your marriage

The Spring Festival holiday ended on the 14th of February, with people trudging back to work on a Sunday, as so often happens after Chinese holidays. Perceptive boyfriends will note that this day also happened to be Valentines Day. Rather than romance however, for 542 married couples in Chongqing, Southwest China, this was also the day they decided to call it quits. Maybe it was the Spring Festival pressure, but as soon as the marriage registration office opened, there was a spike in the number of people applying for divorce. At least it was lower than the previous years 700-divorce spike on that day. Strangely, state media didnt carry any info on the average daily figure, only saying that this was more than usual.

Mermaid slays Stormtrooper

Remember that time, just a few short months ago, when everybody was excited about the new StarWars film? Along it came, smashing records, causing hysteria and outpourings of nerd joy. Abrams had finally done it, a new Star Wars everyone could be happy with! In China, it was met with great success at first, taking in 33 million USD on its opening Saturday, breaking a record. But its trajectory quickly slowed. This was emphasized with a bang, or perhaps, a splash, in February, when the Chinese box office went berserk on Lunar New Years day, and took in 660 million yuan (100.5 million USD) in just a day, 78 percent higher than the same day on the previous year. The Mermaid, by well-regarded Chinese comedy actor/director Stephen Chow, took most of the profit with 40.9 million USD. Basically, The Mermaid just broke records for box office takings in a single country, be it a single day, or during its first week, when it made 548 million USD—which clobbers the profits made by all movies in North America in a single week, which was at 529.6 million USD in the week ending 2015.

- David Dawson