Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

Archive for May, 2009

Happy Meaningless Festival! (*)

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, May 29, 2009

Here in China, we’ve just celebrated another meaningless nationalist festival, the world-renowned Duanwu Festival. This is a traditional and ancient Chinese festival that was first celebrated in the PRC in 2008, which makes it a bit like all those ancient pagoda’s that are five thousand years old yet were not to be seen when I first arrived in this Godforsaken place.

Duanwu – there’s a story there. The Chinese have started calling it the Dragon Boat Festival, probably because this is a festival that occurs at the same time in other countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, and they want to steal the glory. Of course, Dragon Boat Festival translates as longzhou jie, and means simply having a bit of a paddle on a river, whilst duanwu means solar maximus festival. This just goes to show that you shouldn’t believe most of what you read in the fashion magazines, most of which are written by fuckwits in any case.

As with all Chinese festivals, this one involves what the Chinese like to call ‘delicious food’. This ‘delicious food’ goes by the name of Zongzi, and is made from pus-filled bandages wrapped in bamboo leaves. They are supposed to be thrown into the river to commemorate the fact that a poet once threw himself into the river after being caught at treason, but over the years some people have actually been known to eat them – the lesson here is to not be fooled into thinking that you can actually eat something in China merely because someone tells you it is ‘delicious’. Other popular activities on this day include hanging a little bag filled with ‘medicine’ (twigs and grass) around your neck, trying to stand an egg on it’s end, and writing magical spells. All of which makes it pretty much the same as any other day for most Chinese people.

Anyway, all this is besides the point. I know there’s probably a Falling Cow in this somewhere, but instead I want to tell you a bit about what I’ve been up to recently. Obviously, I haven’t been blogging: I have been on my summer hols! That’s right, I’ve been travelling the length and breadth of this magnificent land, scouring it for news and stories. I thought I’d share with you good people a few of my favourite photo’s, the one’s that show the very best this nation has to offer, both ancient and modern. Check these out (my apologies for the slight haze, which I’m assured is not pollution):

Shanghai at Night

A scene from the famous Bund in Shanghai, at night. Note the brilliant neon lights.

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Great Wall

The Great Wall of China continues to attract millions of visitors from around the world. Many parts of this wall have been restored recently. You still can’t see it from space, though.

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Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is yet another famous place in China. This imperial palace was built during the period of 1406 to 1420 by foreigners. The Chinese now claim it as their own.

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Dazu Rock Carvings

Listed as a  UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Dazu rock carvings are a series of works of religious significance, and are therefore banned in China. These exquisitely carved sculptures were created in the 7th century A.D. The carvings are located in Dazu County on a steep hillside.

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Temple of Confucius

This complex located at Qufu in Shandong Province contains the temple, cemetery and family mansion of Confucius, philosopher, politician and educator, of the 6th & 5th centuries BC. The cemetery contains Confucius’ tomb and the remains of more than 100,000 of his descendants, most of whom had expected to live a lot longer than they did.

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Leshan Buddha

The Leshan Grand Buddha was badly damaged during the Cultural Revolution, by foreigners according to propaganda, but has now been lovingly restored by the careful application of pink concrete. A must see if you have absolutely nothing else to do.

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(*) Post title stolen from TaiTai, of Sinocidal fame.

Please note that this post took nearly four hours to put up, which just goes to show the lengths we China bloggers must go to to get around the censorship in China.

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Posted in Environment, Festivals et al | 9 Comments »

Anatomy of a Phone Call

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, May 15, 2009

[Ring! Ring!]…
[Ring! Ring!]…
[Ring! Ring!]…

The owner of the mobile phone stares at it, unblinking, fascinated at the strange sound it is making, awestruck at the thought of this small piece of Hello Kitty-decorated plastic making such a strange and unexpected noise.

[Ring! Ring!]…
[Ring! Ring!]…
[Ring! Ring!]…

A new thought works it’s way out of the depths of his mind, racing across his consciousness with the speed of a glacier: Could this be a ‘phone call’? For me?

[Ring! Ring!]…
[Ring! Ring!]…
[Ring! –]

“Wei? Wei?”

He pauses. A voice inside the device is saying the same thing back to him. This must surely be witchcraft. He’d better shout loudly at it to keep the demons away.

“Wei? Wei? Wei?”

Just a moment, the voice said something else this time. Better shout even louder.

“Shenma? Wei? Wei?”

And now the voice is asking him a question. How peculiar! Time to really shout.

“Arggh! Arggh! Shenma? Wei?”

Enough of this, time to dream of lunch again. He puts the phone back in his pocket.

[Five minutes pass…]

[Ring! Ring!]…
[Ring! Ring!]…
[Ring! Ring!]…

The owner of the mobile phone stares at it, unblinking, fascinated at the strange sound it is making, awestruck at the thought of this small piece of Hello Kitty-decorated plastic making such a strange and unexpected noise…

090515-Wei-Wei-Wei

Posted in China | 4 Comments »

Swine Flu Precautions

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, May 14, 2009

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Someone is going to die of the swine flu in Jinan soon. As with most flu cases, it will be from indirect causes – namely, the next person who rings me in a panic about this goddamn swine flu is going to be slaughtered by yours truly. My God, the only thing more contagious than the flu is the fricking panic it is causing thanks to the media hype [read: CCP propaganda – ML]. N1H1 is a SWINE flu – its is NOT the bird flu, it hasn’t originated from it, they aren’t even distant cousins. They have as much in common as Chinese food has with Italian food.

However, in light of the current panic I have compiled a helpful list of what to do if you are an expat in China.

Flu Prevention

Follow these simple steps ASAP to keep yourself safe:

1) Go to your local supermarket immediately and bring home 3 months supplies of baijiu and noodles. Avoid breathing whilst in the supermarket.

2) Go to your local KTV and pay the usual bribes to bring home your KTV girl (or boy) of choice.

3) Lock all the doors and windows, switch off your phone and don’t leave your home. Use the supplied entertainment package from step 2.

Flu Cure

If you should catch the flu, there are only a few options available to you:

* Visit your local family planning clinic and demand a retro-active abortion

* Wave a playboy centrefold at a local policeman with a butcher’s knife clenched between your teeth

* Stop breathing for the 6 weeks it takes for the flu to run its course

* Eat street barbecue and drink baijiu for 7 days straight – nothing can live through that. If you do survive, the poor little flu won’t – although there may be grounds for your associates to appeal to the Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Viruses for your utterly inhumane actions.

– DaBizzare

Posted in Guest Post | 3 Comments »

Swine Flu Update

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, May 4, 2009

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Posted in Newsflash | 5 Comments »