Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

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

Archive for April, 2010

Your Attention, Please

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, April 30, 2010

I would like to note, for the record, that it has been six weeks since I last received a death threat. That’s a goodly long while around this place, and it simply isn’t good enough.

Mrs MyLaowai, the delightful inspiration who forever terrifies the living bejeezus out of me, says this is a sign I have become more “culturally sensitive and aware”, and that this is the natural result of my recent “conciliatory efforts”. From this you can see that, despite her reputation, Mrs MyLaowai is a kind and sensitive creature who tries to put everything in the best possible light.

Because what she really means is: I’m slipping.

Come on folks, throw me a bone here! I spend hours crafting award-winning humour for you; I use only the finest genuine imitation meaty goodness in my jokes and witty bons mots; and I never miss a chance for a cheap shot. I do this for the same reason that the Red Cross used to send care parcels to POW’s back during the Last Big One – I do it to keep up the spirits of the thousands of Laowai who are in China. Every time one of these unfortunates cracks a smile, I have done my duty and in some small way helped a fellow human being survive the day. My reward, the finest reward any man can receive without actually meeting the Queen in fact, has been the dozens of death threats I have received from our friends in the Munchkin Community. Such gems as “I am will Be Head you with your ancestors” and “fuk you i wil kil you leave our Glorios CHINA foreighn DEVIL” have me rolling in the aisles, splitting my sides with laughter. That’s my truest reward, and I beseech you, the Little People – keep ’em coming, please!

Or do I actually have to start trying to offend people now? I’ll do it if I have to, just see if I don’t…

Posted in Newsflash | 38 Comments »

Haibao – The Secret Archives

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, April 30, 2010

After my astute boss, Mr MyLaowai himself, alerted me to the presence of our little blue friend, I started to flex my contacts and poked many back doors to find out some more. I was startled to find a huge, well-hidden conspiracy.

I had noticed this little fellow scattered liberally around the country, but had been told by locals he was representative of China’s new water policy to provide larger quantities of drinkable water to the population. Unfortunately, 80% of China has water quality so low I wouldn’t let my dogs drink it, so this seemed like a plausible explanation.

Of course, MyLaowai discovered this blob is actually the mascot for the Expo, so I thought to myself “Damn this KTV Xiao Jie, Miss Erection, is good in bed”, followed by “I wonder how much more Miss Direction has been taking place?”

So, following hot on the heels of the Movement of 100 Flowers, I began to dig behind the scenes to find the real truth.

For those students of ancient history, China has had magic practitioners for many thousands of years, for example, Anqi Sheng. Each dynasty sought to make contact with these magicians, but usually failed. These magicians were famous for many acts, but most especially for the elixir of life, floods, droughts and the raising and lowering of land. Indeed, Hairman Miaow is not dead, just sleeping, after imbibing this fabled elixir.

Unfortunately, in the true spirit of the Cultural Revolution, several of these magicians were ordered to death. Even an elixir of life fails when faced with the high-speed lead poisoning that accompanies the Chinese judicial system.

This led to some fascinating retributions, including the massive droughts, earthquakes, dust storms and so on, but most importantly (and at last, relevantly) – the sinking of Shanghai. More in the next instalment.

– DaBizarre

Posted in Festivals et al, Guest Post, Propaganda | 1 Comment »

Haibao Song

Posted by MyLaowai on Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hey, I finally figured out where I’d seen the Chinese pavilion before – in Japan! That’s right, it’s a low-rent copy of something done better by the Japanese. Who would ever have guessed it? But there’s one thing that the Chinese certainly did not copy in their quest for Expo excellence, and that’s Gumbi, I mean Spongebob Squarepants, sorry I meant Haibao. Yup, Haibao, that lovable blue inflatable thing that tells us how to live our lives.

Seriously, never mind who came up with the idea of copying a plasticine man from 1953, never mind how much money has been wasted spent erecting thousands of the damn things everywhere, and never mind how recockulous the whole thing is. I’ve a much better thing to worry about, and that’s to do with the Expo Theme Song: Every big propaganda event must have a theme song, hopefully starring Jackie Chan and a few other washed up Communist supporters. It seems such a song was indeed created early this year, but then some no-good Japanese by the name of Maya Okamoto stole it from the Good People of China back in 1997. People from all walks of life are calling for a boycott of Japanese products (again), but the lads over at Expo HQ didn’t waste time complaining – no sir! They got right down to brass tacks and created a new and improved Expo Theme Song, starring Gumbi Haibao and a whole slew of new washed up Communist supporters. It’s a cracker, I’m sure you’ll agree, and those catchy lyrics will have your toes tapping like little tapping things.

Haibao, I think you’ll find, has finally found his destiny.

Haibao, bringing you a better city and a better life. It’s his name-Show, after all.

Posted in Festivals et al, Propaganda | 3 Comments »

Expo and the Logo-A-Gogo

Posted by MyLaowai on Friday, April 16, 2010

One of my researchers turned up an interesting fact the other day, and I thought to share it with you. You see folks, for the last year or so there have been these funny pictures turning up on the sides of buildings and in magazines and pretty much everywhere else you care to look, but nobody has had the faintest idea what they were supposed to be. Imagine my surprise when I was informed that they are in fact the Expo Logo! All this time, and I never knew!

The thing is, even now that I know what they are, I still haven’t the faintest idea what they are supposed to represent. I mean to say, how does something looking like a few used condoms flapping in the breeze represent a so-called ‘Expo’? Curious to find out whether the problem was with me, my team and I hit the streets of Shanghai. We stopped at random nearly four hundred people in the streets, pretending to be journalists, and asked them what they thought the thing was supposed to represent. The results of our polling show that people in general do seem to have a good grasp on what this ‘Expo’ thing is all about:

97% of the Chinese people we asked said that it looked like the fumes rising from the surface of the nearby Huangpu River. This is perhaps reasonable – after all the word “Huangpu” translates roughly as ‘Stench” in Chinese, and it is the only river I know of that you can walk across without getting your feet wet (although these days there’s every chance you will receive chemical burns).

94% of the foreign people we asked said that it looked like the ghosts of murdered Laowai’s rising from their shallow graves. Again, given that most of the parks in Shanghai are actually shallow graves for the thousands of foreigners who were murdered when the Communists took over, and that their bones regularly appear after heavy rains, this makes a lot of sense.

The official explanation is that it represents the Chinese ‘family’, looking down upon the rest of the world from a position of superiority. Actually, that’s a rough translation, the actual words read more like “condescending to look down upon the world like Gods”.

Anyway. make up your own mind. Here it is:

So there you have it, whiz-kids. Expo, a better city and a better life perhaps, but a crappier logo for sure.

Posted in Festivals et al, Propaganda | 12 Comments »

An Expo Special Report

Posted by MyLaowai on Wednesday, April 7, 2010

After being alerted by the MyLaowai management team to the well-hidden presence of a major international event in Shanghai, I dutifully climbed off my KTV girl, kicked aside the empty bottles of baijiu and scattered mah-jongg tiles, crawled into my best tracksuit and hit the road to investigate. Just another of the small sacrifices we here at the MyLaowai investigative team make on a daily basis to help satisfy our readers and local support teams. Sunday it may be, a day off for a small fraction of the workforce, but we can put aside our small vicarious pleasures and martinis at a moment’s notice to document the continuing development and growth of the Harmonica Society.

Once on the site, I immediately discovered something amazing: the first pavilion was open on a trial basis already! Well, that wasn’t the amazing part, it being open already, but rather – which pavilion it was. In complete defiance of their usual nature, the Shandong pavilion was leading the way. Shandong province can best be described as traditional, conservative and replete with historical and natural treasures. At worst, it can be described as an intellectual backwater that is 200 years behind the rest of the country, whose greatest claims to fame are a tall mountain, Mount MaiTai, a small fishing village retrofitted for the Olympic sailing event in order to provide some impetus for cleaning up the algae blooms caused by over-fertilization of the delicious kelp farms to the south, and an ancient philosopher called Kong Fu Zing.

Completely unsurprisingly, these are indeed major features of the pavilion. A larger than life, and completely inaccurate, statue of Kong Fu Zing dominates the display space, looking down on all visitors in the traditional Shandongese manner. Also dominating the area are two large view screens. One is continuously depicting the scene from the top of Mount MaiTai, which stands so high it is actually above most of the pollution in China – excepting the trash left behind by the Chinese tourists – and enables anybody to look down on most of the rest of China, in true Shandongese fashion.

Obviously, these first two displays have nothing to do whatsoever with the theme of the Expo, “Better Cities, Better Life”, but Shandong, as usual, doesn’t have to take any notice of what everybody is doing, or with what they are supposed to be doing. However, with the barest of nods towards this theme, the second display screen shows scenes from city life in Shandong. In typical Shandongese manner, very little, if anything is showing initiatives or developments to improve city life, just documenting how glorious happy the people are living in perfect harmony with the pollution. The final display piece is an abstract work depicting the curling ocean waves that are completely non-existent in Qingdao, but did provide a means of disposing of some of the algae by compressing it into a sculpture.

The next day, Easter Monday, I couldn’t work as it was Tomb Sweeping Day, and verily the Chinese were busy sweeping one of the biggest tombs in China, a coal mine in Shanxi, a riveting event that even I couldn’t take my eyes off.

– DaBizarre

Posted in Festivals et al, Guest Post, Propaganda | 9 Comments »

Eye on Expo

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, April 5, 2010

I received an email over the weekend from a reader, asking me for my thoughts on the upcoming Expo. My first thought was: “What Expo?”. Well, my crack team of researchers here at MLHQ got busy and imagine my surprise when they discovered that China is holding a so-called ‘Expo’ in May! It was quite a shock, I can tell you! To start with, not one of us had heard a thing about it, and we honestly wondered whether this was an elaborate April Fool’s joke of some sort. I mean to say, normally with these big propaganda events, the entire thing is thrust in your face like a big face-thrusting thing, but this little number slipped by, completely under the radar. Mind you, it turns out we weren’t the only ones to miss it – even the United States didn’t know anything about it until just a few weeks ago, when one of their chappies in the State Department overheard a conversation at the Chinese Embassy.

Well folks, we got busy finding out what this ‘Expo’ thing is all about, and have put together a short series of posts for you, designed to give you the essential facts.

To start with, the general theme of this ‘Expo’ is “Better City, Better Life”. And it certainly represents a Better Life for some twelve and a half thousand citizens who have been forcefully relocated to a Better City far out in the countryside, in order to make way for the various pavilions. The Chinese pavilion is, of course, going to be the most magnificent structure in the history of buildings, as it is an enormous red pyramid standing 5,000 feet high (one foot for every year of glorious history, I’m told).

However, at a Press Conference held this morning, the coolie in charge of construction admitted that he had been looking at the blueprints upside down, with the result that the entire thing is now perched precariously on it’s point. “However,” he went on to say, “the pyramid is as safe as any other building in Chinese history, so you don’t need to worry about it.” And, upside down or no, we here at MLHQ are all convinced that the pyramid is way better than anything else within fifty yards of it. Here’s what it looks like:

Expo 2010: Better City, Better Life. But just not for anyone we know. So, to all you crazy kids out there in interweb land, stay tuned for the next instalment of Eye on Expo, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.

Posted in Festivals et al, Propaganda | 8 Comments »

Haiti. A quick FYI.

Posted by MyLaowai on Thursday, April 1, 2010

The international community has pledged a total of $9.9 billion dollars in immediate and long-term aid to earthquake-hit Haiti at a UN donor conference, with $5.3 billion dollars worth of support over the next two years, far exceeding the $4 billion dollars requested by the Haitian government to rebuild infrastructure.

“This is the down-payment Haiti needs for wholesale national renewal,” UN chief Ban Ki-moon said in New York.

Here’s how the cookie crumbled:

EU $1.7bn
US $1.15bn
Spain $466m
Canada $390m
World Bank $250m
France $243m
Brazil $172m

China, the nation with the world’s largest cash reserves, has ‘promised’ a mere $1.3 million, less than one cent per person, and that was from the Red Cross of China. Nothing at all from the Party or People. Even Slovakia did better than that. China, be fucking ashamed of yourself.

Cheap, uncaring bastards.

Posted in Newsflash | 84 Comments »