Category Archives: Odd

The source of the polystrene box bikes

Everybody knows that the tourist authorities in Shanghai have a constant flow of locals riding bikes overloaded with polystyrene boxes for foreigners to take pictures of and post to their Facebook friends.

On a recent jaunt to the northern outskirts of town I’m happy to report that I found a whole street of these bikes getting loaded up for the tourists. It was absolutely no coincidence that the boxes were being turfed outside the fruit and vegetable markets.

Bloggers beware: dogs attack

Material for a blog in Shanghai is a pretty easy task, simply walk down the street and you’re bound to walk into some sort of funny business – whether you were searching for it or not.

And so it was a joyous occasion last week when I came across a small-ish pooch wearing a pink dress. The hilarity I was keeping inside was more than enough to fill this blog for another entry. Being a guy who appreciates privacy I asked the canine’s owners if I could take a few snaps, of which they obliged, and we made small talk about the dog’s name which was ‘small something’ – I didn’t get the second part of the name in Chinese.

Anywho, as I bent down and took out my camera to take a few pictures the pup snapped. The angry bark took me by surprise but I reacted calmly – dogs are bound to get pissed at strangers, right? I took a step back to give the dog some room but that wasn’t enough, he(or she) went for my shoes and started having a good angry gnaw.

The owner started yelling in Chinese at the dog and tried to brush it off while I tried to keep my composure – but the dog wasn’t calming down. It was at about this time I remembered reading a recent article about rabies in China – it’s not uncommon for infections to happen here. Okay, maybe not here in Shanghai, but I wasn’t really thinking of the details at this point.

I half thought of kicking the dog but that would definitely mean being barred from doggy heaven. So what I did was give my leg a shake and run for the hills. Yes, my cankles ran away as fast as they could from a dog in a skirt. A pink skirt. A pink skirt with frills.

To the dog owner’s credit he did try and call me back to say it was okay – but I wasn’t having a bar of it. Luckily the canine gave up after about 40 metres – my peak distance. Any further and I would have been done for.

I did happen to take a rather bad snap of the culprit though. Bloggers, beware:

Rubber reviews

Safe sex is a serious issue in China. In Shanghai, just about every convenience store has a huge range of penis protectors and there’s even vending machines conveniently located near hairdressing salons on many of the inner city streets.

Now, I’ve casually seen some of the names of the condoms available and had a good chuckle. And when I say chuckle, I mean giggle like puberty boy – especially at the packaging which would suggest there are some locals that are so awkwardly well-endowed they must be bow-legged.

I digress.

So, I’ve never actually been close enough to read the devil in the details of these packets until the weekend when I found a box of “No.1 American Choice” brands in our hotel room:

“Feel better than wearing nothing” is the slogan, and it’s been “triple tested”.

However, what I like is that they’re giving some highlights of the reviews the condom has been getting back in the US of A – and boy are they popular. The New York Times say it’s a “Triumph of Excess”, Men’s Health reviewed it twice saying it was a “must-try” and has “sensitivity A+”. The female magazine Cosmopolitan also gave the rubber a run and said it was “Oodles more sensation”. And just in case you were wondering if it was safe for M2M action the San Francisco Boy Guardian gave it it’s “Highest Rating”.

Well there you have it. Who would have thunk that there are editors at these media outlets in the USA giving these a good shag testing for the folks having dirty weekends in Wuxi.

Chinglish vs lazy English

Chinglish, the butt of many expat bloggers in China. It’s all good and well to have a good old ‘tee hee he’ about Chinese words transmogrified into English but have you looked in your own country’s backyard lately?

Well I did recently and came across this doozy. Seriously, whoever wrote, approved, painted, and then hung this sign needs a good hard look at themselves in Sydney, Australia:

Shanghai tip: Don’t show fear to the monkey

Ahh Friday’s. What would they be without a good monkey story?

About a month ago I was sipping, as elegantly as one can at 10pm, on a margarita at Cantina Agave on Fumin Lu (which is the best Mexican in town by the way) when a monkey came up on the bench and started begging. It’s fairly common to see people beg around western restaurants and bars in town but we were surprised by the monkey. It was the first monkey we’d seen in China, let alone Shanghai.

Unfortunately, the monkey was on a leash and was trained to beg – not far behind the monkey was a toothless character thinking we’d give him some money for his show of animal cruelty. When we said no, the monkey shot off and went to go to the next table. Instead of begging the monkey went straight for a loose handbag on the table. Luckily the woman who owned the bag was firm and shooed off the monkey like an old hand the owner disappeared fast after one of the women who worked there started chasing him down Changle Lu.

What did I do? Not spill one drop of the margarita, of course.

Which brings me to the point of today’s post: Don’t show fear to the monkey. According to a report in the London Metro we were extremely lucky the monkey in Shanghai didn’t get loco on us like one did recently in Chengdu:

A 60-year-old woman,Zhou Juchang, was pushed off a cliff by a monkey. She made the claim after winding up at the bottom of a seven-metre rockface, fracturing her hip and breaking three ribs.

Now she’s suing her travel agent, who organised her trip into China’s Chengdu Wildlife Park.

The monkey allegedly flew into a rage when the woman refused to hand over the bag of monkey food which her tour guide recommended she buy.

A spokesman for the park said the woman’s mistake was showing fear.

Anyway, if you are after Mexican in Shanghai I do highly recommend Cantina Agave. Relatively cheap Mexican food, good tequila, nice owners, and expensive jugs of margaritas. It’s located in the French Concession at 291 Fumin Lu, near Changle Lu.

What do your moles say about you?

What sort of mole do you have? A lucky one? a poverty mole, affair mole, orgy mole, longevity mole, or is that a gossip mole?

According to this Chinese chart (see below) there is an ancient tell tale sign of what the moles on your face mean according to where they are on your face. I’m yet to see this stuff on mainland China, well Shanghai, but I snapped the following pictures while on a recent trip to Singapore. Do people really believe in this stuff?

In my younger years I wonder what they would have said about a freckly ginger kid? Are freckles moles? If so, I’m in for a hell of a ride yet….as long as I can escape all of those ‘early death’ moles – commonly known in the western world as “skin cancer”.