Sunday, 8 September 2013

Bike helmet - you're doing it wrong...

One of the things about travelling in any country, especially China it seems, are the unusual things you see.  Of course, I have no desire to be cruel here and stupid things can be seen on the streets of Britain on a daily basis too, but just for fun, here are some of the things I saw on my recent trip back to China that made me chuckle.

The first is definitely my favourite, and the best version of a meme that I've ever happened across in my own life.  Taken out of the window of a moving car on my phone, which explains the slightly bad photo, but I'll let you spot the glaring gaff yourselves...

bike helmet meme doing it wrong china

Of course, motorbikes are a constant source of wonder for foreigners in China, with babies crammed in between multiple adults and amazing loads balanced on the back of small and knackered machines.  Whilst up on the Tibetan plateau I did come across this little party out for an afternoon ride.

bike people crammed

The use of the English language is a constant source of amusement for travellers in Asia (check out the very funny if you don't know it already), though equally Chinese characters are abused horribly in the west, so we can't exactly claim any moral superiority here.  Still, it's always funny to come across some mangled language, though in the case below it was less a case of garbled grammar and more one of simply not caring how to put a graphic on a car!

car china graphics backwards mistake

Shops in China are funny beasts.  Chinese cities contain a huge variety of establishments, from grubby backstreet family run places to gleaming luxury emporia.  Its actually the latter group that seem to promote the most weirdness, as many seem to compete to be the most 'western', albeit in ways that westerners find rather odd.  Shops names are a particularly great source of fun. My favourite ever was a fashion store in Beijing called 'Valued Squirrel.'

A recent fashion seems to be to take English words and combine them to create brands.  Two that really caught my eye in Chengdu are 'Prich' (combining 'Pride' and 'Rich') and 'Plory' ('Pride' and 'Glory') - who could fail to be impressed with such values!

Another one I found rather odd, if not even a little disturbing was a women's underwear brand (I swear I didn't spend my time looking at women's underwear), called 'Diana', with the tagline, and I quote directly, spelling mistake and all, 'Diana the Romance of Bbritish'.  *shudder*

Staying with the English language, while picking up some last minute food and drink to bring home with me I was rather startled by the jumper a staff member was wearing.  It proved rather difficult to get a good photo on my phone without the wearer thinking I was some weirdo stalker, but hopefully I got a good enough one.  Despite being nonsensical and containing seemingly random words, look out for the words that are rather inappropriate for a family supermarket!

Finally, while browsing in a very small shop in a little town we stopped off at in the Sichuan mountains, I saw this particularly good example of garbled English.  I realise I'm running the risk here of you all thinking that I'm obsessed with women's clothing so I promise that my next post about my Chinese travels will be more high-brow and cultural than this one!

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