Saturday, August 16, 2008

Only in China (iphone edition)

So I've been thinking, we do have to qualify this whole Only in China business. It's true that some of these Only in China stories/pictures probably happen in other places; yeah, yeah, false advertising. But you have to admit, some of these somehow capture the strange mixtures of 3rd world/developed, rural/urban, complete disregard for rules/hyper-ordinance that make China, well, China. Only in China moments are just those experiences that jarringly snap us out of normal living (that is post-culture-shock Beijing life) and make us go "Wuhh? Oh yeah, we're in China!"

Before we left, I got M Dou a nice camera for our anniversary. The only thing is, it's really conspicuous. I mean really. Our friend Liz calls it an NFA camera. Since we don't have the 3 foot lenses that our studly friends Jerry and Ingrid use (shameless plug for the best wedding photographers evarrr), it's really hard to snap pictures of Only in China moments with the big guns. So I've been surreptitiously capturing these moments with my iphone. I know the pictures are blurry and craptacular, but it's not about the picture. The picture's just proof that these things actually happened.

Without further ado, Only in China (iphone edition):

Chopstick Lock

Spotted this today at dinner. The bolt had come off the lock in the bathroom and the lock on the doorknob no longer worked (I think I spy tape next to the doorknob, too), so some industrious restaurant worker had improvised this sweet little setup. The moment I spotted this, a mental image went through my head: some guy in a hurry pushes on the door, the chopstick breaks, and the poor guy accidentally stumbles into the bathroom, makes awkward eye contact with the current occupant before hastily retreating.


One of my English students had his mp3 player on his desk when I spotted this little gem. I'm assuming the factory knew what they were doing when they made this guy, but the combination of shameless ipod knockoff/bathroom humor put a smile on my face.

Snake in a Manhole

Almost tripped over this guy yesterday. Not really sure what's going on here, but in the dark it looked a lot like some poor boa constrictor was being crushed by a manhole cover.

Computer Poom

Maybe I'm the only one who thinks it's funny...The thing that really got me, too, was the sign was two-sided and the other side correctly said "Computer Room." I like to imagine that somewhere out there are a bunch of sign translators with really poor eyesight. They know Computer Poom is wrong; their eyes are just too bad to catch it.

Chicken on the Grass

I was walking to the subway after work when I spotted this guy. I did a double take..."Wait, is that chicken...or a chicken???" ('sup J.K.). It most definitely was. Some random chicken just taking a nap next to some randomly strung cables, some hazardous electrical box, and around the corner from a public toilet.

My new reaction when I see stuff like this? Loud and slow, and all together now..."Yessssssssss...."


Jonathan said...

awesome entry man. definitely made me laugh out loud several times. reminds me of all the awesome signs and whatnots i saw out there. that was definitely a picture of "a chicken" but with a little muscle grease can easily be turned into chicken.

Amy said...

haha. love the post and the pix. =) china is definitely "special"...i should take a pic of the condom dispenser i saw on the street next to the hospital i work at for you.