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Mainlander Jabs Pregnant Hong Kong Woman in the Belly After Cutting in Line

Posted: 09/4/2014 4:37 pm

cutting in line cartoon

Hong Kongers will tell you they are tired of Mainland visitors cutting the queue. The territory still (mostly) adheres to the idea of one person lining up behind the other while waiting to be served, or board the city’s MTR.

If somebody cuts the queue, they might be admonished by others in the line. But one case got so testy it went all the way to court.

A judge in the city has fined a mainland Chinese woman HK$1,000 for her part in a fight she caused by cutting in line, reports China Youth Report.

At the end of July this year, 35 year-old Xie Qiaoling cut into a line to pay insurance fees at the Baocheng Insurance Building. Another woman in line – a Hong Konger – who was six-months pregnant took offense to Xie’s actions and snapped some photos of her on her phone. This infuriated Xie, who jabbed her in the belly with an umbrella.

Yesterday, Xie pleaded guilty to common assault at a a law court in Kowloon where the judge passed the sentence. The defending lawyer said his client admits to being impulsive at the time of the incident. He said Xie didn’t intend on hitting the woman’s pregnant belly, but was trying to point at the phone being used. The contact was unintentional, he claimed.

The judge noted the growing conflicts between Mainland and Hong Kong people, adding that everyone must respect the culture of the place that they are in. The judge reasoned that since Hong Kong residents have a habit of lining up, the act of cutting in line is offensive. However, he said using a phone to take a photograph of a person cutting in line is also offensive, while hurting a pregnant woman was the most idiotic behavior of all. That’s why Xie got slapped with the fine.

Hong Kongers aren’t too thrilled with the sentence, apparently. They say that taking a picture of a person cutting in line is righteous behavior that helps protect themselves.

Photo: Sina


Not Again: Guy Pees On Shenzhen Metro Line 5

Posted: 05/30/2014 8:00 am

Almost two weeks after a man was caught answering nature’s call at Laojie MTR station in Shenzhen, another man riding on the Shenzhen Metro was filmed relieving himself inside a Line 5 subway carriage around midnight on May 27.

The man in red relieves himself inside a metro carriage

The 13-second video uploaded to Youku (now encrypted) was filmed by Mr Fan, a teacher at Shenzhen Tsinghua Middle School, who unfortunately witnessed the entire scene. Around 11pm, a man that appeared to be drunk and wearing a red T-shirt, a pair of black pants and a backpack, teetered and waddled to the last carriage of the train. To Mr Fan’s surprise, the guy did not find a seat and sit down in the empty carriage. Instead, he was seen standing close to the carriage’s door and going through the rituals that all guys are familiar with when nature calls.

This is however, not the first time ill-mannered commuters have been seen peeing or pooping on a metro station. In 2013, a high school student was seen sitting with his pants off on top of a trash can and pooping in the Guangzhou Metro.

Guangzhou recently introduced a bathroom-locator app for passengers who need to use public toilets. Perhaps, Shenzhen should consider introducing one too, the sooner the better. No one wants to read the next tragic headline: Man’s private parts caught by the metro door while peeing.


Home page and content page: Nandu


You’re in Luck: Guangzhou Public Bathroom App Streaming Online

Posted: 05/14/2014 4:52 pm

The constant sound of rain falling upon Shenzhen has been too much for one male commuter who was photographed performing nature’s business at what appears to be Laojie Station in full view of an apathetic public.

Taken on the evening of May 12 by a Weibo user named MRxHarveyyyy, the pictures dampened the mood of dismayed netizens who expressed their outrage at this ill-mannered man who didn’t have the foresight to pee across the border in Hong Kong so that he could be defended with nationalistic fervor.

We’ve seen worse things happen on the Shenzhen Metro. And, we do appreciate this guy’s technique of splaying his feet in order to dig deep into the recesses of that corner. However, as had been brought up during online debate, the issue remains: where are all those public bathrooms? Why can’t I find a bathroom when I really need to use one?

guangzhou bathroom public app android

You’re in luck. Never again will you have to worry about who’s number one.

Over in nearby Guangzhou on May 12, the local chengguan showed off their proud new development, a bathroom-locater app. The app works by using your phone’s GPS and comparing the user’s position to a map of public bathrooms

The app is currently available for all Android models and can be accessed using the displayed QR code at the bottom of the page.

Finally: an app that tells you were to go so that you can sit down and use your phone some more. However, we do find that there to be a glaring flaw with this well-intentioned plan: that people are more prone to taking than giving—in this case, the object in question is “a crap”.

All the same, we can’t fault this idealistic plan. We hope many users will use this app so that more people will be able to use the filthy gutter toilets of public restrooms rather than the convenience of a nice, clean subway platform.

Or, if you don’t want to pay the fare to gain access to this Shenzhen station bathroom, you can always take your business outside.shenzhen subway bathroom

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Photos: Shenzhen City Coast Society via Weibo, Yangcheng Evening Report via Weibo, Nandu via Weibo

guangzhou bathroom public app android


In Praise of…The Laobaixing

Posted: 04/30/2014 11:00 am

If you live in China, you see these people every day. You see them getting onto the subway before other passengers have had the chance to get off. You see them standing outside their stores clapping to attract attention, even when they’re being drowned out by happy hardcore music. You see them dressing up flamboyantly, convinced that they are fashionistas, even when their hairstyle alone is enough to prevent them from ever being allowed into Milan. You hear them shouting “hello” when they see a foreigner, which some consider to be the height of sophistication.

How is this group of people best defined? The workers? Too communistic. The great unwashed? Not communistic enough. The salt of the earth? We’re here to praise them, not worship them. Let’s settle for “The Laobaixing”.

Literally translated as “The Old 100 Names,” the meaning of Laobaixing is richer and more fluid than any possible English translation. In her book “Dreaming in Chinese,” the closest linguist Deborah Fallows got to finding a definition she was happy with was: “All those who are making the staggering adjustments to survive.”

It appears that China’s government, whose officials are by definition not Laobaixing, has little faith in the Laobaixing’s ability to behave well. Last year Shenzhen rolled out the nation’s first civility laws to crack down on spitting, littering and other uncouth behaviour. Vice Premier Wang Yang called for his compatriots to have a sense of ambassadorial responsibility when abroad as they have gained a reputation for the kind of behaviour that got Chinese tourists barred from one chic hotel in Paris.

Both Wang Yang and the Shenzhen government were probably doing the right thing. Clearly this behaviour is not acceptable and needs to improve, but since we are in the habit of praising things, let’s look at it from a couple of angles.

What is “rudeness” anyway?

In one of the most cringe-worthy China expat-related moments in the history of the internet, an American declares that “Chinese people are rude” while verbally abusing a Chinese girl who is in no position to fight back. This goes to show that the term “rude” is so vague and its definition so subjective that good users of the English language tend not to say it too often, like the words “weird” or “random”.

Let us roughly divide the definition of rude between “obnoxious” and “uncultured.” Obnoxiousness is intentional, for example making a passive aggressive remark at a dinner party. Being uncultured causes people to do inappropriate things because they don’t know any better. The latter is what has been giving Chinese tourists a bad name and what the Shenzhen government is targeting.

One day in Hunan Province in mid-November 2008, I was on my way to lunch when somebody walking in the opposite direction spotted me under my umbrella and said: “Hello.” After walking another 20 yards or so, the stranger turned around and started sprinting towards me. His first words into the back of my ear were: “Hey, I want to make a friend with you. I want you to teach me English.”

Not knowing what to say, I invited him along to lunch where he explained that he was a 20 year-old I.T. student named Benny who “likes foreigners”. He already had two foreign friends and wanted more.

I barely made eye contact for the whole lunch, not because I was annoyed, just because I was sad to know that I could never teach this guy how to talk to anyone. Friendships tend to be based on some form of usefulness, whether we admit it or not. W.H Auden was right, as always, when he said: “Almost all of our relationships begin and most of them continue as forms of mutual exploitation, a mental or physical barter, to be terminated when one or both parties run out of goods.” Benny approached me because he wanted something – a free English teacher – and he didn’t get it because his approach lacked sophistication.

When I describe Benny’s actions to Chinese people who are sympathetic with the idea that they were inappropriate, they usually explain them by saying: “他的文化水平不高” (His standard of culture is not high). But he was not obnoxious. It’s unlikely he is capable of interpreting a passive aggressive remark at a dinner party, let alone making one.

Why being “cultured” is important but overrated

There is value in being cultured, just as there is value in being handsome, athletic or witty. Appreciating the arts does not make us morally better, but it makes us more thoughtful and complex.

Benny had obviously never given serious thought to the Lu Xun quote that says “The problem with our relations with foreigners is that we never look at them as equals, we always either look up to them as emperors or look down on them as animals.” If he had, he would have understood what is wrong with throwing himself at every foreign-looking person he sees.

To become more cultured, members of the Laobaixing need the chance to embrace more difficult works of art, not because Oliver Stone is as awesome as he thinks he is, but because public discourse needs to be more nuanced. As China gets ready to ascend to the status of largest economy in the world, it faces a set of internal problems that seem intractable and needs a sophisticated citizenry to have a chance of overcoming these problems.

However, it is very dangerous to suggest that being uncultured somehow makes somebody inferior. To Hitler, whose program of arts subsidy was one of the largest in the history of civilisation, what was good about art was that it “raised (people) above the petty cares of the moment and shows them that, after all, their individual woes are not of such great importance.” John Carey, author of “What Good Are the Arts?” believes that Hitler’s veneration of the arts wasn’t just a side issue, but the force that shaped and nourished his inhumanity.

Members of the Laobaixing should by all means learn their Shakespeare and their Mozart. But if somebody is an immoral person to begin with, the chances that doing this will make them any less so are low.

Only as messed up as it is

In “Chinese Lessons,” John Pomfret recalls hearing first-hand accounts of the Cultural Revolution from his Chinese friends. In one case, a boy was forced to witness the murder of his own father and help carry the severed remains through the streets, accompanied by his brothers. This boy is now a middle-aged man with a successful career.

Well within living memory, China went through what JG Ballard described as “the brain death of a nation,” in which many of the things that defined China as a great civilization were deliberately desecrated. And it’s not as if everything was rosy before then.

Literary translator Brendan O’Kane said in his final interview before leaving Beijing last year that he appreciated that, considering what China had been through over the past century, credit is due for things being only as messed up as they are. So next time an uncultured person shouts “hello” at you, just remember that it’s not so long since much worse things were being shouted at foreigners.


Guangzhou’s new friendly Chengguan confuse locals

Posted: 10/17/2013 7:00 am

New rules came into effect in Guangzhou Tuesday (Oct. 15) stipulating that chengguan must show certain courteous behaviour such as beginning conversations with the formal “nin hao” (您好) instead of “ni hao” (你好) and ending by saying “thankyou” (谢谢).

Some people found it off-putting that the notoriously aggressive law enforcers were acting in such a way and some vendors were so shocked that they even sprinted off, Guangzhou Daily reports.

A reporter from the paper followed a unit of chengguan who patrolled the Lingnan Road area. One vendor who was selling sugar cane on Yanjiang Road told the reporter that he found it odd that chengguan were talking in such a way.

Vendors were seen running away from the newly courteous chengguan on Renmin Road South, and as the chengguan were urging them not to run away, they of course used the formal “nin” instead of “ni.”

An official from the Guangzhou Municipal Law Enforcement Bureau told the paper that the new rules would lead to more order and stability.

The new rules stipulate:

1. Chengguan must use standard Mandarin and must not use foul, sarcastic or insulting language.

2. Chengguan must make it clear exactly what they want and why, as well as not neglecting to use polite words such as “please” and “thank you.”

3. If crowds gather to boo or object to chengguan‘s behaviour, chengguan must be non-threatening, transparent and articulate when asserting their authority.

4. Chengguan must not be violent, cause unlawful damage, drink on the job, or use their uniform and badge to gain advantage inappropriately.

5. Chengguan must not make physical contact with members of the public unless it is in self-defense.

6. Chengguan must recognise the higher authority of the police.

These rules will be difficult to enforce. On top of the fact that members of the public may abuse their courtesy, a scandal from Shenzhen’s Nanshan District last year was a sobering reminder that most chengguan are not fully trained law enforcers.

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