10 things China has that will either make you jealous or outraged
Today marks New Year's Day in the Chinese calendar, bringing about the start of the Zodiac year of the goat or ram or sheep. We figured we'd mark the occasion with a celebration of some of China's most bizarre and at times offensive creations. Sound good, lamb?
You go lamb. It's your year.
Sadly the goat actually symbolises weakness, meaning that Chinese couples will be trying to avoid having children this year presumably for fear of them turning out like feeble little nerds who are bad at sports and never amount to anything.
On the plus side, all that time saved by not procreating can be spent enjoying one or more or all of the insane Chinese offerings below...
#1 - Fake Disneyland
Where dreams come true... ish.
Does this castle from Shijingshan Amusement Park remind you of anything? Well, you're WRONG. According to management, the scenery and characters in the park are simply 'based on fairy tales'. Unfortunately the Walt Disney Company didn't see it the same way and after legal disputes in 2010-11 several 'characters' have been forcibly removed.
#2 - 'Woman-friendly' parking spaces
Finally! A space that's right for me.
The spaces, introduced in a mall in China in 2014, are about a foot wider than regular spaces and painted pink 'to make it easier for women to park'. I don't what they're insinuating here, but as a woman, I am OUTRAGED. As a terrible driver, I am grateful.
#3 - Live crab vending machines
The secret ingredient is sentience.
These vending machines can be found in various locations across China for a delicious living snack on the go.
#4 - Eggs boiled in the urine of schooboys
My eggspectations are pretty low (sorry)
This delicacy from Dongyang, known as Tong zi dang ('Virgin boy eggs') involves the boiling of eggs in pee that has been collected from school toilets, or by volunteers who wait outside the school gates with buckets. We're not taking the piss. They are.
#5 - Smartphone user lanes
As a major photo opportunity, the lane is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy
This designated lane was introduced in Chonqing for distracted pedestrians who may be prone to colliding with passers-by, topiary, motor vehicles, other distracted pedestrians etc.
#6 - Exciting names for dull British landmarks
'The Pickled Little Cucumber'
In a bid this year to make Britain more accessible to Asian tourists, a VisitBritain campaign asked Chinese visitors to give Mandarin names to famous British attractions that described them as they saw them, resulting in such gems as 'strong-man skirt party' (the Highland Games), and 'the tower that allows us to pluck stars from the sky' (The Shard).
#7 - All the Pandas in the world
You could say we're all just pandering to China (sorry)
China retains ownership of all the world's pandas, typically loaning them to zoos around the world on a ten-year lease, or historically as diplomatic gifts.
#8 - These buildings
It's as if God just left some stuff lying around
The Meitan Tea Museum, the Wuliangye Yibin building and the aptly named Mobile Phone Building are just some of the highly imaginative feats of architecture dotted around China and frankly make The Shard look like a dog's peeing post.
#9 - Police geese
Take a gander at that! (deeply sorry)
The goose patrol in Xinjiang is reportedly 'more effective' at apprehending burglars than police dogs. Upon sensing an intruder, the crime-fighting poultry will flap their wings and 'won't stop honking', alerting those present to the impending robbery.
#10 - Singles' Day
The single, seen here in its natural habitat
Singles' Day takes place on 11 Nov, the date (11/11) respresenting the "bare sticks" that are lonely single people, and celebrates the singleness of all singletons who, for one day only, cease crying into ice cream tubs and binge drinking and get together to do karaoke and binge drink.
It is also now the biggest online shopping event of the year, surpassing sales seen on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Money can't buy you love, but it sure helps.