Sexually Inexperienced Chicken

Article here at the new york times on Beijing city officials trying to clean up the city in preparation for the Olympics. There’s a brigade to fix signage like:

And there are ceremonies that only make sense to the Chinese, such as:

Last week, the city commemorated “Queuing Day,” an event held on the 11th of every month because the date symbolizes an orderly line. Volunteers wearing satin Queuing Day sashes shooed rush-hour commuters into lines at busy subway stations, while hospital administrators and a few city officials handed out long-stemmed roses to patients who stood in line to pay their bills or pick up medicines. Local news media swarmed the event.

“This is to encourage people,” said Zhang Xin, 30, an expectant mother, clutching her flower as she left Beijing Hospital after her pregnancy checkup.

Chen Chunfang, one of the hospital administrators, summed up the purpose succinctly. “The Olympics are coming, and everyone wants to show their best,” she said.

I LOVE that. 11th day because 11 looks like an orderly line. Captures in one idea all kinds of things that are sort of related to puns, language, the written word and how it affects ideas, the sense of humor/seriousness that people use with official things, propoganda, the mixture of national pride and national shame that are swirling around what you could call Chinese culture, or whatever.


    1. Which stereotype is that? that people who don’t speak english don’t use the language very accurately and it can sometimes be amusing? I’m really not seeing a stereotype here – the NYT has also run articles on the foibles of American companies choosing unfortunate Spanish and Chinese names for their products, with similar pictures accompanying the story.

    2. the article was about beijing city officials trying to get the city ready for the olympics by A) getting people to stop spitting, B) getting people to stand in lines, and C) fixing the signs in english. hehe. so it was like, relevant to the article. i thought it was funny D:

      i don’t even remember spitting that much when i was there, but B and C were prevalent. actually B was probably the thing i hated most.

  1. Hi! I got your message! It wasn’t too forward at all (and super great to hear your voice) but I just got my phone back after leaving it at my boyfriend’s place since Sunday. It was off. I have no idea when you called and it didn’t register your phone number! Has Annie made her decision? Give me your number and I’ll try you later.

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