Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for December 5th, 2009


Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 5, 2009

Saw this at a mall. Funny thing is that this is an “excercise” device that has found a niche market. Look at the photo, one would think that it may be geared towards men, women with skimpy clothing and all. But then look at the device, it seems to be a sawed off pommel horse, with the woman in the middle enjoying her “excercise session”.

I watched the women in the mall and funny thing is that they really cozied up to the machine and were quickly hard at it. Then I thought about it, look at the middle woman, look at the um strategic positioning of the “excercise device”… all I really noticed was a bunch of 30 to 40 somethings, eyes rolled back in their heads, enjoying their workouts for all the world to see. A different type of consumerism is attacking China.

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Wanna get Married…

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 5, 2009

Lets get married…

In 2008 I grew accustomed to them, long lines of maybe 10 or 15 cars, all identical driving towards the city. Usually they were expensive cars, BMW’s, Mercedes and the like, exact same brand, model, color, moving like a presidential motorcade.

Weddings, that is right, what I was witnessing was an interesting cultural phenomenon, that even the government was pushing- group weddings. I do not lie, can you imagine it? Ten to 15 couples, many of whom did not know one another would do a group wedding, to save costs, to economize, call it what you like, all of them together taking the lifetime vows to love obey and honor. And I am not talking about poor folk, those motorcades were for newlyweds going to or returning from weddings, many of them part of china’s nouveau- riche, people dropping U$ 20,000 on this moment.

I saw photos, considered it odd, not very intimate. I guess the government and the people really wanted to capitalize on the 2008 fame from the olympics, and being a mysterious and superstitious sort, they capitalized on it. The tv praised them, the people watched, not knowing what to think. Not being an expert in such things, it to me appeared in a word- cheesy, just didnt seem right. Hell, I dont even like group photos at amusement parks, let alone on this special day. To me it would seem to be a time for intimacy, or at least a time with your family. I have not seen it much as of late, maybe the craze has slowed down.

Hopefully that was just a fad, as was marrying in Mcdonalds or at least holding the reception in one (yes this did happen when it first came, especially in the Guangzhou area). Imagine that, wedding photos from Micky D’s, or wedding photos that need to be mounted on a wall due to their size. How do you explain to your guests that yes there is your wedding photo, but actually you are the couple 7th from the left, yes you assure them, that was you…

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