India’s Charlie Chaplin-branded Potato Chips

Okay, they’re not really potato chips. They’re about as far from that as you get — offerings like papad chivda, soya chips, sev puri, and mari banana wafers. They’re tasty.

And the bags are all stamped with Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp.

charlie-chips

I loved them so much I bought every kind the supermarket sold.

I think this might be my new favorite Indian snack.

Bootleg Wikipedia-Brand Bread

Why buy generic no-name Beijing loafery when you can pay just a few extra kuai for the sweet wheat of Wikipedia-brand bread? Oops, sorry, Wekipedia-brand.

That’s right! The Free Encyclowheatia That Anyone Can Edit! Now all that’s left to do is pair it with some McDonald’s Eggs for a copyright infringing Egg in the Hole. Mmmyeah.

Known locally as 维百客, or Wéibǎikè, it could translate as “Feed 100 Guests.” Hate to say, but I think we’d need Jesus to make that happen here. Waitasec! Is that Jesus right there???

Courtesy of Beijing Wekipedia Foods Co Ltd.

Sri Lanka’s Strangely Familiar Fast Food Chains

Old Galle may be protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site, but that hasn’t stopped fast food chains from sprawling around the town. Oh, don’t worry, they all appear to be Sri Lankan, but they are strangely familiar. Dairy King Cafe, Hot Pack, Indian Hut, Pizza Hot Pack, and so many more…

Chisney & Koreansney: Local Disney Knockoffs

We already have a Beijing ChineDisneyland, and the abandoned WonderDisneyLand. But what about these Disney knockoffs…

Government-published Travel in Chinese language books…

Papa Daniel Koreatalian diners….

Yes Madam (It’s My Choice) Body Lotion, at every local pharmacy….

My favorite, though, is this Disney toy I found in with other toys at the market down the street. I’m unclear on which movie she’s from, but it’s the one where the princess has a solar-powered boob jiggler. Does anyone remember that one?

Will these copyright infringements end when Disney finally opens the Shanghai Kingdom? Or will that just herald a new beginning for Micky & Mao-nnie ripoffs?

Best Skirt in the Worst Spot Possible

You may have seen my post about the Red Restaurant, where dancers, singers and audiences recreate and celebrate the years of famine and starvation of the Great Leap Forward, and the torture and slaughter of the Cultural Revolution.

Something I left out was this lady. While many were dressed in the red guard dress of the day, remembering Mao and Jiang Qing and 1970s China, she chose a different style of celebration. She wore her South Park skirt.

Continue reading “Best Skirt in the Worst Spot Possible”

Plants vs Zombies, The Chinese Knockoff Toys

Zombies — along with time-travel — are banned in China. (So don’t watch my Beijing zombie music video, Zombie Girl. Or buy a bootleg copy of my movie, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.) But that doesn’t stop Plants vs Zombies from becoming China’s favorite videogame. You hear the theme song on the radio, you see cut-outs in grocery stores, dolls are for sale on every corner. It’s easy to pretend you’re planting biennials to slay the oncoming zombie horde. Well, there’s also a thriving Beijing sidewalk trade in cheap knockoff toys! And they’re incredible.

At 1/2元 each, about 7 cents, these rubber flora and bloodthirsty hellknights bring all the fun of the videogame to tabletop life. Missing an iPhone? Try these.

Continue reading “Plants vs Zombies, The Chinese Knockoff Toys”

Beijing’s incredible (and completely fake) Disneyland

I was always sad Beijing didn’t have a Disneyland for weekend fun, but it turns out we do. Well, a fake one. Not far from the center of town, at the Bajiao stop on subway Line 1, is the incredible Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park (北京石景山游乐园). Admission was about US$1.50, and what a world of wonders lies inside!

The Park!

I know, I know, it looks a little like Disneyland. Continue reading “Beijing’s incredible (and completely fake) Disneyland”