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Terribly Cute Beijing Marriage License Photos Cute & Kawaii 

Terribly Cute Beijing Marriage License Photos

I know this is mildly goofy, but many of Beijing’s photo labs will still produce classic Marriage License photos. And they’re just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. The Polaroid framing, the flowery carved edges, it’s all too cool. And the pose was rigorously enforced — we were molded into those positions over a period of five minutes. If we got married in Beijing, this would definitely be the picture we’d use. From the large China Photo Studio at 8 Jiaodaokou East, Beijing, China. (And kudos to Tony and…

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The Ten Great Buildings of China, and Their Gruesome Pasts Historical Wonders 

The Ten Great Buildings of China, and Their Gruesome Pasts

In 1959, Mao was one hell of a proud man. As the new Emperor of China, he’d led an unbelievable boom in food production, completely eliminated the need for medicine and science, and “enticed the snakes out of their caves” with a hundred flowers — all in just ten years! So he decided to erect ten great buildings to honor his grand achievements. They would represent the people, the peasants, the army, the minorities — each building had a great semantic purpose. He would name them The Ten Great Buildings!…

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Beijing’s Single Most Horrific Meal Extraordinary Eats Top Stories 

Beijing’s Single Most Horrific Meal

The Beijing Penis Restaurant, officially known as Guolizhuang, doesn’t just serve cock. You can get absolutely anything there. Stewed Deer Face. Sheep foetus in brown garlic sauce. Peacock claws. It’s like a Guangzhouren’s wet dream. And the peacock’s name was as poetic as the plating. It was called A Set of Palms from Heaven and Earth. I almost gagged. “Do you have any regular food,” I asked, nervous.

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On Eating “Old Beijing Fried Enema” Chinglish Extraordinary Eats 

On Eating “Old Beijing Fried Enema”

“Why not start today with a plate of freshly-fried old enema,” I thought. It was bright, garish, and advertised on the wall. “It must be good.” It wasn’t. Dripping in oil and yet crispy enough to snap a molar, it tasted like a bad plate of pork cracklings. The dipping sauce — chopped garlic in water — left it with a flavor and me with a breath from hell. I’d assumed “enema” was a gross mismangling of “sausage” — 灌肠 can mean either. But I was wrong. The name was…

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On Eating a Steaming Hot Bowl of Sweet AIDS Soup Chinglish Events Extraordinary Eats 

On Eating a Steaming Hot Bowl of Sweet AIDS Soup

“I’ll have the AIDS soup,” I said. It wasn’t officially called AIDS soup. Not now. Shortly after I’d blogged about their deviant menus, the restaurant had crossed out every appearance of the word “AIDS” with a sharpie. Now it was simply “Strong Tibetan Sheep Placenta Nourishing Soup [XXXX].” Still a mouthful. But I’d had a few beers, and scraped at the sharpie with my fingernail. The AIDS came back. Now I knew what I was getting. Strong Tibetan Sheep Placenta Nourishing Soup AIDS. And this was what I’d come for.

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Rediscovering Beijing: Finding the Elephants Historical Wonders Strange Tourism 

Rediscovering Beijing: Finding the Elephants

On using an 1897 guidebook to explore modern Beijing… My adventures begin with the elephants. A few hundred yards westward of (the Shun-chih-men) is the place for the Imperial elephants, the Hsün-hsiang-so, a large enclosure in which the elephants of the Court are kept… The intelligent animals are taught to salute the Emperor by kneeling down, and receive a kind of adoration. A central-Beijing stable with kneeling elephants? How much cooler can you get?! I had to find this place.

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Bootleg Wikipedia-Brand Bread Copyright Carelessness 

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…

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Ice Cream Flavored Soda, the Perfect Summer Treat Extraordinary Eats 

Ice Cream Flavored Soda, the Perfect Summer Treat

Headline says it all, if you ask me. Michelle’s first words after a pull were more like shrieks. “Oh my god,” she cried. “It’s like an ice cream float in a bottle!” Softly vanilla-scented and creamy, barely carbonated, sweet but not too sweet, it was just lovely. I added a strong pour of Mongolian vodka, and a twist of lime. Now that’s a Beijing summer.

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Castration Classes at the Beijing Eunuch Culture Exhibition Hall Offbeat Museums 

Castration Classes at the Beijing Eunuch Culture Exhibition Hall

The first time I ever met The Professor, he told me about the eunuch museum. He didn’t say much. Just that there was one. In West Beijing. “You really should go,” he said. “It’s… well, it’s interesting.” He adjusted his glasses the way a professor should, but he wouldn’t say more. A few weeks later, I found myself staring through smudged plexiglas at the only remaining inhabitant of the Beijing Eunuch Culture Exhibition Hall. He was, of course, dead. Covered by an imperial yellow sheet, this junkless monk apparently died…

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A Sweet Series of Chinglishy Gift Fails Chinglish 

A Sweet Series of Chinglishy Gift Fails

Christmas wrapping paper always works well. Especially for Papa Pickles’ belated birthday present… But the wrapping paper turned out to be a little more generic than we’d expected. And the greeting card, which Woo bought in Bangalore, turned out to have a rather unexpected adhesive. That’s right, as in the maxi pads. At least we didn’t have to lick it, I guess…

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Speaking of Revolution at The Beijing Police Museum Offbeat Museums 

Speaking of Revolution at The Beijing Police Museum

“Have you heard about the coup?” “Only that there may have been one.” The Professor and I were making our way through Beijing’s Police Museum, a few blocks from where a coup would have happened. We’d already broken the door of a fake interrogation cell, and almost knocked over a motorcycle. We shouldn’t have been talking about such sensitive matters as well. But we seemed to be the only visitors, and the few guards weren’t paying attention. “I have a friend who works for a Chinese newspaper,” he continued. “I…

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