Tag Archives: China

Cute & Kawaii / ,

In Beijing, They Still Offer Cultural Revolution-era 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.

engagement-pic

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/ by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
Historical Wonders / ,

The Gruesome Pasts of Mao’s Ten Great Buildings

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 erected 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!

And you won’t believe the darkness that followed.

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/ by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
Extraordinary Eats / ,

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.

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/ by Andy Deemer / 13 Comments
Strange Tourism / ,

Peking Opera Dreams

I’ve long dreamed of full Peking Opera costume and makeup. After five hours and far too much money, it finally became a reality.

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Historical Wonders / , , ,

You Won’t Believe These Bizarre North Korean Stamps

On my way out of Deshengmen Tower — where you’ll find a strange collection of ramshackle museums crammed in together — I noticed the most remarkable thing for sale: old North Korean stamps, celebrating European regal excess!

There was the Versailles stamp, which reeks of excessive opulence…

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Chinglish, Extraordinary Eats / ,

We Ate Beijing Enemas, So That You Didn’t Need To

“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.”

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/ by Andy Deemer / 1 Comment
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].”

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/ by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
Offbeat Museums / ,

Rediscovering Beijing: The Ancient Observatory

The author of the the 1897 guide book charts the Astronomical Observatory as one of the must-sees of Old Peking. It’s his first stop on any three-day tour.

I’d always planned to pay a visit. But how would it look today?

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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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/ by Andy Deemer / 3 Comments
Historical Wonders, Strange Tourism / ,

Rediscovering Beijing with an 1897 Guide

Did you know that Beijing has a dozen or so elephants that kneel as the emperor passes by? Seriously.

At least that’s what my book says. It’s a Beijing travel guide from 1897, author unknown, that Charlie Custer found on archive.org. The copy originally belonged to Herbert Hoover, China expat and one-time US President.

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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.

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/ by Andy Deemer / 3 Comments
Offbeat Museums / ,

The Chinese Businessman Museum

With only ten days left in Beijing, I’m realizing how many things I’ve left undone. The Summer Palace… Fragrant Hills… the Chinese Businessman Museum!

It’s ugly, so you might not notice it. It’s in Sihui, so it’s hell to reach. It’s expensive, so who wants to enter.

And it’s also a lie.

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/ by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
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 of lead poisoning. 400 years later, he was dug up and stuck in a case. His name wasn’t recorded, but I doubt it was Tian Yi.

Tian Yi (田以) was the most famous Chinese eunuch that ever lived. He served a series of three Emperors, and carried his genitals in a jug. His 1605 funeral was insane: the government shut for days, hundreds of eunuchs attended, and he was buried like a king. And just like any other Chinese royal, his grave was robbed.

“I’m too scared,” said a Chinese teenage girl. “Can you come with me?”

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/ by Andy Deemer / 3 Comments
Chinglish / ,

What’s Going On Inside This Public Toilet?

He was desperate to cover all his bases.

Or maybe this was just a really twisted shitter.

/ by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
Copyright Carelessness / ,

Terrible McDonald’s Piracy Across China

A few weeks ago I found these gorgeous McEggs at the local supermarket…

McAwesome! But Jade Garden Jewelry has also jumped on the McBandwagon.

Clearly, there’s a new Beijing logo-piracy McMovement.

/ by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
Chinglish / , , ,

This is the Worst Wrapping Paper I’ve Ever Seen

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.

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/ by Andy Deemer / 4 Comments
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.

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/ by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
Extraordinary Eats / ,

You’re Not Going to Believe These Awful Beer Flavors…

Sitting in the back of my fridge, I just found a pair of abominations: lemon juice beer and pineapple flavor beer. Where they came from, god only knows.

But it was time to get rid of them.

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/ by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
Offbeat Museums / ,

Beijing’s Supercool Steampunk Printing Museum

“There’s nothing like that around here,” said a shoe-repair man.

Two waitresses laughed at us, and a woman selling onions gasped. “A watermelon museum?” she asked, “Really?”

So we tried the Printing Museum instead.

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/ by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
Cute & Kawaii, Extraordinary Eats / ,

The Hello Kitty Restaurant is as Awesome As You’d Dream

“You ever feel like you’re stuck in a wind-up music box?” Michelle asked. The walls were pink. The waitresses were dressed as dolls. Piano keys tinkled softly. There were balloons and glitter and an off-season Christmas tree. We were trapped in a music box.

That’s how Hello Kitty wants you to feel.

Welcome to Hello Kitty Dreams.

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/ by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment