Taiwan’s Betel Nut Beauties – Scantily-Clad Girls Peddling Nuts on the Side of the Road

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If you ever happen to visit Taiwan, you might be greeted to the sight of scantily-clad women in neon-lit glass kiosks by roadsides, waiting for men to pull over. Well, they’re not what you think!

These women are ‘Betel nut girls’ who peddle small snacks of tasty, stimulative betel nuts wrapped in betel leaves. They dress provocatively to attract potential buyers, but nuts is pretty much the only thing they sell.

The main roads are filled with around 60,000 such phone booth-style kiosks; they’re so much a part of the nation’s identity that they’re actually featured on old tourist guides. The women who operate the stalls are usually from poorer families, but according to news reports, the job pays more than housekeeping, waiting tables and other conventional jobs.

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Korean Couple’s Five-Month Body Transformations Will Blow Your Mind

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A Korean couple are taking Instagram by storm with their phenomenal body transformation photographs. In a short span of five months, they have gone from ‘somewhat chubby’ to super-lean workout machines!

Song Jin Yoo and Shin Ji Hoo been exercising together at the gym for the past five months – spending three hours a day on aerobic exercise and one-and-a-half hours lifting weights twice a week. They have recently shared their amazing results on a Korean Facebook pace titled ‘Dieting is the Best Plastic Surgery’. Their before-and-after simply left everyone speechless and soon went viral in Korea.

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Chinese Primary School Replaces Nap Time With Meditation Session

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Most people will agree that nap time is one of the best things about kindergarten – which is why a Chinese primary school was severely criticized for trying to replace afternoon naps with meditation. The pilot meditation program at Shishan Shuben Primary School, in China’s Guangdong Province, ran for only two days before it was scrapped following a backlash. Parents apparently hated the idea, and the media reacted negatively to it as well.

According to news reports, notices were sent to parents before the new semester, informing them that the school was going to do away with mid-day naps and introduce guided meditation instead. When school started, the students were each given a piece of newspaper to sit on. They were then made to watch tutorial videos on how to meditate, featuring the school’s headmaster, Mr. Wu. Unfortunately, Wu’s directions did not have the intended effect – most of the students slept anyway. “He just keeps talking all the time and some of them have been falling asleep,” one little kid said.



Eccentric Man Builds Giant “Chicken Church” in the Middle of Indonesian Jungle

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Buried deep inside the Indonesian jungle is a very odd structure, shaped like a giant chicken. The long abandoned construction, locally known as Gereja Ayam (Chicken Church), is a popular tourist attraction in the hills of Magelang, Central Java.

Word on the internet is this strange construction was designed to be a church, but according to its creator, the building is neither a chicken nor a church. Daniel Alamsjah, 67, revealed that he was working in Jakarta when he suddenly received a divine message from God to build a prayer room in the form of a dove. “Perhaps because of my Christian faith, people thought I was building a church,” he said. “But it’s not a church. I was building a prayer house, a place for people who believe in God.”

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Former Millionaire Now in Heavy Debt after Adopting 72 Children in the Last 19 Years

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Meet Li Li Juan, a former millionaire whose benevolent spirit led her to bankruptcy. The 47-year-old, from northern China’s Hebei Province, has adopted 72 abandoned children over the course of 19 years. She spent all her money caring for them, and is now facing a huge debt of over two million yuan.

Li became rich during the 1980s, earning huge profits from her garments business and her investments in iron ore mining. It was around this time that she started taking in sick and disabled children who were abandoned by their parents, and orphaned children whose parents had died in coal mine disasters. She used her two sources of income to provide for all her adopted children.

It was all smooth sailing for a few years, but as luck would have it, hard times fell upon Li in 2008. Her mine was shut down due to urban developments, cutting down a major source of her income. But she continued to care for the children by selling off all her properties and valuables, one at a time.



Japan’s Macho Cafe Is Like Hooters for Women

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Women in Tokyo, Japan, recently got the opportunity to enjoy a visual treat at their very own Hooters-style café. The pop-up venue, called Macho Café, featured muscled men clad in tight vests, serving food to visibly flustered female customers.

According to Macho Café’s official website, the owners asked themselves a very puzzling question” “why are there cafes that offer coffee from carefully selected beans, but no cafes that offer carefully selected macho men?” So they decided to rectify the situation by offering “finest quality premium roast” handpicked bodybuilders to their female clientele.



Taiwanese Man Has Been Waiting for His Date to Show Up for the Last 20 Years

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Unwilling to accept that he was stood up, a Taiwanese man has reportedly been waiting for his date to show up for the last two decades! 47-year-old Ah Ji is now a permanent fixture at Tainan train station, where the love of his life promised to meet him all those years ago. It’s unclear whether the girl in question was his lover, or if they had arranged to meet for their first date, all we know is that he went to the station expecting to see her, and has never left since.

In the initial years Ah Ji was always seen hovering over a large staircase, as though ready to greet someone. After a few years of waiting he moved to a side door next to the exit station, from where he stares at passengers’ faces every day. The man is so heartbroken that he has taken to a life of hunger and homelessness at the station.



Dogs with Perfectly Square or Round Haircuts Are All the Rage in Taiwan

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A bizarre new dog grooming trend in Taiwan has dog owners giving their pet pooches square or round haircuts. Canine hairdressers all over Taipei are up to date on the special technique required for these eccentric makeovers.

“It came about because people were always looking for more impressive haircuts, and somebody came up with the idea of shaping the dog like a hedge,” parlour owner Tain Yeh says. It started with a few people opting for these haircuts and sharing their pets’ photographs online, after which the trend caught on. Thousands of pet owners are now approaching salons, asking for their dogs’ hair to be cut in geometric patterns. Some are actually doing it simply to gain more likes and shares!



Hong Kong Toddlers Take Special Classes to Make Sure They Get into the Best Nurseries and Kindergartens

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Believe it or not, the kindergarten scene in Hong Kong is so fiercely competitive that tiny toddlers are expected to take special classes to get prepped for nursery interviews!

You might wonder what the big deal is about nursery school – kids just play and take naps, right? But parents in Hong Kong actually view it as an important phase that could determine their child’s future. They strongly believe in the cascading effect – admission to the best kindergartens will lead to the best primary schools, best secondary schools, and eventually, the best universities.

“It’s the only topic that comes up when you go out for lunch, which school your kid got into, which school are you applying for and how are you preparing your child for it?” one mother revealed. “My friends have sent me spreadsheets with a detailed timetable of when schools are available for applications and how to apply.”

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Japanese Real-Life Superhero Cracks Down on Drunk Driving

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Meet Priest Shinjiro Kumagai – mild mannered environmental artist by day, and real-life superhero by night. Dressed up as Japanese sci-fi TV hero Kamen Rider 1, his mission is to rid Kitakyushu city of drunk drivers.

Kumagai’s day job involves making statues out of old aluminium cans. When he’s done, he dons the grasshopper-inspired superhero suit, hops on to a Cyclone motorbike and hunts down drunk drivers. His nightly patrols are supported by the police, as shown by the armband identifying him as an official drunk-drive patrolman.

Even with the support of the police, being a superhero in real life can be an expensive affair. But Kumagai doesn’t have to worry about money – he is funded by local Buddhist Priest Fukumitsu, the head of the Gokurakuji temple. “He is a real fan of Kamen Rider 1 and has been collecting memorabilia for 20 years,” Kumagai said of his benefactor. “So when he heard about what I was doing, he jumped at the chance to help.”

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Chinese Lottery Winners Collect Prizes Dressed as Cartoon Characters to Protect Their Identity

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A Chinese man was recently in the news for not only winning millions of yuan in a lottery, but also for the bizarre costume he wore while collecting his prize. The man, believed to be about 40 years old, was so worried about revealing his identity that he actually turned up dressed as the popular Disney character Baymax!

Speaking to reporters, the man revealed that he had won 170 million yuan (approximately $27 million) even though he rarely buys lottery tickets.  As for the strange costume, the man revealed that his wife forced him into wearing it, fearing that old friends and long-lost relatives might suddenly show up expecting a small share of the prize. But no costume can actually help him evade the mandatory 20 percent tax on lottery winnings, which means he will have to cough up about 34 million yuan to give back to the state.



Japan’s Unique Cotton-Spinning Bar

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Contrary to what its name suggests, ‘Tokyo Cotton Village’ isn’t a rural settlement of cotton farmers, but a bar located in the heart of Japan’s capital city, in Setagaya Ward. The one-of-a-kind establishment allows its patrons to experience spinning cotton, which is supposedly a relaxing activity.

The service is available for free to anyone who orders a drink – they get to enjoy spinning threads of wamen, a type of cotton that’s cultivated in Japan. The airy texture of wamen is believed to calm the mind and relax the body. The concept is a big hit with customers, many of whom visit the bar several times a week.

“Getting absorbed in [spinning threads] lets me forget bad things that happened at work,” said Yoshiko Jimura, 32, who visits at least twice a week. “This is a precious time for me to change my mood.”

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Newly-Opened Chinese School of Arts Is a Real-Life Hogwarts

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Young Potterheads in China are in for a real treat – they have the chance to study at their very own Hogwarts! Well, it isn’t really a school of magic – the building is a part of the Hebei Academy of Fine Arts and will house the school’s animation students. But who cares as long as you get to spend hours inside a magnificent castle that strongly resembles Harry Potter’s famous school, right?

Images of the impressive school went viral as more and more netizens began to notice that its various turrets and towers are a lot like Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But the designers of the structure insist that they weren’t inspired by J. K. Rowling’s magical world; they simply modelled the castle after European architecture in general. They actually prefer to call it ‘Cinderella Castle’, since it features a gigantic clock tower.

Sadly, there won’t be any shifting staircases or talking portraits inside the castle. But it still is a pretty awesome place for a college. “We want our students to be inspired and this impressive fairytale architecture is exactly what they need for working in a creative environment,” a spokesperson for Hebei Academy said. “It’s important for the students and for the staff that they feel part of something special, and that is enough magic to ensure what we have created is a fine institution for furthering interest in the study of arts.”

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Japanese Turtle Taxi Promises to Drive You as Slow as Possible

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Unlike most other taxi services, the Japanese Turtle Taxi caters to people who aren’t really in a hurry and prefer a leisurely ride. Surprisingly, there are many who enjoy a service that is deliberately slow – the unique taxi has been steadily growing in popularity ever since it started in December 2013.

The taxi service was created by the Sanwa Kotsu Group – they’ve designated 10 of their 500 cabs in Yokohama as ‘turtle taxis’, and specifically trained cab drivers to accelerate and decelerate as gently as possible. They’ve also been told to manage the ‘centrifugal forces’, to avoid making sharp turns.



Philippines-Based Artist Harnesses the Power of the Sun to Create Amazing Pyrography Masterpieces

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Artist Jordan Mang-osan is a master of pyrography – an incredibly rare and beautiful artform that involves decorating slabs of wood with burn marks. While most other pyrography artists prefer to use specialized tools, Jordan prefers to harness the power of the sun with the help of a magnifying glass. Jordan uses the special technique to create beautiful landscapes and portraits on wood.

To create a piece, he starts off by sketching a design on to a piece of wood. He then uses a magnifying glass to concentrate solar heat on selected areas of the artwork. The heat etches permanent darkened lines into the wood, so intricate that it’s hard to imagine the artist’s hands never really touch the wooden canvas. The work is tedious, however – it takes several months of dedicated effort to manipulate the sun’s rays and etch each detail of the complex pieces.



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