Japanese Rent-a-Boyfriend Service Caters to Lonely Women in Need of Cuddling

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Yes, Japanese women get lonely too, but luckily for them, there’s Soine-ya Prime, a dispatch service where women can hire a handsome young man to lay with her in bed for a night. Believe it or not there’s nothing sexual about it.

Two months ago, we posted about Tokyo’s popular Cuddle Cafe, where everyone could lay down next to a pretty girl for as little as $40. The joint had just opened in September, but it had such success that a second venue was recently inaugurated. But what about lonely women looking for attractive guys to cuddle up to? Sometimes you just want to crawl into bed and feel someone’s arms around you, without any other implications. But when you’re single that can be tough. Well, for some women, the need of a warm body next to them at night is so bad they’re willing to pay a total stranger. Created in 2011, Soine-ya Prime caters to the needs of Japanese lonely women by dispatching attractive men to sleep in their beds, without engaging in any kind of sexual activities. Clients are not allowed to kiss the men, touch them in any inappropriate ways or contact them without permission from the company. They’re to be used as pleasant company and nothing more.

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Thailand’s Cobra Village – Where Men and Snakes Live in Harmony

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Sixty years ago, a doctor from Thailand had a vision for his small, dusty old village – to convert it into a major tourist attraction. And in an attempt to do so, he actually convinced his fellow villagers to raise pet snakes in their homes, putting them in shows for tourists. Surprisingly the ploy worked, and today the village of Ban Kok Sa-Nga in Thailand’s Northeastern Province of Khon Kaen is better known as ‘The Cobra Village’, among tourists.

All of the 140-odd homes in Ban Kok Sa-Nga have at least one pet snake, which they place outside in wooden boxes. The pet snakes range from deadly ones, such as king cobras or monocled cobras, to less dangerous ones such as copperheaded racers and pythons. The atmosphere in the village itself is always festive; it is one big snake show theme attraction. The snakes are bred in captivity and put together in daredevil shows such as – you won’t believe this – man vs. snake boxing matches. Obviously not for the light-hearted, these shows involve the handlers taunting an already enraged giant king cobra. As the snakes slither across the stage, the men pull their tails to provoke them further. Despite all the weird stunts that take place in these shows, what spooks out most tourists is the level of comfort the villagers share with the snakes. Most people are terrified of these creatures, but the people of Ban Kok Sa-Nga don’t even bat an eye-lid. Even the children are completely at ease; they are taught how to handle snakes, how to fight them and feed them, at a very young age.

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In Thailand People Change Their Names to Improve Their Fortunes

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You might have heard of people changing their names because they didn’t like the ones their parents gave them. Or in an attempt to change their identity and escape their past. But in Thailand, name changes are common for a different reason altogether – to bring good luck.

A case-in-point is 46-year-old Baramee Thammabandan, formerly known as Teerapol Lilitjirawat. While neither name strikes us as charismatic, the change has made a world of difference to Mr. Baramee. About 10 years ago, he had suffered a major misfortune, when his garments business had failed. His eyesight became poor, he couldn’t manage his affairs and to make matters worse, his wife left him. And so he did what is natural to the people of Thailand – he changed his name. “I wanted to become a new person,”  the now clean shaven and slim Baramee says. Ironically, his new name does mean ‘charisma’.

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Thai “Sorcerer” Gives Disciples Bulletproof Tattoos, They Decide to Try Them Out

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Boonyong Luangjumpol, also known as Ajarn Ton, was recently arrested in Thailand’s Yanglad district after he allegedly gave local teens magic tattoos and told them they made them invincible. Unsurprisingly, they wanted to try out their ink armor and engaged in a series of brawls.

Sak Yant is an ancient type of Thai tattoo said to bestow the bearer with mystical powers. It incorporates Buddhist prayers called Mantras or Katas that will invoke supernatural powers. These magic spells were originally inscribed on pieces of cloth, and centuries ago, Thai soldiers would wear Yant-printed jackets to offer them extra protection in battle. After Budhism was adopted as a religion in Thailand, it became common for devotees to have Sak Yant tattoos etched into their skin. Even today, many Thai men believe in their mystical powers, and have one or more tattoos inscribed on their bodies. There are also lots of stories of people sporting Sak Yant tattoos who were shot at close range without even having their skin pierced, or horrific car accidents from which tattoo bearers emerged unscathed. But as recent events have proven, they don’t always work.

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Indonesian Villages Use Piles of Sand Instead of Mattresses

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The residents of three small fishing villages in the Batang region of Indonesia prefer to sleep on piles of sand than on modern mattresses. This ancient tradition that’s still practiced today for its supposed health benefits.

Taking a nap on a sandy beach is pretty relaxing, but can you imagine going to sleep on a pile of sand every night? For the people of Batang-Batang, there’s really no comparing mattresses to their amazing sand beaches. As the only thing they have in abundance, sand plays a crucial role in the life of these coastal communities. It’s everywhere around their homes, cooling their feet on hot summer days, and keeping them warm during the night, and it even enters their houses as comfortable beds. Even the richest of residents prefer sleeping on sand than on mattresses, and even if some own conventional beds, they are mostly for decorative purposes. The villagers, most of them fishermen, believe the sand brought in from nearby beaches has medicinal properties that can help with a variety of conditions, from rheumatism to itches, although there’s no scientific proof of this. However, it’s a known fact that the sand in the area is highly adaptive to air temperature. When the air is hot, the sand offers a nice cooling retreat, and on cold nights, it keeps the villagers warm.

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Bar Devoted to Female Self-Pleasuring Opens in Tokyo

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If you’re a woman looking for a girls-only bar where you can talk about love and sex without any inhibitions, the Love Joule female self-pleasuring bar in Tokyo’s Shibuya entertainment district might be the perfect place.

Japan is known for its wide array of weird bars and restaurants, so it should come as no surprise it now has its very own “love and sex bar dedicated to women”. It’s known as Tokyo’s masturbation bar, and judging by the female self-pleasuring toys put on display behind the bar, you’d be tempted to think it’s nothing but a fancy sex shop. In reality, Love Joule is just a place where women can come and talk about topics that have long been regarded as taboo in the Japanese culture, without feeling embarrassed or worrying about social repercussions. “Once they take a seat, customers are able to experience a pleasant place in which they can openly discuss masturbation,” says owner Megumi Nakagawa. “Since most people view female masturbation as something of a mystery or taboo, it is not a usual topic at typical bars.”

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Chinese Festival Organizers Create Human Zoo for Beggars

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Beggars at a religious festival in Nanchang, southern China, have been ordered to either stay in specially-built metal cages or risk being removed from the city, in an attempt to stop them from harassing visitors.

Living in a country where begging is a very lucrative business, I know what it’s like to constantly be disturbed by various characters asking for money (not food, money), but what these Chinese festival organizers did is a bit extreme. According to a Nanchang official, in recent years the number of beggars turning up for the local religious festival has increased to a point where they’re actually making temple visitors uncomfortable with their lamenting and pleading for some pocket change. So this year, to make sure everyone attending the festivities will be left alone, they decided to separate the hundreds of beggars in small metal cages around the festival grounds, where people can still give donations if they wish, but without being followed around and nagged while they’re on a day out with their family. Organizers did point out that the beggars in this pop-up human zoo entered their cages voluntarily and that no one is actually forcing them to beg for a living…

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Japanese Divorce Newspaper Lets Your Loved-Ones Know You’re Happily Divorced

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Created by Japanese divorce guru Hiroki Terai, Divorce Newspapers are gaining popularity as a quick and painless way to let family, friends and acquaintances know your marriage is over. This saves couples the embarrassment of having to tell each one of them their marriage has failed and explain how it happened.

You know those awkward moments when you bump into an acquaintance on the street and while making small talk you courteously ask them about their spouse, only to find out they got divorced? With the divorce rate on the rise, it’s becoming harder to avoid this kind of unfortunate situations. However, the resourceful Japanese have come up with an ingenious solution to this problem, called “the divorce newspaper”. Its creator, Hiroki Terai, got the seemingly-wacky idea after hearing many divorcees complain about having to tell everyone they know in person about their failed marriage, and wishing there was a quicker way to do it. Sure, you have social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but let’s face it, 80-year-old grandmas don’t usually have accounts on these platforms, and a simple status change doesn’t let everyone know how you feel about the whole thing.

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The Breathtaking Glass Temple of Johor Bahru – A Shining Wonder of Malaysia

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In the city of Johor Bahru, close to Malaysia’s southern border with Singapore, lies one of the world’s most amazing pieces of architecture – a Hindu Temple covered almost entirely with glass. It’s called the Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman temple, and it’s one of the must see attractions of Malaysia.

Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman is one of the oldest temples in the state of Johor. It started out as a small shelter, built in 1922, and grew steadily over the years, but its true expansion started in 1991, when the current chief priest, Sri Sinnathamby Sivasamy, inherited the administration of the temple from his father. He became the driving force of this once humble hut, and committed himself to turning it into a beautiful Hindu place of worship. Despite facing many challenges, Sivasamy managed to expand and completely rebuild the temple in just five years, and in 1996 it was reopened to the public. Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman had already transformed into an impressive display of Malaysian architecture, but it would soon become a truly unique Hindu sanctuary, unlike any other.

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China’s Rich Can Hire Body Doubles to Serve Their Prison Time

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As shocking as it may sound the practice of hiring body doubles to serve jail time in the place of rich and powerful individuals is well-documented in China. So if you thought your country’s legal system was corrupt, think again.

Just two days ago I wrote a post about another bizarre job available in China – hiring white guys to pose as employees or business partners – but that’s nothing compared to the “profession” you’re about to discover. Apparently, China’s wealthy can get away with just about anything, even serving jail time, as long as they’re willing to part with a small fraction of their fortune. Sure, that’s not very surprising, considering even in some Western countries where the legal system is considered impartial, the rich and famous are often shown leniency. Only in China, the so-called “1%” has a different way of dealing with unpleasant situations, like serving time in prison. Instead of wasting their time behind bars, they just pay stand-ins who, for the right sum are willing to take their place. Yes, apparently that’s possible.

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Chinese Companies Renting White Guys to Look Successful

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Believe it or not, in China white guys can get a job posing as businessmen for companies who hire them to look more international to their real partners. It’s called “White Guy Window Dressing” and it’s apparently a very popular business tactic.

What makes this such a great job for white guys in China is that it has some really simple requirements: be white, don’t speak any Chinese, or speak at all unless asked, pretend like you just got off an airplane the day before, and look good in a suit. The people who usually go for this king of gig are part-time models and actors, English teachers and expats looking for a quick and easy paycheck. It’s called “White Guy Window Dressing”, “The Token White Guy Gig”, or simply the “Face Job” and it’s so popular in China these days that there’s actually a company called Rent A Laowai (Chinese for “foreigner”) that helps businesses improve their image by providing fake white employees or partners.

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Chinese IKEA Customers Make Themselves a Little Too Much at Home

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If you’ve ever walked through an IKEA store thinking about how cool it would be if you could just lay down on one of them soft beds, cover yourself with a fluffy blankets and nap, then you need to move to China, because that’s what IKEA visitors do over there.

The Chinese simply love IKEA! Millions visit the company’s mainland stores every year, but only a few of them actually end up buying something, as many just come to enjoy the air-conditioning on a hot summer day and take a nap on the comfy furniture on display. “Some of them even come in once the store opens in the morning, and won’t leave until the store closes in the evening,” a security staff from the IKEA store in Shanghai told Morning Star, but although this sometimes bothers employees, the company hasn’t taken any measures against people making themselves a little too much at home, because it sees it as a future investment. They believe when these people have more consumption power they’ll come back and buy something, but until then they’re free to loiter around.

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Thames Town – A Little Piece of England in China

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It’s no secret the Chinese wrote the book on knock-offs, but did you know they copy whole towns these days? Thames Town, in Shanghai, is a replica of small English town complete with everything you might expect, except the people.

“I wanted the properties to look exactly the same as those in the United Kingdom. I think English properties are very special. When we decide to learn from others, we should not make any improvements or changes.” That’s what James Ho, the head of Shanghai Hengde Real Estate, the company in charge of building Thames Town, told Reuters back in 2006, when the weird settlement was inaugurated. The buildings of Thames Town copy the real ones in England so closely that complaints have been filed by English pub owners, and this genuine British look was exactly what was supposed to draw people to this place. Only, like many other ambitious and expensive Chinese projects, Thames Town failed to impress a lot of people and is now virtually a ghost town in Shanghai, the city that drive’s China’s economy.

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World’s Most Generous Vegetable Seller Dedicates Life to Helping the Needy

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You’ve probably never heard of her, but Taiwanese vegetable seller Chen Shu-chu has done more for the needy than many of the world’s rich and famous. Earning a modest living selling vegetables at the market, the Asian hero has so far managed to donate over $322,000 to various charities.

“Money serves its purpose only when it is used for those who need it,” Chen Shu-chu once told a newspaper, and throughout the years, the dedicated philanthropist made sure her hard earned cash was indeed used for the right causes. Inspired by her own difficult and impoverished childhood, Chen decided to dedicate her life to helping those less fortunate than her. Even though she earned a modest income selling vegetables in Taitung County’s central market, in eastern Taiwan, the 61-year-old led a frugal life and donated almost all of her money to charities. You’d think there wouldn’t be much to give away, but Chen Shu-chu has so far made substantial donations, including  $32,000 for a children’s fund, $144,000 to build a library at a school she attended and $32,000 to a local orphanage where she also offers financial support to three children. In total, the world’s most generous vegatable seller has so far donated over $300,000, and she’s not planning on stopping.

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Yohio, the Japanese Doll-Like Rock Star Who Is Actually a Swedish Boy

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Ok, so we’ve had plenty of doll-like Internet celebrities featured on Oddity Central, but Yohio, a Japanese visual kei singer is pushing the envelope even further, as he’s actually a 16-year-old Swedish bot who looks like an anime girl.

The androgynous look isn’t exactly something new in music. Singers like David Bowie, Boy George and even Marylin Manson have used their feminine features to their advantage for years, but they never took it as far as Yohio, a Swedish teen who has taken Japan by storm with his anime girl looks, guitar skills and knowledge of the Japanese language. The 16-year-old became an online sensation outside the Land of the Rising Sun when a video of a a pale blonde-hair girl with big black eyes and pigtails singing in Japanese made the rounds of popular Internet media outlets. People were left stunned when they realized the beautiful performer was actually a 16-year-old dude, from Sweden.

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