Rent-a-Girlfriend Services Are Becoming Popular in China

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In recent years, young men and women pressed by their families to bring their girlfriends home with them for the seven-day Spring Festival prefer to rent total strangers, just to avoid long lectures and appease their relatives.

Single men and women have it tough in China, a country where most parents go to any lengths to see their offspring settled down with the right person. We’ve had posts about a school teaching girls to land rich powerful businessmen, about Shanghai’s famous marriage market, and about the Love Supermarket, but those were permanent fixes to the being-single “problem”. Nowadays, Chinese bachelors are looking for a temporary solution, and this led to the creation of a whole new niche – girlfriend/boyfriend rentals. All they have to do is go online, access Taobao (China’s version of eBay) and choose between the different sellers offering the unusual service.

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Chinese Cat-Boy Can See Perfectly in the Dark

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If you ever doubted real X-Men were among us, check out the neat super-power of Nong Youhui, a young Chinese boy who can see in total darkness.

Riddick, the cool antihero played by Vin Diesel in Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick is one of my all-time favorite  sci-fi  movie characters, but I never dreamed of someday reading about somebody who could actually see in the dark. The first news about a little Chinese child with cat-like eyes who could see in the dark as well as normal people see in clear daylight, first broke out in 2009. Doctors who examined little Nong Youhui said he was born with a rare condition known as luekodermia, which leaves his eyes exposed to sunlight damage, but also allow him to see clearly in the dark.

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Chinese Army Plays Lethal Pass-the-Bomb Game

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A video showing Chinese soldiers in a circle passing an explosive satchel from one man to another, until one of them decides to throw it in a hole just before it explodes, has been making the rounds online, leaving everyone flabbergasted.

Photos of South Korea’s special forces troops training in all kinds of extreme conditions have been showing up on the Internet for a few years now, but nothing those guys go through compares to the shocking drill the Chinese devised. During an exhibition drill in Hong Kong, last month, an elite garrison of 6,000 PLA troops staged a series of impressive exercises for the visit of the island’s chief executive, Sir Donald Tsang. Snipers shot tiny glasses, soldiers carried heavy logs and jumped through rings of fire, but nothing as incredible as a group of men playing a game of pass-the-bomb.

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Chinese Women Train Hard to Become Professional Bodyguards

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While many men may find it odd to have a woman protect them, the Chinese have no such qualms. How else could you explain the huge demand for female bodyguards? In fact, they are paid much higher than their male counterparts.

Tianjiao Special Guard Consultant Ltd is perhaps the first firm to provide open group training in China for female bodyguards. Each trainee is put through 10 months of rigorous instruction during which time they gain skills in martial arts, anti-terrorism training, reconnaissance and business etiquette. The best student could be invited to study further at the International Security Academy in Israel.A four-week training program at the beach forms a part of the 10-month curriculum.

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Bamboo Drift Racing – A Combination of Speed and Balance

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I couldn’t stand still on a cane of bamboo even if it was on land. To think that there are people who can balance themselves on a bamboo pole floating in water! It’s probably the world’s thinnest boat.

Bamboo Drift Racing is actually a sport in Southwest China’s Guizhou province. Competitors stand on a bamboo pole and paddle using a thin stick of bamboo. Considered an exotic minority sport in China, the rules have changed over the years. In fact, although the tradition is to use bamboo, competitors now use a similar-looking strip made from green fiberglass. This offers better buoyancy and makes the boat more durable . The fiberglass sticks also help increase speed, and can be taken apart with ease later on. Still wondering how in the world it’s possible to row while standing on a stick? The trick, apparently, lies in the waist. All the balancing is done by controlling the bamboo using your waistline.

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China’s Magical City of Ice

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Ice sculptures are common in wedding parties and other occasions, but nothing you’ve seen before can compare to the ones displayed every year in the city of Harbin in China. While the place is cursed with terrible winters, the tough locals have managed to make the most of it.

A typical winter in Harbin, northern China, would see temperatures go as low as 2°F (that’s –19°C). Strong, cold winds blow in from Siberia, making almost everything freeze over. But the residents of the city keep themselves busy for several weeks during the winter season, hosting the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. The sculptures made as a part of this festival aren’t anything like your typical faries and unicorns. Artists and engineers get together to build massive structures out of ice – a small town if you will, consisting of churches, pyramids, pagodas and palaces. The structures are filled with modern amenities like elevators and escalators. Multicolored lights are installed inside the sculptures, making them look very beautiful in the dark, after sunset.

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Mysterious Female Superhero Helps Beijing’s Poor

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Ever fancied meeting up with a superhero? Well you could have, had you been in Beijing this past Christmas Eve. For that was the day a real-life superhero walked the streets of the city, helping out the poor. She calls herself the ‘Chinese Redbud Woman’.

Dressed in low-cut black tights and wearing a blue mask, her pictures leave us wondering if she attracted attention for more than just her generosity. Jokes aside, she did do a pretty good job of helping out – handing out food, warm clothing and gifts to beggars and homeless people. Why she didn’t put on some of the warm clothing herself on a cool December night, is something we don’t have an answer to. The appearance of this mysterious woman did cause a stir of sorts among the residents of Beijing. People started talking about her on the internet and in local media. Pictures of her acts of kindness at public places such as the Xidan subway station and in front of the Wangfujing bookstore have been doing the rounds ever since the night of Christmas Eve. The superlady herself communicates with the world through a microblog, written in Chinese. She currently has over 7,000 fans online.

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Man Spends $16,000 for Virtual Video Game Sword

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For those of us who aren’t online gaming enthusiasts, the actions of a Chinese gamer this holiday season may seem a tad bizarre. But for him, it’s perfectly normal to spend $16,000 on a sword that isn’t even real.

While it has become common practice for many people to spend small amounts of money on online games, this gamer from China has indeed outdone most others. He won a bid for a virtual sword to be used online. What’s even more surprising is that the game for which the sword was purchased hasn’t even been released yet. Age of Wulin is a martial arts MMO that is set to release its first Chinese beta version in the spring of 2012. The English version will follow soon after. Snail Games, the developers of Age of Wulin, organized an online auction of various exclusive virtual items that players could bid for. While the sword was by far the costliest one to be sold, several other items fetched good amounts of money. A sheath for a Lordly Spear went for $2,500, while the Hook of Departure sheath followed closely at $1,600. Pre-paid time cards and enhancement materials were sold for smaller amounts.

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Shijiao – Where Christmas Lights Go to Die

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Ever wonder what happens to Christmas lights once you toss out into the trash at the end of every holiday season? Turns out a lot of things are made from them, including slipper soles.

Shijiao, in China, has been designated as the world’s capital for recycling old and unusable Christmas tree lights that are thrown away by Americans each year. There are at least nine factories in this small town that process large volumes of tree lights. Yong Chang Processing is one of them, the company recycles 2.2 million pounds of lights each year. Overall, the factories of the town go through over 20 million pounds. Shijiao is known for its cheap labor costs and low environmental standards. These factors make it an ideal place for a recycling zone. It has been so for around 20 years now. Needless to say, the burning of the wire from the lights causes huge amounts of black smoke to rise up in the air, which is clearly visible from the fields around town. The process adopted is the fastest way to extract copper from rubber and plastic, and hence there isn’t any alternative.

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Buffalo Body-Painting at Unique Traditional Festival

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What started as a means to ward off intruders, is now a full-blown festival. The people of Jiangcheng County, China’s Yunnan Province, have their bulls painted and decorated by artists for a major event every year. The bulls are displayed in a riot of colors, painted with a variety of themes.

Traditionally, the bulls were painted by the Hani people of China in the belief that the practice would protect their village, mainly by preventing tigers from wandering into their homes. Of course, the threat of tigers and other man-eaters has reduced drastically in modern times, but the festival continues to be celebrated with much enthusiasm. The China-Laos-Vietnam Bull Painting Festival, as it is called, had 48 participating teams this year. The paraded bulls were hardly recognizable, covered in colors like bright blue, gold, yellow and red. But the paintings were far from abstract. The bulls served as a canvas for some real artistic talent, landscapes, portraits, and intricate patterns adorned their otherwise brown or white skin. Even the horns were covered with paint.

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Tickets for Noah’s Ark 2012 Are Holiday Bestsellers on Chinese Shopping Site

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It’s been long said that the year 2012 will see the end of the world. The movie 2012 even makes an attempt to show us the catastrophic events leading up t0 the worldwide disaster, and a modern version of Noah’s Ark, a ship in Tibet where people will be safe. While tickets for the movie ship cost a billion Euros each, in real life they can be purchased  for less than $0.5.

Chinese online shopping portal, Taobao, has several online stores selling these counterfeit tickets at 3 RMB a piece. The tickets have been popular as a new year’s gift, a comical way of ensuring one’s safety in the face of the 2012 Armageddon. Thousands of tickets have been sold so far. Physical stores are printing up and selling these tickets, too. One store in Jingsau has sold 2,500 train and ark tickets at 3 RMB each. Another one sold 1,700 Chinese Noah’s Ark passes in a month, at 2 RMB each.

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Chinese “Wolf Dad” Reveals Brutal Parenting Techniques

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This isn’t the first time the Chinese have been in the news for their strict parenting techniques. When Chinese-American Amy Chua came out with her book, “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”, it was met with a lot of criticism.

Now it’s Xiao Baiyou’s turn. Also Chinese, the 47-year-old businessman recently published a book called “That’s Why They Go to Peking University”, about his fathering techniques. He believes that his practice of hitting his children with a rattan cane helped them get into top colleges. He has been nicknamed “Wolf Dad” after his brutal methods, and he is actually proud of the title. “Wolves look ferocious and brutal, yet they have great wisdom and are exceptionally tender to their cubs,” he said. His brutality, according to him, is only out of love.

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Chinese Chef Builds His Own Jeep with Just $600

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Qu Zhibo, a chef from Zigong City, China’s Sichuan Province, spent three years and just 4,000 yuan ($628) building his own knockoff Jeep. His efforts have made him somewhat of an Internet celebrity, in China.

I was convinced Chinese car enthusiasts can be very resourceful when it comes to building their own dream cars after seeing photos of a young man working on his home-made Lamborghini, so Qu Zhibo’s achievement just comes as a confirmation. Because he was busy running his own restaurant, Qu Zhibo took three years to complete work on his 2-meters-long, 1.5-meters-high Jeep, but he did use just 600 bucks to do it. The car, which many Chinese netizens called a “knockoff Hummer” was actually inspired by an American military vehicle, and even though right now it pretty much looks like a pile of junk on wheels, a bit of camouflage paint could go a long way.

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Fake Pregnancy Bellies Become Top Sellers in China

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China is notorious for making cheap copies of almost every item in the world. And now, they seem to have moved on from man-made objects to replicating nature itself. The latest in the long list of fake Chinese items is a fake pregnancy belly. Put it on, and you can deceive anyone.

These artificial copies of pregnant women’s abdomens are made of silica gel, and are being sold on the internet. The silica gel makes them take on a very natural quality, close to human skin texture. Some online shop owners have said that the fake bellies are highly comfortable and have a flesh color. If you’re wondering what use anyone could possibly get out of fake pregnancy bellies, we have some answers for you. For now, the people who buy it are actors, purchasing them for performances. Others have bought it as a joke, and also to get an idea of how it feels to be pregnant. Apparently, the product is a hot seller online.

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Life Coach Teaches Women How to Find Mr. Right in 90 Days

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90 days may sound like too short a time to find the perfect life partner. Liang Yali from China, believes otherwise. She claims to have hit upon a formula that will be able to help women find Mr. Right in just three months, with a money-back guarantee.

The service provided by Liang couldn’t have come at a better time. Many Chinese women are of late finding it very difficult to find a mate. In fact, the sixth national census found and reported that the unmarried men in Shanghai are far outnumbered by unmarried women. The surplus of women account for about 20% of the overall population of the city. In such a scenario, it seems impossible that any kind of service could tip the scales. After all, the numbers cannot be erased. However, Liang follows a formula of a different kind. Instead of providing regular matchmaking services, she focuses on the personalities of the women who take up her course.

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