Weibo and Twitter have been abuzz over the Taiwan presidential election despite the party’s ban on the topic. The results will be available soon as the voting is already under way. Many mainland Chinese are highly invested in it because they look to Taiwan for what China can become one day. This week, another renowned Chinese writer chose to leave the country for the US, while police raided the home of Hu Jia, a courageous activist who had recently served prison time, confiscating his computers for “violating probation rules”, coded words for being annoyed by his speaking out for the jailed rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng. Meanwhile, the outspoken Professor Zhang Ming, whom I translated several times here in Hear on Weibo, was signaled as being unwelcome by a senior manager of Sina, and, since Zhang Ming’s departure, there has been a concerted effort among activist netizens, as well as some of the “big accounts”, to exit Sina Weibo in protest. Now that I have told you the sad stories of the week, I will focus on the comedies. Click date below item for link to the original.
南方都市报/Nanfang Daily/nang fang du shibao/: Sheng Guangzu (盛光祖), the Minister of Railway, showed up in Wuhan train station on the 12th. In the departure hall, a traveler on wheelchair was being wheeled by a volunteer into “Special Travelers Zone.” Sheng asked him whether it was easy for him to purchase a ticket, and the man said all he had to do was call 95105105 from the hospital. Sheng then asked an old man the same question and the old man said, smiling, he called the ticketing number two days ago and got tickets for hard seats.
Jan 13 20:33via 享拍微博通Reposts and Replies(1152)
On January 6, a man armed with a gun robbed bank customers and fired shots in Nanjing.
pufei/(netizen, volunteer for the web-based Tianwang Center for Human Rights Affairs)/: 【Question】Why are the police, carrying assault rifles, still searching downtown Nanjing five days after the armed bank robbery? 【Answer】The police are certain that the son of bitch can’t possibly get hold of a train ticket to leave Nanjing during the Chinese New Year season.
Jan 12 17:40From FanTalkReposts and Replies (34)
王克勤/Wang Keqin/(investigative reportor)/：A friend of mine told me this: A man who works in Beijing had a hard time purchasinga train ticket. Distressed, he came up with an idea. He made a big sign that reads, “I want to make complaints to higher authorities!”A vehicle emerged immediately and took him all the way back to his hometown without listening to a word of what he had to say. During the journey, they even bought two meals for him. The lesson: Don’t fret about your problem; the key is to find a political solution for it.
Jan. 13 12:56From SinaWeiboRepost(2533)|Comment(595)
daxa郭大虾/Guo Da Xia/(netizen)/: This is a picture of Yao Ming attending the 13th Shanghai People’s Representative Meeting on January 13, 2012.Looks like he is the only one who takes his job seriously.
一张伪币/A counterfeit/yizhangwei bi/(netizen)/: The economy was really bad in Yan’an[the communist base in northwest] in 1938. The military’s supply department explored many ideas to create revenue. One of them was to produce Ren Dan (仁丹, an all-use Chinese medicine for common discomforts such as dizziness, nausea, etc.), and it was a big success. Soon the department began to use bark to make fake Rendan, and it still sold pretty well. One day, a former guard of Mao Zedong took a big package of it to give to Mao. When Qiu Huizuo (director of the supply department) heard of it, he ran after and caught the guard.“This is fake! If the Chairman gets poisoned, you and I will all end up in military court!”
Jan 13 21:57 From SinaWeiboRepost(846)|Comment(219)
zmt0516zmt/(netizen)/: The barber at Yuquan campus of Zhejiang University is anardent democracy advocate. I told him that, since I was a party member, I didn’t want my hair style to look too trendy. He gave me a “traitor’s haircut” instead!
Finally, for your pleasure, the “Stability Is All” bicycle:
The traitor hair style (汉奸头, han jian tou) refers to the center-split haircut seen in the photo, because, in Chinese movies set in an earlier time, this is the default haircut of those who are portrayed as being weak and cowardice and who eventually betray. According to the communist propaganda formula anyway.
I don’t get the first one you listed regarding the hard seats. Can you offer some context on that one?
And I did enjoy the Yao Ming one… 🙂
Chopstik, I don’t know if you have seen the slow trains in China. The seat (or rather, the bench) was uncushioned, wrapped in green synthetics. It is referred to it as 硬座，or hard seat. Here is a photo of what it looks like: http://bbs.rednet.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=10286879
Perhaps the “hard seats” have now evolved. But what’s shown in the picture are the original.