Monday, September 29, 2008

Questionable toys

"Smash me against the ground, it's so much fun!!"

Five out of the last 8 DVDs I bought have been unusable. If it's not the sound that isn't synchronized, it's bad picture quality, or, the DVD makes my player do obnoxious sounds. Sure, a DVD is cheap over here (5 kuai if you are Chinese, 7 kuai for foreigners -right?) but why bother to make shit? Seriously? Why are there so many shit products floating around here? Someone still has to make the DVD, put it in its cover, put plastic around the cover ('the more the better' -seems to be the approach to plastic covers in China) and take it to the DVD shop. That's quite a lot of work in order to produce nothing. To make matters worse (for me) and better (for them) I am the lazy kind of customer, who rarely bothers to go back and complain when something isn't working. I rather shrug my shoulders and turn to another DVD shop for my next purchase. I know that's my bad.... but well, yeah. That's just my bad.

When it comes to making useless products, however, China must be a leading country. If you don't believe just walk the streets of Shanghai for a day and you'll see what I mean. People are selling everything from dough-like-dolls that you can smash against the ground to electric soft animal toys that barks and meows.

Those toys, however, are nothing to what I came across in Beijing. Yes my friends, take a look at this beauty: a plastic spoon with shrimp-fried-rice.

I got it from my best Beijing friend Panda. She told me it was the latest hottest thing in China.

-You can purchase them from the Internet! They're so funny! I have a carrot and a capsicum at home, and look at his cabbage, that I have attached to my bag!!!

Oh yes, because as a matter of fact... the plastic spoon is attached to a string so that you can attach it to your phone/bag/keys.... Fun, huh?!

As I never found myself RLOL (isn't that how it's supposed to be said? I'm trying to learn how to be witty and modern) over my rice-spoon, I simply put it on a shelf in our bedroom when I got back from Beijing.

Two weeks later, I was typing away on my computer when our ayi suddenly appeared from our bedroom with a disturbed look on her face.

-Do you want to save this or? She said, looking a bit disgusted as she held out the plastic rice-spoon.
-Eh.... well... actually... I stopped short as I was watching her face. She looked truly disgusted. And she never does. Then it hit me. She must think it is real?! She's seen it sitting on a shelf for 2 weeks and she thinks that it's real?!?!
-It's not real you know! I said and got up from my chair. It's a.... toy! I grabbed the spoon from her hand and touched the rice-bit with my fingers. See, it's not real rice. It's just... a toy!

The look on our ayi's face?! Priceless. Relieved is an understatement. And I don't blame her. I can imagine her thinking: "Thank lord they are not freaks that are keeping spoons of shrimp-rice on their bedroom shelves for a night snack."

She laughed nervously and I could sense that her mind were going elsewhere...: "what on earth are you -a grown up woman- doing with this -a plastic rice-spoon and a toy for kids- on your shelf?!"

-Ehum, would you like it? I offered. You could give it to your daughter? Or to some kid? (I had to regain her trust)

Of course she wanted it. I think she really likes presents this ayi, or, she's just being polite, because she always wants everything I offer her: our old vacuum cleaner? Yes please! Finnish chocolate? Absolutely! Plastic rice spoon toy?? YES!!!

I have no idea if she tossed or kept it -but neither way, it's one of those 'toys' that represent a production that I find completely unnecessary over here. Like... why even bother? Seeing how excited my Beijing friend was over this piece of plastic, I guess I shouldn't be speaking since I'm obviously not the production company's target audience (although I have to say.. when I was a kid I played with My Little Pony and Barbies... if today's kids have to play with squishy toys and plastic food I feel sorry for them).


Little Tiger said...

An Ayi that used to clean my house was really curious about my stove-top espresso machine.
I was leaving soon so I asked her if she'd like it...of course she was over the moon.
I wonder if she has been waking up every morning to brew an espresso before heading out to work?

Jonna Wibelius said...

Hehe.. something tells me... no. Although I am sure it works as a beautiful prop in her kitchen?!

Anonymous said...

hi jonna, by select of DVD you have to ask seller whether the film is a DVD-clon or cinema version:-). I also recommend you to watch movies online (e.g., it's easier and cheaper compare to DVD:-))

Kate said...

I love your blog!!! every post is so funny, I laugh so hard. keep it coming!