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Showing posts with label Children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Children. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Encounters With a Lively Skeleton Queen in Xuzhou

As I have seen in past years at some shopping centers in China on the weekend of or before Halloween, on Saturday the Xuzhou Suning Plaza invited children to come to the mall dressed up in Halloween costumes. That afternoon it held an activity that wouldn't have been out of place any other time of the years except for the fact that some of the children were wearing costumes.

After watching a small part of a contest where children had to think of animals that hadn't been previously named by other children, I took a photo. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a skeleton queen who had been helping some of the other children had now apparently taken interest in me. She quickly jumped onto the stage and approached me while making expressions ranging from ghoulish to charming.

So this happened:

girl dressed up as a skeleton queen posing for a photo


About an hour later I watched a portion of a similar event at the Golden Eagle Pengcheng Square Store. Once again, the setting had a Halloween theme yet the activity — in this case children and teenagers singing — wouldn't have been out of place any other weekend of the year.

As I took a photo of the entrance to the area, I felt a light pat on my stomach. The most likely source of the rather unexpected pat seemed to be downwards, so that's where I looked. The next step to take was soon obvious, and this happened:

girl dressed up as a skeleton queen posing for a photo


After a couple of photos, the skeleton queen darted off and disappeared into the crowd. Later, I saw she had returned to watch the performances, where as before she eagerly showed support — this time by applauding.

people watching a boy sing a song on a Halloween-themed stage


And that's the end of this story about an outgoing skeleton queen with a heart.

Monday, September 2, 2019

No Piano Bench, No Worry at a Walmart in China

Can't find any suitable piano benches to use at a Walmart in Nanning, China? No problem. Just improvise with a shopping cart and a wooden stool.

girl playing an electronic keyboard while sitting on a wooden stool in a shopping cart


While I admired how the setup was a more creative example of people using stools in China, the man stood next to the shopping cart helping to keep it steady while he used his mobile phone and the girl played the keyboard. By chance I was around when they arrived and returned just as the girl wrapped up her 15+ minutes of making music and they left sans keyboard.

This Walmart in Nanning currently sells the wooden stool the girl sat on (or one that look just like it) for 29.9 yuan (about U.S. $4.15). I don't know if the pair ultimately bought the stool, just borrowed it for their Walmart shopping experience, or already owned it, but I did see the girl was still sitting on the stool when we later crossed paths in the produce section.

Monday, August 5, 2019

A Token Story from Nanning

Today in Nanning a family exited a train at a stop near the western end of the Line 1 metro. One of them, a young girl, paused just before exiting and turned around. For a brief moment she looked conflicted. Her grandmother (I presume), also still on the train, seemed to recognize the issue and hollered something in a local dialect. She and the girl then quickly exited the train just before the doors closed.

The family remained together.

Two of their subway tokens did not remain with them though.

two tokens left on a subway train bench in Nanning


I wondered if the girl could have retrieved the tokens in time if she had acted immediately. I also wondered what they would now do without them. I'm not sure about the former. It would have been close, but I think she had a shot. Still, a risk. Regarding the latter, my first guess was they would have their two kids duck under the turnstiles to exit the station and hope nothing came of it. Or they could just report the problem before exiting and hope for the best.

I left the tokens where they sat. They probably couldn't serve much use now, but at least they had each other.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Motorcycles, Dinosaurs, and Drums: Some Father's Day Fun in Yulin, China

In the past, I have shared signs of Mother's Day in China, whether in Guiyang, Hengyang, or Zigong. However, I have never done the same with Father's Day. The main reason is that I typically don't see anything as dramatic in terms of types or amount of business promotions.

This year was the same. But I did see some children spending time with their fathers.*

So to bring some balance, I will share that this evening on Father's Day in Yulin, Guangxi, I saw a girl help her father win a motorcycle race . . .

daughter riding a fake motorcycle with father as he plays the Speed Rider 2 video game


. . . a boy help his father shoot some menacing dinosaurs . . .

Father and son playing Jurassic Park video game


. . . and another boy play a drum duet with his father.

Father playing drum video game while son play inactive drums next to him


And on this note, Happy Father's Day to the fathers out there.






*I didn't verify the relationships, but I consider this a low risk claim to make.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Riverside Fun With Toy Construction Vehicles in Wuzhou

This afternoon in Wuzhou a woman brought a little boy to the left bank of the Xi River. The boy was at first momentarily interested in some of the activities ongoing in the river, but soon his attention shifted to the apparent reason he had been brought there.

And he played with his toy construction vehicles in the sand and dirt while the woman used her mobile phone.

little boy playing with toy trucks next to the Xi River in Wuzhou, China.


Sure seemed like an excellent choice of location.

Friday, January 4, 2019

A Generational Meme in China

I will keep this short and sweet since these tweets by Kassy Cho speak for themselves:



A compilation by Victor Sun on YouTube includes these examples and more:



That's all.

Monday, October 8, 2018

More Toy Guns and Hamsters Too in a Holiday Sale at Toys "R" Us in China

Last week I posted about Toys "R" Us commemorating the founding of the People's Republic of China with a holiday sale featuring Nerf guns. I had seen the toy gun special at two different stores in Zhuhai, China. The very next day after writing the post, I happened to come across a Toys "R" Us store in neighboring Zhongshan. Unsurprisingly, this store offered the same deal.

Nerf gun National Day special at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Despite the sale, perhaps some parents don't think the best way to celebrate the holiday is to buy a gun which shoots projectiles, even if cushiony. Fear not, Toys "R" Us had another holiday special, this one on Silverlit laser tag guns.

Silverlit laser tag National Day special at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Some people may even find creative ways to use both types of toy guns at the same time.

For people who just aren't into any sort of gun, there were some other items on special as well. For example, if you fancy hamsters with a penchant for burgers, Hamsters in a House can do that.

Hamsters in a house National Day special at Toys "R" Us in Zhongshan, China


Notably, according to the sign this special didn't start for two weeks until after the ones for the guns. I don't know why. I also don't know if these hamsters would appreciate a Nerf or Silverlit gun.

In any case, the month-long holiday promotion at Toys "R" Us ended today. This doesn't affect most toys sold there, but you will now have to pay more for some guns and rodents.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Toys "R" Us Celebrates National Day in China with a Special Deal on Toy Guns


"Golden week Toys Fun" promotion at Toys "R" US in China
A "Golden week Toys Fun" promotion at a Toys "R" Us in Zhuhai, China

Whether in Mudanjiang far to the north or in Zhongshan far to the south, during recent years I have shared some of the National Day sales I have come across in China. Recently in Zhuhai, a city bordering Zhongshan on China's southeastern coast, I saw a promotion that might strike some people as more notable than others because of the retailer and products involved.

The promotion was at Toys "R" Us. Although the U.S. based company no longer has stores in its home country, stores still exist elsewhere, including China. Asia in particular has been a bright spot, and the company hopes to sell its stores there, though there are complications at the moment.

So I wasn't very surprised to see a Toys "R" Us promotion for National Day at two different stores in Zhuhai. And I wasn't surprised the "Golden Week" holiday sale lasts for over a month. And I also wasn't surprised by the "I ♥ China" roller coaster on some of the signs.

Portion of Toys "R" Us "Golden week Toys Fun" sign with "I ♥ China" rollercoaster


But I will admit, they did do something I didn't see coming. They commemorated the founding of the People's Republic of China by featuring a special price for a Nerf toy guns combo — the N-Strike Elite Retaliator and the Microshots N-Strike Elite Firestrike.



Save 49.9 yuan! (about U.S. $7.25)


Retaliate against who? The signs didn't specifically say.

In any case, the special on Nerf guns reminded me of my old posts about children in China conducting "war training exercises". Now, to commemorate the founding of the People's Republic of China they can do it at a discount.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Kindergarten in Shenzhen, China, Welcomes Students With a Pole Dancing Show

Advertisements for jobs and classes at a pole dancing school in Zhongshan
Advertisements for jobs and classes at a pole dancing school in Zhongshan, Guangdong (October 2017)


Six years ago I met a college student working part-time handing out printed advertisements for a pole dancing school in Changsha, China. Later, I met another student doing the same. After asking a few questions about the school, she invited me to take a look myself. Soon I was having an enlightening conversation with a manager during my first visit to a pole dancing school.

Since then, in a number of other cities in China I have come across signs of more pole dancing schools, and the activity's popularity has grown as a way to stay physically fit while enjoying oneself. Although pole dancing occurs in some locations, such as nightclubs, where it can more typically be found in the U.S., there are differences between the two countries in how it is perceived.

Still, when I first saw a remarkable tweet today from Michael Standaert, a freelance journalist based in Shenzhen, indicating his children's kindergarten had put on a pole dancing show for the young students on their first day of school, I wondered if it was some sort of joke.

He wasn't joking.

Below are most of Standaert's tweets on the topic, including videos of children watching pole dancing performances and some of his replies to others' comments. The tweets are from multiple threads and presented in the order they were tweeted. Read to the end to learn the school's decisive response.

It looks like opening day will be a bit different next year.














Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Boys With Big Branches in Ganzhou

Similar to a confrontation with four boys in Maoming four years ago, the other day in a park alongside the Zhang River in Ganzhou I met two boys with weapons.

two boys holding large tree branches in Ganzhou


Once again I was spared, and they allowed me to pass.

I didn't try taking a seat though.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Balloon Sculptures, Singing, and a Pelvic Thrusting Dinosaur: The Grand Opening of a Jewelry Store in Ganzhou, China

When I stopped by a jewelry store with a notable logo on the afternoon of its opening day in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, there were a few customers inside, but all was otherwise quiet. Especially given the hot weather and low pedestrian traffic at the time, this wasn't so surprising.

When I stopped by again later in the early evening, the weather had cooled down and the activities to celebrate the grand opening had heated up. Given what I have seen at a variety of promotions elsewhere in China, I wasn't too surprised to see somebody wearing an inflatable Tyrannosaurus costume entertaining people, especially children.

person in inflatable Tyrannosaurus costume entertaining


At an entrance to the store, somebody else was creating balloon animals and sculptures. I have seen the same thing at a number of jewelry stores elsewhere.

Balloon artist making a balloon model for a girl


There was also a stage set up besides the store. While I was there a woman sang, also not so uncommon for events likes this one.

But then things came together in a way that wasn't so typical in my experience, and it was something to behold.

I didn't know a Tyrannosaurus could move like that.

On reflection, the movements were somewhat similar to how some cockatoos dance to music. Not only are birds dinosaurs, but the Tyrannosaurus is more closely related to a bird than to a Stegosaurus. Perhaps that's what the person had in mind, though I am not aware of any birds dancing quite the same way.

In any case, the dancing felt a bit surreal to watch. I can't put the experience fully into words, so I have shared a bit of it in the video below. Although the Tyrannosaurus stopped dancing, or whatever it was doing, and returned to other activities while I watched, I kept filming a bit longer. There is more to observe than just the dinosaur, though it steals the show.

Take a look:

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Nine Children Day Photos from Guangzhou

As in a number of other countries, June 1 is Children's Day in China. Children younger than 14 get the day off from class, which lead some parents to question why they aren't legally entitled to a day off too so they can spend it with their children. On that note, many schools arrange activities for the day.

Yesterday I saw signs of the holiday in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province. Despite it being a Friday, the activity level at some places felt more like a weekend. One movie theater lobby I passed was packed with excited children — likely due to discounts or a school outing.

Below are a handful of photos I took yesterday. I can't say each and every scene is directly connected to the holiday, but they all definitely include children.

dance performance by boys
Dance performance at Sunny Mall


kiddie play area at mall
Busy children's amusement center at Sunny Mall


air hockey game
Air hockey at an arcade in the JN Sunday underground pedestrian shopping street


children making pizzas at The Pizza Factory in Guangzhou
Pizza-making party at The Pizza Factory in the Icon City shopping mall


woman and girl walking down Gaodi Street in Guangzhou
On Gaodi Street


girl posing in front of a sculpture for a photo
Photographic opportunity at Shangxiajiu Square


one girl lifting up another onto her back
Lifting up a twin sister at Shangxiajiu Square


girl giving another girl a piggyback ride
A piggyback ride underway


two children debating who should get a stroller
A (potential) learning moment for a boy who had tried to hijack a baby stroller

Monday, April 23, 2018

Gongbei-Ball Lives on in Zhuhai

In response to a post with a series of photos showing what happened to some blocks of ice left on the sidewalk in Yunfu, Guangdong, reader J P Hays commented:
Not what I expected in the slightest. I was expecting it to end sadly, with reports of people slipping on the ice and injuring themselves, not two kids having a fun time with it.
In fact, a couple other children were involved as well, but I didn't get any good photos including them. Fortunately, I indeed didn't witness any injuries, whether due to slipping or being hit by thrown pieces of ice. I don't know if that changed after I left though.

While putting together the ice post, the throwing aspect of it reminded me of a game I called Gongbei-ball that I saw played on Gaosha Middle Street in Zhuhai's Gongbei subdistrict two years ago. I was briefly back in Zhuhai yet again in February. One evening shortly after 8 p.m. I returned to the same street, which like Baisha Road in Jiangmen can be tricky to locate using online interactive maps. I wondered if the game was still played and whether I could be lucky enough to catch a match.

I am happy to belatedly report the game continues to thrive.

two boys and a man playing Gongbei-ball in Zhuhai


At least one of the boys playing appeared to be one of the same boys as before. And this time a man was playing as well. I'm still unsure of the precise rules, and like before sometimes suspected they were adjusted on the fly by the one boy. But it seemed to be the same game. There was one clear difference though. Instead of using a ball made from crumpled-up paper wrapped in tape, they used a regular tennis ball. Apparently the equipment change was authorized by the Gongbei-Ball Premier League.

If I have the opportunity to come across the game sometime again in the future, I will see if they will teach me the rules. I thought the paper ball had a special charm to it, but some things change. Maybe there'll be a different ball next time.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Forms of Ice in Yunfu

The science of what happens when a small restaurant dumps large chunks of ice out onto the sidewalk at a street intersection in Yunfu, Guangdong:

Ice I

chunks of ice on a sidewalk in Yunfu, Guangdong


Ice II

chunks of ice on a sidewalk in Yunfu, Guangdong


Ice Fun

kids throwing chunks of ice in Yunfu, Guangdong

Thursday, March 15, 2018

To Be Fed or Not To Be Fed on Two Wheels in Jiangmen

A moment from today on Xingning Road (兴宁路) in Jiangmen:

man and small girl riding an electric bicycle


A similar moment with an edacious contrast:

man feeding a boy a snack while they ride a motor scooter


Perhaps the girl had already finished her food.

Thursday, November 9, 2017