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Showing posts with label Shopping Culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shopping Culture. Show all posts

Saturday, June 23, 2018

A South Dakotan Dinosaur at the IFC Mall in Hong Kong

While you can now hear occasional loud roars at a mall in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, showing live World Cup football matches late into the night, you probably won't hear any roars at the IFC Mall in Central, Hong Kong. Given what is currently on display there, that is probably a good thing.

compllete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton on display at the IFC in Hong Kong




According to a sign, the complete adult Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton is 12 meters long and was found in South Dakota, U.S.A. The IFC Mall's website indicates the skeleton is 30% fossil bone and 70% polyurethanes fossil cast (see the blog Dinosaurpalaeo for some motivations for using either fossil bones or casts).

If the dinosaur were to somehow magically turn into its former living self, according to recent research there is at least one thing people no longer need to worry about. The Tyrannosaurus rex wouldn't be sticking out its tongue at people:
Dinosaurs couldn't stick out their tongues like lizards. Instead, their tongues were probably rooted to the bottoms of their mouths in a manner akin to alligators.

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and the Chinese Academy of Sciences made the discovery by comparing the hyoid bones—the bones that support and ground the tongue—of modern birds and crocodiles with those of their extinct dinosaur relatives. In addition to challenging depictions of dino tongues, the research proposes a connection on the origin of flight and an increase in tongue diversity and mobility.
To catch the T. Rex at the IFC Mall (and to imagine it catching you despite its tongue limitations) visit the mall no later than June 27. It is a rare opportunity to see a Hong Kong mall featuring something from South Dakota.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Large Crowd at a Hong Kong Mall Watches Japan Defeat Colombia in an Historic World Cup Match

This evening at the apm shopping mall in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, I heard a loud roar. Important context: loud roars aren't the norm at shopping malls in Hong Kong. I soon went out into the central area of the mall and saw that a large crowd had gathered.

crowd watching soccer match at the apm shopping mall in Hong Kong


Their main objective wasn't to roar but instead to watch a FIFA World Cup football ("soccer" for some of us) match between Colombia and Japan. When I arrived Japan was up by one goal. Presumably the one score in the game is what led to the magnificent roar I had heard.

crowd watching 2018 FIFA World Cup football match at the apm shopping mall in Hong Kong


The football-related festivities also included an area where people could play a football video game. The machines were hidden away, but based on the controls I think they were PlayStations.

playing soccer video game at apm Hong Kong


Nearby, though I don't think formally part of the apm promotion, people could play football on an Xbox as well.

playing soccer on XBOX at apm Hong Kong


And if that wasn't enough, there were signed jerseys of famous past football players on display.

Signed Pele and Maradona jerseys


I hadn't planned to spend much of my night at the mall, but after I saw Colombia tie the game I decided to stick around longer. Japan scored one more goal and held out for a remarkable win:
This scoreline was particularly unexpected in light of the fact that Japan had changed coaches shortly before the tournament, and because no Asian team had ever previously defeated a South American side in 17 World Cup meetings.

Japan celebrating live on video at apm Hong Kong


The event at apm was also remarkable to me since I have seen and experienced plenty of anti-Japanese sentiment in mainland China. But based on reactions, shirts, and flags, the Hong Kong crowd included supporters for both teams. I think Japan even enjoyed a solid edge in support.

More games are ahead. The immediate slate occur each day at 8 p.m., 11 p.m., and 2 a.m. local time. Staff at the mall insisted Apm will be open to show them all. This isn't extremely surprising since Apm is already known for its late night hours. I left the mall shortly after Japan won. So I can only imagine how many will watch Russia face Egypt there at 2 a.m. tonight.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Food, Shoes, and Jewelry: International Women's Day Sales Promotions in Jiangmen, China

In past year's I have shared some of the International Women's Day sales promotions I have come across in Zhongshan, in Jieyang, and in Guangzhou. At the moment I happen to be in Jiangmen —another city in Guangdong province. So yesterday I spent some time walking through several shopping malls and nearby shopping areas in the city. There was no shortage of promotions for the holiday, though many stores had no sales or had unrelated sales, including lingering Lunar New Year promotions.

As in past years, one noticeable aspect of the promotions were the various names used to identify the day. Yet I didn't see a single example where the standard Chinese translation for International Women's Day, 妇女节, was used. Instead, Chinese names which would translate as "Goddess Day" (女神) and "Queen's Day" (女王) were common. Some places went with "女人节" which could also translate to "Women's Day" in English. And a number of stores included the day's name in English, often going with "Queen's Day" or "Women's Day".

Chen Yan in Sixth Tone mentions a possible explanation for why the formal name in Chinese was avoided:
More and more young Chinese women are shunning International Women’s Day, a problem that is partially due to nomenclature. Women’s Day is translated as funüjie, a word that contains a term that youngsters increasingly use to refer to older, married women and that connotes a certain frumpiness and a lack of sophistication.
That still might not fully explain the choice of Watson's — a health & beauty care chain store. They went with "我们节" which could be translated as "Our Day", seemingly quite a big difference in meaning. But there's a catch. Written in pinyin, the first two characters are "Wo men".

Watsons Women's Day promotion


Just to be sure, I asked an employee and she confirmed that indeed "Wo Men's Day" referred to International Women's Day and was a cross-language pun. At the very least, it strikes me as a curious choice.

Whatever name stores settled on, the promotions went on.

So if you were seeking a Women's Day special for Californian-style food in Jiangmen yesterday, you were in luck.

Hey Farm restaurant Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Other Western-style food options were available as well.

Seasons restaurant Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Seeking something Asian? Well, there was Thai.

Thai restaurant Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


And if you wanted Yunnan-style, there were options as well.

Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Baked goods? No problem.

Madeli bakery Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen



Some tea? Loving Tea beckoned the goddesses.

Loving Tea Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Shiny Tea did as well.

Shiny Tea Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Seeking something simple and healthy? There was a fruit store that didn't miss out on the day.

Fruit store Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


There were many options for clothing.

YMR clothing store Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

G2000 Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

OU Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Shoes and hand bags were on sale too.

Losiny Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Losiny Queen's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Dusto Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

ZuSOON Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Topsports Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Glasses? No problem.

Loho Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Along with a number of other jewelry stores, both China Gold and Hong Kong Gold had promotions.

China Gold Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen

Hong Kong Gold Women's Day promotion in Jiangmen


Seeking health & beauty care products without a "Wo Men" theme? Mannings, a chain similar to Watsons, went with the more typical "Queen's Day".

Manning's Queen Day promotion in Jiangmen


And, yes, you could go to the supermarket for some Goddess Day savings.

Vanguard Empress Day promotion in Jiangmen


Finally, while several nail salons I passed didn't have a promotion for the day, IMP Nails was ready for Queen's Day.

IMP Nails Queen Day promotion in Jiangmen


So finding an International Women's Day deal in Jiangmen, and elsewhere in China, wasn't at all hard yesterday. But not everybody in China thought that was a good thing. And so on International Women's Day, some feminists who criticized how the day was observed were censored.

The promotions went on though.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Dogs, Lions, and Inflatable Israeli Hammers: The Macau Lunar New Year Festival at Tap Seac Square

Dog lantern display at Tap Seac Square
Dog-themed display part of the Lunar New Year festivities at Tap Seac Square in Macau

Recently Macau held a Lunar New Year fair at Tap Seac Square, a regular event there since 2009. I visited the fair last Wednesday and was interested to compare it to the Lunar New Year fairs I have seen in Taipei and in Hong Kong.

Macau Lunar New Year Market at Tap Seac Square
Part of the Lunar New Year Market at Tap Seac Square

In general, with the exception of it lacking any political activism, I found it more similar to what I saw in Hong Kong due to the many aspects which weren't specific to the Lunar New Year and more like a typical fair. That said, there was still plenty which clearly tied to the holiday.

For example, a number of the stalls had a distinct dog theme — appropriate for the upcoming Year of the Dog.

stall selling dog-themed items at Tap Seac Square Lunar New Year Market


stall selling dog-themed items at Tap Seac Square Lunar New Year Market


One of those stalls, though, rebelled a bit by including the slogan "I Like Cats More" on their sign.

stall selling dog-themed items with the slogan "I Like Cats More"


Accordingly, a number of doggish items were on sale, which meant that some people left with a new inflatable pet.

girl pulling inflatable dog on wheels


Some items mixed aspects of the holiday: for example, dog-themed pinwheels.

various pinwheels including several with dog themes


And as is traditional in this region of China, the market included many flowers for sale.

flowers for sale at Tap Seac Square Lunar New Year Market


Ample photographic opportunities were available. One popular option was having your photo taken with a cheerful God of Wealth.

people taking a photograph with person in a God of Wealth costume


people taking a photo with somebody in a God of Wealth costume


The biggest difference between my experience at this fair and others elsewhere was the number of live performances. While I was there, two Chinese orchestras performed.

Chinese orchestra performance at Macau Lunar New Year Fair


And, not surprisingly, nearby traditional drums came out as well.

traditional Chinese drum performance


This was a clear sign a lion dance was at hand. The performance was entertaining for most everyone except a snake that didn't fare so well.

black Chinese lion


Red Chinese lion looking at a scroll and stuffed snake
Lion vs. Snake

Red Chinese lion holding a banner
Snake now in the lion's belly

White Chinese lion dancing
Lion vs. Me?


Other aspects of the fair weren't so traditional or specific to the Lunar New Year. There were several food stalls offering items which would be common at a night market, including one with black cuttlefish sausage.

menu in Chinese with various items


For reasons I can't explain, they didn't have a giant black cuttlefish sausage on hand like I saw at the Lunar New Year festival in Taipei.

There was also a clown modeling balloons — as usual, a hit with children.

Clown modeling balloons for children


Reminiscent of the giant stuffed cigarettes I saw for sale at a Lunar New Year fair in Hong Kong, I found that some items for sale made me do a double take.

inflatable hammers and hands with symbols from Israeli flag


If you were looking for inflatable hands and hammers with an Israeli theme, it was your lucky day.

And finally, the day I went to the fair was February 14 — Valentine's Day. In the spirit of that other holiday some people were selling heart-shaped red balloons.

people selling red heart-shaped balloons


One of the things I personally enjoyed about the fair, at least during my time there, was it had a good crowd but wasn't packed to the point where moving around was difficult — an issue I faced at times in both Taipei and Hong Kong. The fair unexpectedly captivated me for long enough that by the time I left the Macanese restaurant where I had planned to eat dinner had already closed.

I should have picked up some black cuttlefish sausage before leaving. I didn't even get to eat a stuffed snake.



Added note: As pointed out by a reader, Valentine's Day may have also influenced the name of one of the dog-themed stalls that appears in the photos above. "單身狗" includes the Chinese character for dog and is unflattering / self-deprecating slang for a person who is single. The reader wrote, "I guess one of the stalls got away with the sarcastic flavor."