First off a very happy Chinese valentine’s day (七夕节) to you all! Celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month Qīxī Jíe centers on a story of lost love between a cowheard and a seamstress, and traditionally would have involved young women dressing up in qipao (dresses) and exchanging gifts. If that’s not your cup of tea however there’s always a romantic dinner, and both the Mutianyu Schoolhouse and the Hilton Wangfujing are holding special valentine’s themed evenings. For the film buff, perhaps Zhang Ziyi’s recent comedy Sophie’s Revenge (sadly only in Chinese at Mebabox Sanlitun, could be a DVD option if you’re like me and need subtitles) might be more up your street.
Something that has caused a bit of controversy this Valentine’s however is a number of reports about ‘love training courses’. Where people going under unusual titles of ‘professional pick-up artist’, ‘romance coach’ or even (though I suspect this may come from the victims of such lessons) ‘Devil Consultant’ teach hapless romantics tricks to snare the girl or guy of their dreams. The general theme of these reports tend to waver between the idea that it’s useful guidance or a ‘desecration against love’, I meanwhile find it vaguely amusing, ripped straight from the Hollywood comedy Hitch. That said I think I’d prefer not to have the moniker Devil Consultant wouldn’t you?
And finally, the Liaoshen evening news recently broke a story about a drunk man who, not being able to make it home, decided to take a kip in the branches of a 5 meter high tree in Anshan, Liaoning province. Firefighters were called to help him down but perhaps to save further humiliation, our protagonist decided just to jump out instead. Why on earth you’d think to climb a tree instead of walk home is beyond me, but then again climbing a tree drunk is probably beyond me too.