When in China, beware of man-eating manholes

A friend of mine who moved to Beijing a couple of years ago told me that his mom warned him to be wary when walking near manholes in the city. She had read a story about a man in China who fell into an uncovered manhole at night and was found dead a few days later.

A mom's worst nightmare.

A mom’s worst nightmare.

As a mom, she was, naturally, worried that this was part of a larger problem, and that road work sites in China were more dangerous than ones in the US.

As silly as it seemed, her concern stuck with me, and whenever I bike in Beijing I always glance at manholes before speeding over them. Today, I biked past a road work site and saw this …

manhole.tree

Apparently, the construction crew ran out of cones and had to get creative. It doesn’t look safe, but I guess it might keep you from falling in.

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Worst translation ever?

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I’ve lived in China for almost four years, so I’m used to seeing bad translations, more commonly known as Chinglish. But this one, in downtown Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, stopped me in my tracks. It’s a store selling makeup products called, simply: Slavery.

(In Chinese, the store is called Xiao Xian Nu, or 小仙奴. I have no idea what they intended to mean.)