Archive for March 26th, 2011


What were they thinking?

  1. What was the taxi driver thinking when he did a U-turn in the middle of morning rush hour traffic, pulled up a few metres away from us, displayed a green “unoccupied” light, with 3 passengers in his vehicle, yelled “qù nǎlǐ 去哪里?” – literally “go where?” – listened to my answer, then violently shook his head, did another U-turn, remained stationary for a few minutes, and then sped off back in the original direction of travel with his passengers still in situ. What was he thinking?
  2. What are the Chinese book publishers thinking when they publish and print a book consisting entirely of Chinese except for the English title on the cover of the book? Or the publishers of some Chinese magazines and textbooks – English sub-title and content headings and then not another English word in sight. What are they thinking?
  3. What were they thinking when they came up with Blueberry, lime and cucumber flavoured crisps? [We tried the lime/cucumber flavoured crisps once…only once…my taste buds reacted violently and I could almost hear them spit at me: “What are YOU thinking? Are you some kind of fruit loop?”] And then there is Purple Potato yoghurt….
  4. What were they thinking when they built our office building in such a way that the outlet pipe where the kitchen sink needs to drain, is at a higher level than the inlet pipe? Did they think that the water would miraculously flow upstream?
  5. What was the lady thinking as she sat on her upright chair in the middle of the street? On one of our walkabouts we came across some kind of official, or neighbourhood watch lady, well, she was in uniform, and she had a clipboard, so she must have been there in some kind of official capacity. There she sat on her chair in the middle of the road with an ancient, dilapidated bicycle propped up besides her waiting for…who knows what. There was very little traffic, so I’m not sure if she was doing a statistical survey, or maybe she was waiting for the owner of the bicycle to return so that she could fine him. In either event, what was she thinking?

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March 2011
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