Engrish / Chinese Insanity #6b
Asia in general is known for its… amusing… ways of translating things into English. Store names, product slogans, t-shirts… you name it. I’ve been trying to document all the “Engrish” I’ve seen in Taiwan for my own amusement, but it occurs to me that you, the good strong reader, might want to be amused as well. And so this is a semi-regular installment here on Nick in Asia – not to poke fun, mind you, but belly laughing a few times is always good for the soul.
In Part 6a of this ongoing and award-winning Engrish series, we looked at several hats I saw while spending a weekend in Kenting. As I’ve mentioned before, these adorable yet horribly wrong attempts at English are all over the place here, and I’m going to try to take more pictures of it. But it’s hard to be inconspicuous as a white person in an Asian land when you’re taking pictures of things written in English while laughing hysterically. Especially when those things are written on someone’s chest, or their head. Ahhh well. I do it for you.
One thing that I had not seen prior to arriving in Kenting, though, is what we’ll be focusing on today. Remember, I said last time that 6a would focus more on the Engrish, while 6b would have more of a Chinese Insanity flavor. Well, here we are. As I told you, the couple of main streets in Kenting had all sorts of clothing shops for the beach-goer in you (flip flops, board shorts, t-shirts) or for the Asian beach-goer (big sunhats, long-sleeve jackets, and SPF 14,500 sunscreen).
Well, quite a few of these shops had mannequins proudly displaying their ware. Now, I’ve always found mannequins a bit unnerving, what with the impeccable fashion sense, the dismissive attitudes, and the vacant stares. But let me tell you, the simple mannequins of the West have nothing on their counterparts here. These mannequins were some of the creepiest things I have ever seen with my own two eyes. They had personalities and life sculpted into and painted onto their faces. I suppose they’re made this way to appear more lifelike and make Johnny Consumer more inclined to buy the clothes hanging from them. But I fear it has the opposite effect. We were all too busy recoiling in horror from the crazed stares these mannequins were giving us that we never even much looked at the merchandise.
And they all looked different, too! It was like the proprietors of these stores had killed a band of gypsies, taxidermied them, and then dressed them each in a different shirt/shorts combo along the street. Truly disturbing.
So there’s some Chinese insanity for ya. Enjoy the mannequins after the jump. Do not look them in the eyes.