I want to preface this by saying that as I was a foreigner in China, I really did appreciate the lengths that the Chinese people go to explain things in English. They didn’t need to. I’m sure that there are examples of written Chinese in the New York Metro System that are as pretty much “off the mark” as these excerpts.
At the foot of the escalator, near our hotel at People’s Square in Shanghai.
“Do not pop out the head or other part of the body.” Seems pretty logical, right? I mean you don’t want to be popping off parts.
This one over a recycling bin at Shanghai’s Hongqiao Railway Station:
“Let’s protect the earth with Hongqiao Railway Station.” I mean you know what it is trying to say – context is everything.
This one at the Maglev:
“Stay within the caution line. Striding over the safety line forbidden.” Very specific.
At the hotel:
“Dear Ladies/Gentlemen, Welcome to Shanghai. Please never follow any stranger to the bar, tea house, KTV and massage parlor for consumption so as to have a happy holiday in Shanghai and to protect yourself from financial loss or physical injury. We wish you all the best.”
So, I get that you aren’t supposed to go to such places, but the following a stranger thing required some thinking about. I guess it means strangers coming up to you and saying “Hey, you wanna go to this bar?- you’ll have fun!” Nod and a wink, etc etc. KTV, if you don’t know, is Karaoke TV. According to the internets, there are two flavors of KTV – the family-friendly version and another one. The family version is where you and your friends, or family, rent a KTV room and sing karaoke. The non-family version involves not only your friends but also pre-paid guests, to sing karaoke.
This one spotted outside the Sightseeing Tunnel at the Bund in Shanghai under the heading of ‘tourist etiquette rules.’
“To keep a clean environment, do not spit phlegm or chewing gum onto the ground.”
“To pay attention to courtesy, be dressed appropriately, and do not go barebacked in public areas.”
“To give priority to the disabled or the old, and to give courtesy to ladies, do not speak foul language.”
“To promote healthy entertainment. To resist feudal or superstitious activities, and say “no” to pornography, indecency, gambling or drugs.”
What are feudal or superstitious activities? What did someone do that required a sign?