Come to Hangzhou!

18 Sep

Has anyone else seen these buses around London?

‘Unseen Beauty’ it shouts, followed by the name of the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China, Hangzhou.

Why? I quite like the fact that there seems to be no reason for this piece of advertising. I’m guessing it must be a tourism initiative, but they want me to go to somewhere I’ve never heard of. No, wait! There is a picture of a pretty girl and that headline ‘unseen beauty’. Is she the unseen beauty? Am I going because she’s there? Is Hangzhou a bit like Bangkok with its infamous brothel, Four Floors of Whores?

And then there’s an endline: ‘Back to London with pleasure’. What do they mean? I will be pleasured in Hangzhou and will return sated to London? Who knows? I know I should click on the url, but I’m a bit apprehensive and go first to Wikipedia. The entry is pretty dense but I learn that nearly nine million people live in Hangzhou which has a nice lake and lies around 110 miles from Shanghai.

Finally I click on so that it all finally makes sense and it’s woeful. Beautifully woeful. Written in Chinese English (Chinglish?) and certainly not configured to working on a Mac, you get pages that look like this:

It’s been a while since I’ve seen an ad this interesting on a bus, and although it seems wrong on so many levels, it caught my attention a lot more than the usual film or fashion ads. In fact, I know now a lot more about Hangzhou than I did and it seems quite a nice day trip from Shanghai should you ever find yourself there.

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