Bin Bing Story

After watching the megalodon shark creating havoc in the the Pacific Ocean in Jason Statham's latest flick, The Meg, I  suddenly realize  there are many Bing Bings in the Chinese entertainment industry. First, there is China's Fan Bingbing  范冰冰 who appeared in the 2014  Hollywood superhero blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past and then there is Taiwan's  Bai Bing-Bing 白冰冰, who iwhile may be unknown to the western world, is nevertheless a big name in the Chinese entertainment scene. Now, of course, there is The Meg's Li Bing Bing 李冰冰 who had in2008 already been introduced to international audience via Chinese-American fantasy kung fu wuxia film, The Forbidden Kingdom and later, via Resident Evil: Retribution and Transformers: Age of Extinction in 2012 and  2014 respectively. Then of course, there is the former child star from 1983 Taiwan's popular TV series, Heaven knows my heart 星星知我心,  Xiao Bin Bin which is another bin story altogether.

Fan Bing Bing  范冰冰 

Bai Bing…

Picture on the Wall

Sedan chairs used to be a common way of transport in ancient China. There were sedan chairs for flat lands and sedan chairs to go up mountains, sedan chairs made of bamboo or wood and sedan chairs for civilians, officials and weddings called mín jiào 民轿, guān jiào 官轿and hūn jiào 婚轿. In a little town near Simpang Empat, Penang, I chanced upon this cute picture on a wall. Now, is this mín jiào 民轿, guān jiào 官轿 or hūn jiào 婚轿? No prize for guessing!

A Chinese Puppet show

There was a scene in Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music which I like, featuring puppets and a catchy song sung by Julie Andrew, The Lonely Goatherd. It's not the yodeling but the puppets that I like. The Chinese puppet theaters offer similar marionettes on strings besides three other forms - rod puppets, shadow plays, and hand manipulated glove-type puppets. I suppose come this year's festival of the hungry ghosts, a puppet show will come to town - the hand manipulated glove-type puppets.

Traditional Chinese Clogs

Klompen, träskor, or geta; they are all clogs from Netherlands, Sweden and Japan respectively; and all made of wood, I suppose; just like Chinese clogs. Chinese clogs, traditional ones I mean, are unlike the ones sold in Alibaba; the latter look more plastic and resemble more of the klompen or träskor. Where I'm living, traditional Chinese clogs are still in use, mainly as footwear to the bathroom and toilet. Rarely would you see a person in town wearing them when one can opt for the  more fashionable Nike or Adidas. I remember in the 70s, the more dainty red clogs, some painted with delicate flowers, form part of the dowries of bride to be. Not so sure if  this is still in practice but in Melaka, red clogs are still on sale. Some have the pictures of Kitty Cat and Doraemon, popular Japanese cartoon characters painted on them and I suppose they are more for the tourists to the historical city. Chinese clogs are here to stay!

Chinese Acrobats in Town!

I chanced upon an article which states that Chinese acrobatics are rarely seen outside China. Maybe true, maybe not but for the past few years, Chinese acrobats from Mainland China have come to Taiping, my little hometown to perform especially in shopping malls during Chinese New Year. It is not the usual big acrobatic troupes that travel internationally and make a splash in the newspaper. This is a little troupe consisting of about five acrobats who will perform juggling acts, balancing acts and gymnastics, circus style just like their western counterpart. Chinese acrobatics reportedly consist of two styles, circus style and martial arts style. In the latter, martial artists will fight out a scene with weapons. Not sure if western acrobatics offer the latter.

A Revered Creature

Take this story which I received through whatApp with a pinch of salt : A white dragon with rabbit-like fur was killed in Gerik, Malaysia by a Chinese man while it was stealing his - what else -rabbits! Never mind if people here rather raise cows than rabbits or if the photo of the dragon looks like being taken straight out of a Hong Kong movie. A dinosaur, at least has its fossils in the museum but a dragon and an albino one at that ; if there is one around, a Chinese probably,  will not kill it;  the dragon being a revered creature and then of course, how could you render something so rare extinct? Anyway, whoever started this story made me wonder: Do dragons eat rabbits? What exactly do they eat? Are they carnivores, herbivores or omnivores?

In His Bid to Quit Smoking.

As  far as vaping is concerned, I suppose the Chinese idiom huódàolǎo,xuédàolǎo rings true. One is definitely not too old to learn and in this case, I've just learn about vaping. Vaping comes from the word vape. It supposedly had been in existence since the 14th century but it is only recently that I learn about this alternative to smoking and what people called the electronic cigarette. That was when news on vaping hog the limelight in the local media. While vaping has been hyped a business dominated by Malays in Malaysia, the electronic cigarette is not really a Malay creation. In 1963, American Herbert A.Gilbert had already patented a smokeless non-tobacco cigarette but it is a Chinese pharmacist, an inventor and a heavy smoker, Hon Lik or Han Li ( 韩力) who, in his bid to quit smoking, came out with the modern e-cigarette.  Since the health hazards of e-smoking is not yet known, probably it's not time yet to thank Hon Lik. Touch wood!