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This blog is where we announce new videos & talk about the power of explanation & the change it can create. 

China Week: Strange Translations

If making signs in Chinese characters was my job, I would be very, very bad at it.  However, I might hire someone who knows the language well before erecting a permanent sign at a major tourist destination.  For a long time, this didn't happen in China and we snapped the photos below before they invested in changing the signs for the Olympics

 

 The guy in this photo is one of the most interesting people I've ever met.  He's the blind adventurer Miles Hilton-Barber.(notice the broken cane, his favorite schtick) Photo is from the Three Gorges Dam. He did not turn over.

 

 

I never could figure out why they wanted to protect the railings. This was at the Summer Palace, where I felt compelled to write a rant about tourism and tour groups

 

 

An earnest request at Yellow Mountain. Most tourist travel in China (outside the cities) is controlled.  Most people are herded onto busses and kept in a group, led by a flag-bearing guide who speaks English and may use a megaphone. We are very independent travelers and grew quite tired of these guides

 

 At the Three Gorges Dam.

 Chinese Sign by you.

 

I didn't take it as a compliment.

 

 

I think they meant "crab"

 

 

4 Stars!

 4 Star Toilet - Forbidden City, Beijing China by you.

And finally, not a sign, but an illustration of a difference in culture.  I present to you, on the busy streets of Beijing - a car-to-car turtle salesman.

 Car-to-Car Turtle Sales by you.

Reading back through this, it may appear that we didn't like China.  I would say that the tourist experience in China, compared to other places, was not as enjoyable.  We were only there a month, which is far too short of a time to know if we really like it or not.  We left the country wondering what would change before the Olympics and what Westerners would say upon returning.