Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China


The ever entertaining and informative website, “How to be a Retronaut” has alerted me to a collection of pictures from New York Public Library which they mistakenly believe to be a series of illustrations from around 1804 showing old Chinese punishment methods. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact they are illustrative of life in Liuzhou last week. Let me explain:

First we have this

Not the Baijiu!

Clearly, this is an image of a young acolyte being introduced to the benefits of dedicating your life to the public good by becoming a total piss artist, knocking back the baijiu and becoming a government official. The mock reluctance to devoting you life to alcoholism and stupidity is, of course, merely for ritual. As Chinese sage, Confusion, forgot to mention “Any drunk can be an alcoholic bum, but to rise to the heights of a government alcoholic bum takes dedication to the cause.”


Ever mindful of the four famous Chinese inventions, paper, gunpowder and … … the other two .. we have to acknowledge the local initiative shown in re-inventing flying. Wright Brothers? Bunch of amateurs with no Chinese characteristics! This is how to do it properly. For at least a metre.


Has there ever been a more up-to-date example of China’s social welfare policy? Here it is evident that some poor, elderly individual has collapsed in the street under the weight of her oppression. A kind Samaritan has taken the trouble to try to assist her, but his companion (right) is remonstrating. “The old bitch will wake up in a minute and sue your ass off! Run!)

Ear! Ear!

What appears here to be some vile form of torture is, in fact, merely a hospitality rite used by the local Dong minority to welcome guests. The procedure is normally carried out by two girls in their best ethnic costumes and is accompanied by a glass of 米酒 (rice wine). Here, the two ear pullers are obviously so delighted to see their guest that they have been unable to control themselves till the girls and wine arrive and have taken matters into their own hands.

Remember to keep your mouth shut!

What we see here is a snapshot of daily life at Liuzhou Swimming School. There is a water shortage, don’t you know? 

Slide baby, slide

Technicians adjust Winter Olympic skeleton racing medal hope’s sled prior to a practice run. The lack of ice flows or glaciers in the city is no barrier to Liuzhou’s latest sporting hero. 

Gan bei!

The 米酒 has arrived and our friends from above are now able to properly welcome their friend by offering him some light refreshment. Don’t know where the girls have got to, though.

Messin' About on the River

There is nothing worse than dozing off on the banks of the Liujiang when doing a bit of fishing and discovering that some greedy piscine has made off with your rod and tackle. So, this wily Liuzhou chap has come up with a cunning invention. He has tied his fishing rod to his neck so that the lightest bite on his line will have him awake in seconds. If the fish is strong enough, he will get a free tow around the scenic spots of the riverside.

Falling up holes

A more than usually creative Liuzhou carpenter has invented a special chair for those many local residents who are forever falling down holes. Now you can have your own hole in the comfort of your own sitting room. When you are not using it in this manner, it easily converts into an elegant hot pot table. Dual function, no less!

Hmmm. Back to the drawing board!

A somewhat less astute carpenter tests his new design for a wooden mosquito net. Still needs some work.

Bleedin' 'ell

Looks like the guest has had a bit too much of the 米酒 and passed out while waiting for the girls. One kind local is reviving him by the ancient medical practice of bloodletting while the other has gone off to look for the girls. 

Falling asleep in style

As I have observed before, Liuzhou people seem to be able to fall asleep just about anywhere. However, there are thieves about, so this Liuzhou man has sensibly tied his expensive looking bed to his neck in case someone tries to make off with it when he is asleep. He’s no fool.

(More pictures and the real captions can be seen here.)

Tags: , , . This entry was posted on Monday, September 12th, 2011 at 3:31 pm and is filed under Art, Humour. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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