Bad Balloon Behaviour
As part of Liuzhou’s May holiday activities program, Guangxi University of Technology organised a balloon festival. This consisted of various exhibits such as castles, forests, animals such as elephants and giraffes, and other shapes all made from balloons. Between 70 and 80 thousand balloons were said to be employed.
The three-day event was publicised with the promise that every kindergarten age child would be given a free balloon.
The event duly opened and within minutes parents and children had wrecked the place, pulling all the exhibits apart.
The organisers had no choice but to close the exhibition. Parents and children continued to turn up unaware that it was all over on the first day. They then complained that they weren’t given the chance to loot the place!
Unfortunately, behaviour of this sort is all too regular in China. Give some people a sense of something for nothing and they lose all propriety. I once watched a bunch of teachers in a primary school literally punching and shoving their pupils out of the way to get to a free orange. We were in the middle of a glut of oranges – the market was selling them for ¥0.50 a kilogram. Almost nothing.