Pop Ups for Grown Ups

My computer was supplied by my company and it seems to have been used by people doing similar jobs since the middle ages because it has aged beyond horribly.
My favorite aspect of this pile of junk is the pop-ups.
Every morning after I turn on my computer and wait roughly six weeks for it to finish booting up, I am greeted by many pop-up ads.
I know the first thing that comes to the mind of many busy professionals is the thought to leave the computer on or in sleep mode overnight, but no, I’m at a company that checks and sends passive aggressive messages late at night so I cannot get away with power wastage here.
Anyway, there are many pop-ups, some for weather and most for news, and always really shocking news at that.
When you’re a pop-up maker in China you need to be the most shocking in the country because pop-ups are plentiful and you need yours to be the most intense to be clicked. Today’s news ad was for a husband waking up next to his dead wife who had died in her sleep. Of course, I don’t know that from reading the ad but somehow there was a large, high quality and well lit photo. I shudder to wonder whether it’s staged with the actual person and his dead wife or whether production companies exist to reenact these things.
Pop-ups are so plentiful here because Chinese companies are encouraged to use Chinese software, which is almost always free, and is written in the Chinese language so what’s the drawback? This software in my experience seems to be completely covered in adware, malware, and all the wares, which results –always –in giving me the slow and mundane task of uninstalling it all.
My favorite pop-ups, however, that I would never get rid of in a million years are the porn ones. Now hold your horses – I’m not a scumbag checking out porn at work. Remember that this is China and porn is illegal.
Because of this, I have porn equivalent pop-ups that want me to click them and they’re seriously hilarious.
In one of these ads the very physically blessed woman in the ad is feeling very cold.
She’s holding her stomach trying to warm herself (never covering the . . . selling points. Although let me remind you that she isn’t actually naked, just very attractive).
After a few seconds of watching her suffer, you, the viewer, are offered a cape that you can click and drag over to drape on her. The video even shows you a scenario of what were to happen if you did.
She becomes extremely happy and wraps (almost) everything up and becomes warm. Suddenly the ad fills with other cold women and you’re swimming in women that need your help . . . if only you would click the ad.
The selection is not limited to only that one. There are many others and although they’re not naked and there’s no sexual act taking place, it’s definitely in my opinion a porn substitute. It makes me feel some level of admiration for whoever could dream these fantasies up.
In my mind I see porn everywhere here, the clothed kind displayed right out in the open. It’s a whole country of people being protected from actual porn by the Government, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want it.
Instead we get a lot of advertisements, popups and anime that is just so so close, but not quite all the way there.
To me this is actually hotter than real porn that shows you everything, this pseudo porn keeps you wondering about whats hidden and that keeps you thinking about it longer.
I’m sure if they legalised it people would care far less about it.
Although no one would turn up to work for a week.

Outsmarting Shanghai

So guess how I’m distracting myself from constructive things tonight?

The Office! Dang this is the best show, I’m re-watching season 4 and I’m up to the episode where Jim and Pam go to Michael and Jan’s house for the most terrifying dinner party ever. Did you know Angela was crazy pregnant that whole season and is being cleverly hidden through camera tricks and general TV awesomeness? I love stuff like that. Look at the dynamic of this show, how can awkwardness be so funny?

So earlier I managed to Skype a Chinese friend of mine who actually lives in China! And practiced some of my new conversational skills with him in Mandarin Chinese. For the most part it went well and he understood me, however (as I suspected) despite learning the meaning to lots of words I still have trouble understanding sentences when I hear them spoken all together.

Another problem I encountered was something I so naively didn’t expect, there are different ways to say the same sentences and when your taught the less common ways it can make it more difficult for a Chinese person to understand you. So when these two situations happened together neither of us understood the other.

Also I suspect that terms have changed over time, I’m using an old Chinese learning curriculum that teaches me some terms a certain way, and when I look at newer texts I see the same terms written differently, and more simply! And I’m thinking, I only know the harder version and I’ve gone to far to relearn it!

But when my friend spoke small sentences and asked easy questions I understood him, and when I spoke clearly and stopped clenching my teeth when I spoke he understood me. Is it common for people to clench their teeth when their speaking new languages? I feel like I do it when I’m learning new scripts as well (luckily I don’t take it to the stage ha).

A friend asked me why out of all the countries I could use to kill some time in why I chose China and Shanghai in particular, I mean how many people think of that? It’s expensive to fly there, it actually needs a visa to visit which costs money and for a simple Australian a government such as theirs is kinda scary. I can’t really source my motivation back to anything in particular except for how awesome it looked in Skyfall. Am I wrong though?? Go back and re-watch Skyfall and marvel at the sheer awesomeness that is Shanghai in that movie, that could literally be all it took. My brother won’t hear of it though because being a member of the film industry he knows what went into making those shots look so amazing, and that the city won’t be that good in real life. We’ll see.

Another dilemma for my Chinese trip (now only 5 days away) is whether to get a bum bag (or fanny pack) and look like a complete tool in Shanghai. On one hand, I love my wallet and not looking like an idiot. On the other hand it is a well known city for pickpocketing and I’m oblivious as all hell, I’m also really tall and loud and not Chinese so I’m kinda gonna stick out. I would definitely steal from me.

I don’t actually know for a fact that pickpocketing is especially high in Shanghai, but my other Chinese friend told me that it is and when a friend is literally from a country I’m visiting I take every word they say as complete law. But at the end of the day whether it’s true or not in stands to reason that if it does happen it’ll happen to me and I’ll be completely screwed if it does so I think I’ve talked myself into it.

If you have any helpful advice for Shanghai please let me know 🙂 I’ll be back again soon for an update on whatever’s on my mind at the time. Peace out 😉