The Forbidden City

Posted On: Tuesday - February 13th 2024 8:46PM MST
In Topics: 
  Humor  China

This wasn't THE Forbidden City, per se, as we didn't get the necessary tickets, and God forbid we should take a look at the Forbidden City without tickets. However, in this place in Old Peking lots of shit is forbidden, so it may as well be.

This reminds me of the part in Joseph Heller's Catch-22 in which the one Major is told that scheduling parades would not fly, but he would be welcome to at least cancel parades. All the no-no's here hint at what one could do here.

From top left, right-to-left then top-to-bottom:

- Is that a tree? I can't tell what it is. Maybe it means don't go making up your own Chinese characters here.
- No fires. What about firecrackers, though? You can't tell Chinese people no firecrackers. I don't care if it WERE the Forbidden City.
- No smoking. That may not fly either in China.
- You mean we could have gone fishing?
- I think that's littering. Good luck with that one.
- No crossing one's legs? What about girls in silk dresses running like watercolors in the rain?
- No picking random plant leaves, figuring anything green is a good enough vegetable.
- Shouldn't be a problem, if you obey the previous rule.
- Old-fashioned dual tandem rollerskating is prohibited. As specific as these rules are, I would take that as NOT forbidding quad inline skates, aka, rollerblades. Excellent! They are much faster and more fun.
- They've got a place to ice skate? What a shame then.
- Not being allowed to swim is not a big burden. Swimming is just not so popular in China.
- You can't go bringing ladders in here and start climbing them... O... K?
- Bugle calls are forbidden.
- No 1960s automobiles allowed - this ain't Cuba, you know, and most importantly...
- We are watching you to make sure no fun is had by all!

Note: We'll stop with the Dispatches from the Middle Kingdom title, though these handful of posts to come showing Chinese signage are from our Summer '23 trip. As opposed to this sign with the "icons", the rest will be the signs in poorly translated English that get pretty funny.

Adam Smith
Thursday - February 15th 2024 9:49AM MST
PS: The Forbidden Cite...

The Alarmist
Thursday - February 15th 2024 3:16AM MST

You go to Thailand for sex tourism, but you go to Singapore for food.
Adam Smith
Wednesday - February 14th 2024 5:28PM MST
PS: “Imagine if she forgot herself and spit her gum out onto the sidewalk.”

Unlikely. She is very good at putting her gum in a wrapper or tissue and throwing it away. No. The real problem is that if we were ever to go to Singapore Mrs. Smith would probably like to stay for several months. We would have to bring a whole carry on full of gum. There's no way they would believe it was for personal use. I'm not sure they'd let us in.

We have no more reason to visit Singapore than we do Riyadh.

“From the Summer of '21, when the Kung Flu PanicFest should have been long over...”

I saw someone alone in their car wearing a face diaper today. It was near a hospital, but still...

Wednesday - February 14th 2024 4:26PM MST
PS: Thanks for the addition, Adam. No, Mrs. Smith absolutely should not visit. Imagine if she forgot herself and spit her gum out onto the sidewalk. You might be talking jail time or a caning.

I'm glad you brought up that post which I'd forgotten, which, as I read it, comes from a graphic you steered me to. The comments are a good discussion too, and there is Alarmist's joke about that "fine" city.

From the Summer of '21, when the Kung Flu PanicFest should have been long over, let me put the link into the form that gets the full page:

"The ins and outs of dining under Kung Flu Totalitarianism"
Peak Stupidity Book Club
Wednesday - February 14th 2024 3:12PM MST
PS: Another book for the library...

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (1.0mb .pdf)

Happy Evening! ☮️
Adam Smith
Wednesday - February 14th 2024 3:01PM MST
PS: Greetings, gentlemen,

Mrs. Smith and I have absolutely no business visiting Singapore. Ever. For any reason. Ever! Even for the outstanding food*. You see, Mrs. Smith has $100 a month chewing gum habit and I, like a Hobbit, enjoy smoking pipe-weed. I hear the punishment for these crimes are pretty harsh.

$10,000 fine for importing chewing gum? Seriously?

* More PS coverage of Singapore can be found at the link below:

Cheers! ☮️
The Alarmist
Wednesday - February 14th 2024 12:50PM MST

Yeah, but that’s Sing Dollarettes, so something like $ 5.95 in real Dollars.
Wednesday - February 14th 2024 7:26AM MST
PS: I. C. Well, both ways would make good T-shirts. "My son went to Singapore, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt and $800 in fines on my credit card."
The Alarmist
Wednesday - February 14th 2024 6:16AM MST

My bad! The Tee shirt joke is that Singapore is a Fine City, and it shows the fines for each of the forbidden actions.
Wednesday - February 14th 2024 6:11AM MST
PS: That is pretty fitting, Alarmist. It was about 18 years ago that I met a girl from Singapore - here in the States. Her attitude about the Orwellian controls that were WAY ahead of their time in Singapore were something to behold - just fine with all of it. "Sure, what's the problem cameras that watch everybody everywhere? If you're not doing anything wrong ..."

It's funny that they used the same term Forbidden City though. I didn't get a T-shirt, cause, yeah, seriously, we couldn't get tickets, but maybe making this sign into one would be an idea.
The Alarmist
Wednesday - February 14th 2024 1:38AM MST

When I lived in Singapore back in the '90s, they had posters like that everywhere, and it was jokingly called The Forbidden City. I even have the tee shirt.
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