While in Beijing, we had a few business meetings. We had to meet someone in the morning, and then he brought us around and introduced us to various people. On the first day, as we were running to meet him, we noticed a strange, colorful looking building across the street. But we were late and didn’t think much about it. But the second day we were early, so we hopped across the street to take a look.
So imagine this: normal street with 4 lanes of traffic, PLA (People’s Liberation Army) building, blank and bland with strict, government guards (who made me delete a photo I took of it) out front, dark, dim shops and normal, bland offices. And across the way? Giant 6-foot golden bunnies, roaring tigers holding microphones and various decapitated animals heads hung everywhere with bright baubles strung around their neck. I’ve seen a lot of strange things in China, but this was just crazy town.
Â It would make sense if it was a children’s department store or something. But if it made sense, well, I probably wouldn’t be writing about it. Instead it was a bustling area of offices with workers, and trucks and people going about their daily business. There was a big shop in one of the entrances, and while we didn’t go in, it appeared to be some sort of wholesale shop, as people were coming out with big bags filled with towels, plastic bags and things like that. And nobody (except us) seemed to bat an eyelash.
So what do you do when confronted with such random strangeness? Why, make up stories of course! We figured the owner of the building, while rich, was a bit looney. He got a great price on crazy plastic animals and went to town. He bought as many as he could, along with a 20-foot tall santa, lots of necklaces and various accessories like capes, guitars and what have you. Then he gleefully ran around instructing workers to put his new purchases all over. I mean, whoever put these statues out and about had some story going on in his (or her) mind. Like, check out this picture:
So here we have a bear, about five and a half feet tall, and an eagle, about the same size. They are two separate statues, yet the
looney artist is clearly trying to create a vignette. Some sort of story of friendship between the eagle and bear. Or is it heartbreak? Do they two love each other but cannot be together because of the disapproval of others in a multi-species relationship? Or, are they buddies in some kind of rock band? Because, you see, somebody has taken the time to tie a cape around the bear, and attach a guitar from his neck.
These types of crazy details were everywhere. Here’s a picture of a sign outside a makeup store.
First off, these creatures and stuff were shoved just about everywhere, even in between signs. And not only did they add a head, but put a string of beads around it and added some flowers to its head. It was as if someone payed special attention to each and every statue, asking them what kind of accessory they would like. “And for you, Mr. Panda head, what will it be? A string of red beads or blue? Blue?! Fabulous decision. And how about you Mr. Polar bear? What? You are a musician? And you like wearing capes? I’ll be right back.”
But whoever owns this building, I like them. I mean, hell, why should your building look the same as all the rest? And if you stumble across a cache of giant golden bunnies, why shouldn’t you line your staircases with them? More power to you! I just don’t want to be around at midnight when all the creatures come to life and have a wild plastic animal party (which probably includes human sacrifices.)