Fecal Attractions: A Guide to Beijing's More Dubious Sights
Beijing isn’t all Ming Tombs and toxic smog, you know. Among our beloved city’s most distinctive attractions are its quirky, oddball museums. The Watermelon Museum, the Tapwater Museum, and the Chaoyang Museum of Urban Planning are among the offbeat delights the city has to offer.
Although, it must be said, none is as weird as the Wuyuan Museum of Stones that Look Like Food. We sent our intrepid reporters – well, some of them are a bit trepid to be honest – out onto the streets to discover Beijing’s lesser known institutions and attractions. All of these sites can be easily reached via the First Ring Road and Subway Line 11.
Monument to the Ineffectual Official
A colossal statue commemorating all the heroic teqin and jiaotong who patrol the streets of our city. Equipped with flashing lights and whistles as if they’re going to an early nineties rave, but with absolutely no power whatsoever, they bravely stand on street corners waving flags and shouting instructions. Then when everyone ignores them, they stoically maintain a deadpan expression and pretend the whole thing never happened.
The Old School Expat Sanctuary
In a specially designed habitat, dedicated volunteers work to preserve this endangered species. In a bygone age, known to historians as the Olympic era, the Old School Expat roamed in vast herds on the streets of Lido and Sanlitun. However, since the Old School Expat subsists only on fat relocation packages, and lives its whole life in a bubble of privilege, it has proved unable to adapt to a changing environment, and is growing increasingly rare. Sanctuary workers are trying to train it to use public transport and operate a washing machine, but the future looks bleak for this endearing but helpless creature.
Global Institute of Totally Missing the Point
This increasingly popular venue includes attractions such as the Hall of Taking Offense, which information plaques describe as “a state of being thin-skinned, humorless, and prone to be driven to pompous rage by things you don’t understand.” There’s also “Whoosh!” a thrilling ride that simulates the sensation of a joke going completely over your head. A new wing, recently opened, is dedicated to certain readers of this column.
Split Pants World
In this open air theme park you can recreate the thrill of being a Beijing toddler: running around with your deplorables dangling in the wind, and enjoying the freedom to defecate anywhere you choose, be it sidewalk, subway platform, or historical monument. You don’t need to clean up after yourself, and no one else will either!
The Repository of Untidy Things
The Repository is the final destination for all the various unsightly, unlicensed, and generally untidy things which are currently being swept from the streets of our city. Behind the doors of the Repository lies a huge junk pile of tuk-tuks, jianbing stalls, street markets, and sellers of wooden carvings. When the cleansing is complete, a massive stone slab will be pulled across the entrance, sealing it forever, and ensuring that the Beijing of the future will consist of nothing but identical soulless malls and chain restaurants.
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