The Origin of gou-rou.com
gou-rou.com celebrates its first birthday this month (hurray cheers cheers etc.), so we thought we'd take the time to address some of the many questions we get asked about how the site is made, where it came from and why. You want the truth behind the legend, it seems. Well, you know what? You can't handle the truth! And even if you could, it would blow your mind!
So here it is:
How did gou-rou.com start?
We'd been talking for a long time about doing a cynical, more realistic guide to Beijing than was then available. However, we quickly realised that doing actual reviews and guides and things would take a lot of effort, so we decided to just make stuff up.
Then one night, coming back to the web editor's flat from the old, hidden Traktirr restaurant where we'd been enjoying beer & cards, and armed with a bottle of vodka and an HSBC-issued Mastercard, we drunkenly registered the domain name and hosting, and put up some filler text - the now infamous "better than a cake made of fun". This may explain a lot.
Why is it called gou-rou.com?
It was that or kao-ya.com, basically. We canvassed a lot of people and the overwhelming consensus was that dog meat was a better name than roast duck. Almost as soon as we started the site, the consensus swung back the other way and solidly favoured the duck option. The public is fickle.
Is it pronounced like "GURU dot com"?
No. Rather than being pronounced like the name for a sage or wise man, it is instead pronounced like an instruction to depart and propel a boat with oars. Dot com.
You're racists! You're saying that Chinese people eat dog meat and that it's funny!
Please rephrase this as a question.
Are you racists who are making fun of Chinese people for eating dog meat?
No, for at least two reasons: a) if we were doing the "eating dog" joke, it would be about Korea, traditionally, and b) the name is a reference to a popular Chinese saying and also, recently, since we heard about it from a guy in a bar, a slang term for a close friend, used in southern China.
Do you get a lot of complaints?
Not really, though we did once get a complaint from a girl in Singapore concerning something on a different website. Obviously, we are so controversial we can be blamed for things done by people we have never met.
Where do you get your ideas?
In the shower, on public transportation and in bars, mostly.
Can I write for you?
If you're funny, by all means. Please do. We need the help. Seriously.
About that totally cool-looking book you guys sell - is there anything in there that's not on the site?
Er... a bit. You can enjoy reams of biographical material about the authors. And you don't have to wade through the merely great to get to the excellent stuff. Also, it's a book! I'd like to see you level your television with a website.
Why are you still producing gou-rou.com?
We don't know.
Can I meet Angel Chu?
Some evenings, it's hard not to.