Catch As Catch Canoodles
by Kalinga Brendonfort
Continuing our series of articles and features on relationships, gou-rou.com's Kalinga Brendonfort translates an article from Chinese so we can publish it here!
Although much more modern than many other places, Beijing itself is not without its share of romantic problems! I hope that this article can let your readers know a little bit more about the problems facing hip young couples in China today. Oh, and Arabella, could you leave my fees under the usual bench in Chaoyang Park at 10:45pm on Sunday? Thanks! KB.
Because many young Chinese still live at home with their parents, often well into their 30s, finding a private and convenient place to canoodle is a very difficult process. Those that have moved into universities are equally restrained by strict segregation and no-entry policies on dorms. Those that go out at night can often not find inexpensive clubs that offer secluded canoodling areas. Solutions? No, that closed down years ago. Oh, right - solutions...
Canoodling: none of this, thank you
- Parks. Most parks shut quite late at night (even some after 10pm), and their shady slightly vegetated areas offer ideal locations in which Canoodling can be attempted. Beware when walking around parks at night, keep an eye to the ground in case there is a hapless couple underfoot.
- Drive in movie theatre. With many people spending more on their cars than their accommodation, it would probably not be surprising to discover canoodling going on here at night. Yet it was surprising. Call me unprepared. (NB: both of the above traditions stem from an ancient Chinese Philosophy called Heguanzong Zhuyi)
With all the pressure on to find a safe spot in which canoodling can take place, it is perhaps not surprising that many couples face problems in their canoodling relationships. The greatest problem, explains Wang Hua, is the problem of premature canoodling. "With the excitement of sneaking out under false pretences and avoiding the normal bed-time, my boyfriend often canoodles too early. It can be frustrating, but I hope things will be better in the future," she says, glancing at a nearby billboard, "I can't stand it when men canoodle prematurely, or when they want to canoodle all the time instead of talking or going out to boring places."
Chinese couples very rarely canoodle in taxis, often splitting up (one front, one back) to avoid the possibility altogether. This stems from an old Confucian tradition of being socially awkward whenever possible, and also the male being in the front to harass the driver and control things more.
The increasing number of people canoodling is not all good news though, explains social commentator Wu Yong. "We fully expect [canoodlers] to start contracting more and more CTDs (Canoodling Transmitted Diseases) within the near future. My advice is that all canoodling is halted immediately, pending the conclusion of a 10 year state-funded report that [I] will start after lunch today."
In order to assist with proper canoodling, the ministry of health and information has decided to hire several "canoodling buses", on which couples can canoodle whilst circulating clockwise on the 5th ring road. Adjoining seats on the buses cost only 50RMB and allow canoodling to go on for one whole lap. Conservative literary figures, such as writer Wei Hui, have labelled the scheme "a disgusting disgrace".