Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Different Type Of Beijing Pollution

One of the unpleasantries that bombards your eyes as you walk the streets of Beijing are these small stickers that are on the ground seemingly everywhere. These stickers are about the size of a credit card and are covered with a cell phone number and accompanying advertisement.

How do these stickers get there? Well, young people (it is usually guys) walk down the street pulling the stickers off adhesive rolls and slapping them on the ground, literally every couple of feet. When a roll is completed, the adhesive backing is unceremoniously discarded as trash right on the street.

All of this is in the name of spreading the word about illegal businesses that can set you up with fake diplomas and identification cards, whatever kinds of credentials you might need. (It is a joke among young people that if you make me mad, I will slap stickers with your cell phone number on them all over the city.)

The heroes and heroines in all of this are the older men and women who walk down the street with these scraping devices, one-by-one removing the eyesores from the pavement. It seems to be a losing battle, though...

~Steve

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