human behavior

Made (and sold) in China

Posted in Foreign Impressions, Travel by humanb on March 16, 2012

In the same marketplace that sold live scorpions on sticks, were stalls selling the kinds of merchandise Westerners immediately recognise as being undoubtedly Made in China.

I hadn’t expected some of the junk stuff to be so popular in China too.

Some items were clearly made to be sold locally.

I was far too easily persuaded (in my husband’s view) to buy a wooden toy at this market.

The old woman who sold it to me was very persuasive.

The stick lives in a slot through the frog’s mouth, and when you stroke the ridges on the frog’s back, the friction makes a sound uncannily reminiscent of the ribbit of a frog. If you stroke with the thinner side of the stick, the sound changes, though it still sounds like a ribbit. The sound also changes if you stroke it backwards.

Neat. But hardly original.

I found the same toy at an open air market in Europe (our next stop after Beijing). The wooden toy was in the shape of a different animal, and when you stroked its back the sound was amazingly reminiscent of that animal’s call.  I bet they were both Made in China though.

I still enjoy my wooden frog months later. When I’m sad, I stroke its back slowly, and the frog sounds like its dying a miserable death. When I’m chipper, I stroke its back briskly, and it sounds like its just finished a particularly tasty fly and is now basking in the sun on a lily pad in a still pond.

I’m writing this blog post on my MacBook, and I took the photo of my beloved frog with my iPhone.

Not surprisingly, many of my favourite things are made (and sold) in China.


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