Planet China

Bones of contention

Could the internet serve as a new force in getting more Chinese to obey the rules on public transport? There’s just been an intriguing test case on Shanghai’s subway system, where people aren’t supposed to eat on trains. A 30 year-old woman surnamed Wang chose to ignore the rules and was spotted eating chicken feet, and then throwing the bones onto the carriage floor. Other passengers complained, leading the lady to hit back with foul language (including the uniquely Chinese idiom “which eye on your ass saw me throw it?”).

According to Sina News, the whole episode was captured on a fellow passenger’s smartphone and then uploaded to social media, where it went viral. Through a ‘human flesh search’ other netizens identified the chicken eater as a violin teacher who’d previously appeared on a TV matchmaking show.

Comments abounded, mostly of the negative variety, although one did offer the woman a partial defence: “I previously hired her to teach my son how to play the violin. I saw her teach him in a very passionate manner with very professional fingering. She is not ugly in reality, although I did not expect a worker in a field related to arts to have such poor social morality.”

‘Chicken feet woman’, as she was dubbed online, later posted an apology for her behaviour on her own weibo and said that the incident had led to the loss of her teaching job in Shanghai’s Pudong district.


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