For Tea Leaf Nation, Yale University student Xiaoying Zhou translates a recent Renren.com blog post from a Peking University student that went viral to the tune of more than 26,000 shares as of Wednesday. While disguised as a rant about his girlfriend’s oppressive shopping habits, the author serves up a clever critique of the Chinese people’s relationship with their government in the context of the 18th Party Congress:
Today is the eighteenth time I have accompanied my girlfriend to go shopping. Whenever my girlfriend goes shopping, she tends to get overly serious and way more than just fidgety about the whole thing. It always interferes with my usual pace of life. Anyway, she calls the shots at home, so can’t complain. As my girlfriend stipulates, when it approaches her shopping date, I can only make working plans for up to three days, and if I go on a business trip, I need to get her approval first. These past few days I’ve been sitting on pins and needles, praying to God that I don’t do anything wrong to ruin her good shopping mood.
The main focus of her shopping is cosmetics. She usually purchases seven or nine varieties. This time, she crossed the name of a very famous brand off her shopping list, because there have been some problems with this brand, which causes it to have lost its original reputation [referring to “Mao Zedong thought,” not mentioned in official 18th Congress propaganda]. But she’s not willing to admit [those problems] and grins at me: “Am I not getting more and more thrifty?” Fine. Whatever her reason.
Sometimes she also buys me things, though I have no say in what she buys me. She often says to me, “You see, officials always wear this brand, company bosses, too. Singers and
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