Netizen Voices: Welcome to Sparta! (2)

Netizen Voices: Welcome to Sparta! (2)


The yellow sign at top right reads, “Apologies: We will temporarily stop selling knives during the ‘18th Party Congress’ period.”

The 18th Party Congress has brought Beijing under lock-down, while cities far from the center have also felt the effects of heightened security during China’s leadership transition. CDT Chinese has amassed comments, cartoons, and images of “Sparta.” CDT English will continue to post translations of selected commentaries during the congress. Read more in the series at CDT Chinese, and learn about the developments of the congress from CDT English.

UnitedFamilyPharmacistJiLianmei: Anyone else out there who doesn’t pay attention to their gas meter? After work today, my car ran about two feet before puttering to a halt right in the middle of an intersection. Uncle Traffic Officer helped me push my car to the side of the road and pointed me towards a nearby gas station to buy a canister of gas. I listened to his advice and walked over two kilometers to the gas station. But when I got there, the attendant at the gas station said, “Who’d have the audacity sell you a loose container of gas before the 18th Party Congress?” Left with no other choice, I hailed a cab. Being a noble Beijing man, the cabby drove me back to my car, then helped me drag it all the way back to the gas station.

和 睦家药师冀连梅:开车不看油表的人有木有?今晚下班车没开几步就停在十字路口不动了,交警叔叔帮我把车推到边上,指引我去附近加油站买桶油,我信了他的 话,走了两里多地到了加油站,加油站人说:十八大前谁敢散着卖油给你啊?无奈,拦了辆出租车,北京的哥真仗义,把我载到我车旁边,然后帮我把车拖到了加油 站

Mr.KongZhiyong: [Beijing Residents Forbidden to Release Pigeons] The Meetings open next week. In order to ensure security during The Meeting, Beijing residents are forbidden from releasing pigeons. According to the media, Beijing residents must keep pigeons locked in their cages during The Meeting. Pigeons must not be released and allowed to fly freely about. I reckon Beijing taxi passengers will be unable to freely roll down their windows as well.

孔智勇先生:【北京市民不准放鸽子】 会议下周开幕,为确保会议期间治安,禁止北京市民放鸽子。 媒体说,会议期间,北京市民必须把鸽子关在龙子里,不能把鸽子放出来,让鸽子乱飞。在北京搭出租车,估计乘客也不能随便摇下车窗了。

BlackBoxChenLiaoyu: 1-8 Big, 1-8 Feel. Quite fitting. //@CatFoodCartoons: Security measures have increased significantly at the Hangzhou train station. Besides the normal set of security checks, a whole crew has just come over with metal detectors and has started feeling up all the passengers–just as we are waiting to board. Sigh, what’s it going to be like once the 18th Party Congress actually starts?

黑匣子陈廖宇: 1-8 大,1-8 摸,很配。//@猫粮的动画馆:杭州火车站安检明显加强,除了常规各种检查外,现在马上要等车了,竟然又过来一群乘务员,一个个拿着机器在你身上摸来摸去,哎,这18 大要真开的时候得什么样啊

GaoXiaosong: Censorship of songs has been unprecedentedly harsh as of late. Songs broadcast by major TV stations must not contain inauspicious lyrics, including such words as “death” or “down.” I just witnessed one program get cut off right as someone sang “Love Even unto Death” [a popular love ballad by Taiwanese artist Shin]. All those in the media industry should be aware of this.


Kujes: I usually walk my daughter right up to the door of her classroom, but starting Monday, I’ll only be able to walk her to the gate of the school because “parents are forbidden from entering the school grounds.” As for the reason, anyone want to venture to guess? Of course, during this special time, the reason for odd occurrences of any sort is quite apparent. Uncle Security Guard need only to say one word: Sparta!


FanWei: [Urgent Notice: ID Now Needed in Imperial Capital Bathhouses–Children Included!] Greetings, esteemed patron. According to Beijing Public Security Bureau directives regarding the [18th Party Congress], all bathhouse patrons (including children) must present valid ID when checking in. Thank you for your support and understanding!

Mu’er: [18th Party Congress Security Measures Put People At Ease] With the 18th Party Congress about to begin, Beijing is mobilizing over 1.4 million security volunteers. Some stores are requiring customers to present ID in order to purchase remote-controlled toy planes. Some supermarkets have taken kitchen knives off the shelves. All activities that include the release of balloons have been prohibited. Internet reports say that those who wish to take a cab to Chang’an Avenue must fill out a form… Not only is security receiving unprecedented attention, but the minutest details are being taken care of. It sure puts people’s safety concerns to rest.


LiaoShenEveningPaper: [Starting Today, Out-of-Town Cars Entering Beijing Must Obtain a Pass] A reporter learned from the department of traffic police that from midnight November 1 through 24:00 hours on November 18, Beijing will enact provisional transportation measures on all out-of-town vehicles entering the city. The measures include the stipulation that all drivers of out-of-town passenger vehicles wishing to drive within the Fifth Ring Road (including driving on Fifth Ring Road) must obtain a pass. Passes will be valid for three days. Qilu Evening Paper.

辽沈晚报:【今起外地车进京须办通行证】记者从交警部门了解到,自11月1日0时起至11月18日24时止,北京对外省、区、市进京机动车将采取临时交通管 理措施,其中载客汽车需进入五环路以内道路(含五环路)行驶的,需要办理进京客车通行证件,证件有效期为3天。齐鲁晚报

Vista: [Beijing Requires 17 Bus Lines Passing Through Political Centers to Seal Bus Windows] The Beijing City Transportation Commission will enact special provisions effective during the 18th Party Congress. The provisions require that all transportation work units firmly establish a lofty sense of political responsibility and mission. The 110,000 transportation volunteers are encouraged to wear red armbands. Buses servicing any of the 17 routes that pass through political centers must enact effective measures to seal the bus windows. Guard sternly against such problems as the dissemination of pamphlets from bus windows. The Beijing City Transportation Commission.

Vista 看天下:【北京要求17条途径政治中心区域公交车封闭车窗】北京市交委制订十大专项行动,要求交通行业各单位牢固树立崇高的政治责任感和历史使命感,鼓励 11万交通志愿者戴红袖标,途经政治中心区的17条重点线路车辆要全面采取有效措施封闭车窗,严密防范抛撒传单等问题的发生。北京市交通委

FanJianchuan: 12,000 Chengdu police go on the offensive; The 20 days of the 18th Party Congress War have kicked into gear. Last night, the call to war was rung throughout the province. And the spoils? In Wuhou District, a Lamborghini driver was fined for not displaying a license plate. In Chenghua District, a burglar was apprehended. In Jinniu District, a thief was caught stealing steel pipes. In Qingyang District, a computer thief was caught. In Quanyi District, a modified pistol was discovered in a car. In Pengzhou City, two dens where fake cigarettes were being made were destroyed.


Headlines, from top down: 12,000 Chengdu Police On the Offensive; Modified Hand Gun Discovered Under Car Seat; The 20-Day 18th Party Congress War Kicks into Gear.

RememberCareer: As I was taking a cab to work just now, I was confused when the cabby took a detour. “The city put out a directive that forbids taxis from driving on Chang’an Avenue between East Fourth Ring Road to West Fourth Ring Road from November 1 through 20. In order to comply, taxicab drivers can refuse to take passengers or take detours without being considered in violation the rules,” he said. I was at once angry and speechless. Then he pointed to the car window and told me that all car window cranks had to be dismantled as well, and power lines were cut to electronic windows. I fell silent.

老记生涯: 刚才坐出租车去单位,司机绕道,我疑惑,他解释:市里通知,长安街一线从东四环一直到西四环全程出租车禁止,时间从11月1日至20日。为此,出租司机可 以拒载,可以绕道,一律不算违规。我又愤怒又无语。他指车窗又告诉我,车窗摇手全部拆掉了,电动车窗把电线拆掉了,不拆不许营运!我沉默。

Window cranks have been removed from Beijing taxis.

LinChufang: When I was taking a cab home a bit ago, I asked the driver, “Is your company really requiring you to keep the windows closed?” He said yes. “Did they really make you take out the window cranks in the rear?” He said yes. “What if the windows were electric?” He said they can be locked from the front. “And what about driving through sensitive areas?” He said the door must be locked. “But who would know if you didn’t lock the doors?” He said there were people checking. It seems the online rumors were true. I guess I just don’t have much of an imagination. How naïve I am!

林楚方:刚打车回家,我问司机,公司真要求你们窗户必须关着吗?他说是的;真要求卸掉后面窗户的摇把儿吗?他说是的;如果是自动窗户没摇把儿呢?他说从前面 锁;如果路过敏感地带呢?他说锁车门;但你不锁谁知道?他说专门有人查。看来网上那个帖子不是谣言,只怪我想象力不够,太嫩啊!

Lisa: This morning I was lucky enough to hail a cab in which I was able to see that the rumors I heard yesterday were true. It’s all about celebrating “Sparta.”


A man passes through security holding his copy of Little Li Flying Dagger, a popular martial arts series. At the other end, the “dagger” is gone from the book cover.

MurongAoao: Going through security.


Guevara: [Knife-sliced Noodles] During the Yuan Dynasty [when China was under Mongol rule], in order to prevent the Han from uprising, it was decreed that every ten families would share one kitchen knife. One day, an old woman made dough for noodles and sent an old man to retrieve the shared knife. But the man discovered that someone else had already taken the knife. On his way home, the man found a thin piece of metal on the ground. The metal was too thin and soft to properly cut noodles, so the old woman had no choice but to stand next to the pot and cut one noodle at a time into it. And voila! Knife-sliced noodles were born. To this day, knives used to cut knife-sliced noodles are still sheets of metal. You don’t even need to present ID to buy one.

格 瓦拉:【刀削面】元朝为防止汉人造反,规定十户用一把菜刀,轮流使用,用后再交回。一天老婆婆和好面团,让老汉取刀,结果刀被别人取走,老汉返回路上捡了 一块薄铁皮,铁皮薄而软不能切面条。老婆婆只好站在锅边砍面,面一片片落入锅内……刀削面诞生了,现在削面的刀也是铁片状,不需要实名就可以买得到。

Via CDT Chinese. Translation by Little Bluegill.


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