Truth in advertising?One source--well, one more source--of endless amusement for me here in Beijing AKA BJ AKA the 'Jing to foreigners, since we know what's wrong with the second term, are billboards. Why? Because for some things--particularly high-end real estate--the "good life" as shown in ads is enjoyed exclusively by white people, preferably young and good-looking ones. Like in this ad for Seasons Park, Home of Tycoons (or former tycoons), for example ...
Most of the things in this ad are found in the main "clubhouse" building of Seasons Park, along with the management office, the gym, and all that stuff: the bottom left image is the restaurant, which I've been to (it's okay, but not great); the bottom middle image is the spa, which I have walked by on numerous occasions on the way to the gym or, more likely, the mini-mart; and the bottom right image is the pool, which I have seen but never actually been in. In short, they all exist, and I know they all exist.
Of course, that leaves one picture unaccounted for. The big one, the one on top. Despite looking many, many, many times, I never saw--not even once--dancing models of any kind in what I can only assume is the restaurant, despite the fact that said restaurant has neither bar nor dance floor. In fact, in seven months of living at Seasons Park, I can state with complete confidence that I never saw any dancing models whatsoever. Yet there they are, with the word CLUB in big, gold letters right below them, as if Seasons Park had a club populated with dancing models, which--as I have made clear--it doesn't. But what the hell, if dancing white models hang out there, it must be good, right? (Then again, that might be true now that I think about, although models of any color would work.)
Anyway, just down the street from Seasons Park there's a better example on a billboard for a different (and nicer) apartment complex. Here's the biggest picture in the ad, the ad on a major street in the middle of Beijing, a city that is home to roughly thirteen million Chinese, all of whom need a place to live:
But wait, there's more! The same billboard also a few pictures of the many fine facilities available at this apartment complex, including--apparently--a basketball court:
Hmmm. See a pattern here? Me too. Although, despite what I might make it look like, there is, in point of fact, one Chinese person in the pictures on the billboard: