I was supposed to go cover the Shanghai Auto Show, as a guest of automaker Geely/Lynk & Co. For reasons that may or may not have to do with China denying me a visa—it’s all very hush-hush, you see, although they may have deemed the Chinese people aren’t ready for my ideas—I was unable to attend. In a lovely gesture to help quell the pain of my rejection, my favorite contact at Geely, Ash, sent me a lovely packet of Chinese stick-on-your-car crap.
He also mentioned that the fumes from the plastics were making him sick.
A good bit of this was inspired by my desire to re-badge my wife’s Scion xB as its near-perfect Chinese clone, the Great Wall Coolbear. Ash provided me with the Great Wall and Coolbear badging I need for that, so I plan to start operation xB to Coolbear as soon as possible.
Along with the badging, he also threw in a fascinating assortment of stuff an average Chinese driver might decide to slap on their Volkswagen Sagitar. I’d like to share some of that stuff with you now.
Here’s what was in the package:
... and here’s what all that crap is:
1. Reflective decal of shirtless guy with prominent armpit hair. This one is nice and baffling, but the text sort of makes it clear. It roughly translates to “What your sister likes,” though our own Kristen Lee points out the character is specifically for an older sister, so it’s “What your older sister likes.”
Is there some kind of joke in China about “your older sister likes hairy armpit dudes” or something? Who would have one of these stickers? The same sort of people who have Calvin peeing on stuff in America? Of those people who have the almost-illegible SALT LIFE thing?
2. Reflective decal of a condom being either cut with scissors or pinched by some implement. I think this one is even more baffling than the armpit guy. The text reads something like “Let’s go on a date?”
So... what’s going on here? Is the sticker saying, hey, dollface, come out on a date with me and I’ll cut a condom in half! Because... I only need half? I want kids? It’s summer, and I like cutoffs? I have no idea, but I suspect this sticker won’t actually help anyone get a date.
3. Great Wall badges. Luckily, the Great Wall logo is oval, like the Scion badge, and roughly the same size, so I think I should have no trouble swapping these in. It’s gonna be nice and baffling.
4. Great Wall company badge and 5. Coolbear model badge. Again, part of my DIY badge-engineering for my xB. It looks like the company name goes on the left, and the model name on the right:
6. Small, golden geckos. I had no idea what the significance of these were, but Ash clued me in:
They are geckos, Chinese name is Bi Hu, which is similar to Bi Huo... which means avoid a car crash/accident and is similar to Bi Fu meaning must get rich so people stick one or two on the backs of their cars for luck.
Used to be fairly common in the cities now only seen in rural suburbs stuck to whatever three box sedan VW has unveiled that particular day.
Ah, okay. So they’re sort of pun-based good luck/get rich tokens. That’s fun.
7. A very cranky, profanity-laced rear window sticker. Happily, this one is bilingual, so I can tell this is designed to admonish drivers behind me to keep their fucking high beams off.
The sticker sort of assumes the absolute worst, and is pretty confrontational, so I’m not sure that matches with the sort of driving persona I want to project. Maybe I can just keep it handy and display it only when someone actually is behind me blinding me with their brights.
Alternately, that Chinese text could have nothing to do with the English, and this whole thing is a joke on people who don’t read Chinese.
Who knows. This little box of crap is a fascinating look into the world’s other massive car culture, and I’m really excited to re-badge my car as a Great Wall. I wonder if I can register it as one, too?
Thanks for the crap, Ash! I’ll make sure people keep their high beams off here!