Chinese Humor in the Face of Crazy Weather
The picture above has been going viral on Chinese social media for a while now, showing the craziness of recent weather patterns. Originally designed to represent Chengdu, it's been posted a lot (including by me) this week to refer to Shanghai, whose whether has been all over the place. Moving from rain to cold to hot and back again, in seemingly random order, it hasn't been making a lot of sense. I'm too warm wearing a jacket today, for example, whereas a scarf, hat, and gloves accompanied the jacket yesterday and I was still cold.
Anyway, the crux of the joke is the rotation of the seasons, which are the large characters and are as follows:
春 - chūn - spring
夏 - xià - summer
秋 - qiū - fall
冬 - dōng - winter
In the image on the left, they follow a nice circular rotation, but on the right they move in crazy, unpredictable patterns. The red text shows the difference between the two, as follows:
别人的城市 - biéren de chéngshì - other people's citiy
我们的城市 - wŏmen de chéngshì - our city
So what of piece of text I haven't mentioned yet? The caption under the image on the right? Well, this is an added piece of humor. This is the Chinese phrase for 'shuffle play' - the shuffling function on most music players and apps, in reference to the changing seasons. The very last symbol is the standard international symbol for shuffle (two arrows crossing over each other) but it's a little hard to see in the image, and some friends of mine mistook it for a Chinese character. A real shame there isn't a higher resolution image of this. That phrase again is:
随机播放 - suíjī bōfàng - shuffle play / random play
So there you have it. Thought Brits were the ones who never shut up about the weather? You haven't met Shanghainese. Personally, I can't decide if I would like the weather to calm down or not. While it might be nice not to have the city on shuffle play, since it's December, when it settles...it will be freezing.