Saturday, April 28, 2018

Marriage Market and AQI

「shanghai pollution」的圖片搜尋結果

“Sure is cloudy out”, Bert thought to himself. Upon further reflection, he realized it was not fog that was blocking his access to Mr. Sun; it was pollution.

 Image result for china pollution

Did you know that you can buy air from Canada that has been bottled up and you can breathe in some of that sweet sweet Canadian air?  We are selling bottle Canadian air on planet Earth…I can’t wait for robots to fix this problem…

A 7.7 Litre can of crisp air taken from Banff National Park in the majestic Rocky Mountains range sells for roughly 100 yuan (£10), which is 50 times more expensive than a bottle of mineral water in China.

Image result for vitality air

Occasionally I will check my phone and glance at the AQI which is the Air Quality Index. Never heard of it? That’s probably because you live in Canada where you can breathe without worrying about making it to your 40th birthday. 

Anything under 50 is considered good. 

Over 200 you should start to consider changing countries and anything over 300 you will be lucky to book your flight out because you most certainly will be dead by the time you reach the airport.

Now I’m not sure how reliable or accurate is but they rank Mongolia, Botswana and Pakistan as the three worst countries for air pollution.

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I’m looking at a map right now from and it looks like the average for Ontario is around 30. Map of China/Shanghai is around 150.

I could easily do a deep dive into why air pollution is bad and cite stats and research but I just wanted to shed some light into what life is like her vs. Canada. To sum up what I would have found, breathing helps you live long and pollution is detrimental to the planet.


About two months ago, your favourite 31 year old from North Bay living in Shanghai visited something that took him almost a year to finally witness in person which is a Shanghai staple and a sight to behold: Shanghai Marriage Market. A market for marriage.

Every Saturday and Sunday morning, throngs of Chinese parents and grandparents pack up their umbrellas, notes and pictures to make their way to People’s Square park where they hope in earnest to find their son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter a mate. I would imagine these younger adults would be horrified to know that their family members have taken their love life into their own hands or they might not be that shocked since they are already 25 and without a life partner. (I’m fairly certain my mom does this in her free time but is not surrounded by older Chinese ladies but by concerned onlookers)
What struck me the most about attending this Chinese phenomenon was the sheer amount of family members trying to find love for the younger generation. 

Hundreds and hundreds of umbrellas are set up with the major stats of the single person in question: age, height, occupation, hobbies, salary, home ownership and who knows what other quirky stats some grandmother might find the need to publicize to the world. While there are many people umbrella stations set up, there are also tons of interested moms and dads who are looking to set their children up for a life of presumed fairy-tale happily ever after. Imagine this happening in North America? 

I can imagine this happening on the interweb but to post a picture of your daughter on a poster at a market in downtown of a major metropolis as thousands of interested and curious tourists gawk and take pictures at this phenomenon is incredible. I also went in the slow season which makes me ponder how much busier it gets. Chinese parents and grandparents seem more outspoken about their desire for marriage and grandchildren compared to parents in the West which adds to the urgency in this market set up for love or for at least economic partnership.

One weekend, a woman from America dressed up as a bride and held up a sign auctioning off herself to the highest bidder who would then get American citizenship. I wouldn’t be going to many markets showing off I was American these days…

Image result for american at marriage market

 If you ever come to Shanghai, it is certainly worth something checking out or if you are especially bold, start one if your own city; if you are worried about being the only one in the town square with an umbrella with vital stats of your offspring, don’t worry, my mom will be right there beside you.

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“I was neglected by my family because I had 
disappointed them-I’d run away from being forced into an arranged marriage, which was a big blow to them.” 

Nelson Mandela