The Chinese sure love order and discipline.
I was walking down the street in Xi’an this afternoon, when I heard the distinct call-and-reply of a drill sergeant and his troops, only it was all in Chinese, and the voices were a whole lot daintier than anything you’d hear coming out of the Army. A few more steps revealed the source of the yelling: the drill sergeant was a scrawny Chinese hipster, with tight black jeans and impressively dolled-up, teased and highlighted hair, yelling to rows of cute teenage girls, wearing in shoes with little bows, and standing at “attention” as best as a girl with rainbow barrettes and perms could muster.
The drill sergeant would yell out commands, and the girls would yell back in a chorus of high, girly voices, and then do coordinated hand movements…pretending to comb hair, lather shampoo or blow-dry invisible locks. This was Chinese Fashionista Boot Camp, and these girls were, apparently, learning how to be hair dressers. Why they needed to stand at attention and recite commands about dying hair, or show how to “take a little bit more off the sides” with synchronized imaginary scissors, is completely beyond me.
But then again, this is China.
(Sorry for the crappy quality of the photo – I didn’t want to be too obvious that I was snapping a picture! There’s a second one below.)