Quirky China: A pool in hot water, traditional Chinese medicine to keep people awake and throwing a bathtub from height

A handout photo. The magic drink (left) costs 40 yuan in Beijing. An indoor swimming pool (right) was fined for an offensive advertisement.
PHOTO: South China Morning Post

This week in China, a herbal drink targeting night owls is receiving hundreds of thousands of articles online, a man throws a bathtub from height out of laziness, and a pool gets in trouble for using China’s recent flooding disaster in an advertisement to “teach people how to swim.”

Swimming pool in hot water for using flood to promote services

An indoor swimming pool in the city of Hebi was fined 200,000 yuan (S$42,000) for using the severe flooding in central China to advertise itself as a place to learn how to swim.

“Hebi is inundated. Aren’t you going to learn how to swim?” read the advertisement posted on WeChat last week.

Hebi is one of the most seriously wrecked cities in Henan during last week’s flooding disaster that left 99 people dead as of Thursday.

In Hebi, hundreds of thousands of people were affected by the flood, and one-third of the rural population was displaced.

The municipal market authority said the swimming centre had violated the law since the content of its ad used the disaster for its marketing.

Miracle drink for creatures of the night

The ‘miracle water’ is made out of mostly herbs and other natural ingredients.
PHOTO: Sohu

A drink that claims to be a healthy alternative for night owls is suddenly becoming a popular product sought after by people who are awake until the early morning hours.

400,000 articles about the product have emerged on social media in the past few weeks, according to a report from Chain Truth, a Beijing-based business news platform.

The drink markets itself as a “magic rejuvenation water”, and its main ingredients are made from common herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It also contains ginseng, jujube, chrysanthemum and honey.

It sells at about 40 yuan (US$6.20) for a 500ml bottle in Beijing.

One article reviewed the product by calling it a, “kind of rejuvenating happy water. So night owls, drink it.

A less enthusiastic post said: “I feel it tastes strange. I will not buy it again because I did not get used to this taste.” one consumer was quoted as saying. “But maybe other people like this flavour.”

According to a Xinhua report from two years ago, one-third of Chinese people born after 1995 tend to stay awake until 1am.

Throwing out the kitchen sink

A worker in southeastern China has received bail after he threw objects, including a bathtub, from height. He did this to avoid physically moving the items downstairs.

According to the news portal The Paper, the man, surnamed Zhang, was dismantling furniture in a flat in Suzhou, in eastern China’s Jiangsu province.

He admitted to the police that he had thrown the construction waste out of the window of the flat to “seek convenience”.

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A neighbour who reported the incident to the police said: “I was cooking at that time. Suddenly there was a bang outside my window and I saw a bathtub falling to the ground. I was scared.”

Outside the building, police found a pile of construction garbage that had all been thrown from the flat.

The area was just one metre away from the main footpath, without any alerting messages erected nearby. It was also not sealed off from pedestrians.

Zhang was taken away by police and later granted bail, the report said.

Earlier this month, a woman was killed by a falling brick from a high-rise residential building while she was walking. The suspect has been arrested.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.