Typical English village mystified by its cult status among Chinese tourists


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/01/typical-english-village-mystif.html


#2

The Chinese are documenting white suburbia…

Huh.


#3

I assure you that a village with a population of over 13,000 is in no way “typical”. It’s enormous, and must be one of the largest villages in the country (cursory research suggests it’s the eighth-largest), probably bigger than most towns.


#4

The better to remember us after the Brexitrumpocalypse sterilizes the Western hemisphere?


#5

But then the difference between town and village is a bit odd. I think all a village has to do to become a town in England (if it has its own parish council, which Kidlington does) is to have the council vote to declare itself a town council.

I have a friend who’s from another large village which she says used to be a town until the nearby town somehow stopped it from holding a market in the 16th century. Of course, the locals are still annoyed about this and therefore unlikely to try to regain their town status.


#6

Yes, by any rational (as opposed to legal) standard, Kidlington is a town and Fordwich near me (smallest town in England, population 381) is a village.


#7

It’s between Oxford on Bicester, Bicester Outlet Village being the second (iirc) most popular destination for Chinese tourists visiting the UK, after Westminster.


#8

“Because the parts of China the tourists live in are so depressing that this looks like the garden of eden in comparison”


#9

It’s funny, but we get chinese tourists too and I also don’t understand what draws them in.
A lot of buildings are made of limestone, and there’s a few funny stories to go with some of them, but so what?
I can’t see flying across the globe for this, not when europe et al are much closer.

(am I using that right? “et al”?)


#10

Did you mean the performers of “The Final Countdown” engaging in carnal relations with the performer of “Amish Paradise”?


#11


#12

They 'et him? Oh good god the horrors. Poor Al :frowning:


#13

“Europe et al” = “Europe and others”, so yes, I think you’ve used it correctly.

The part I’d dispute us that “europe et al are much closer” - the UK is IN europe, in terms of physical geography, which Brexit won’t change.

It seems a bit weird for us that people want to see the “typical” UK (if such a thing exists - Oxfordshire means **** all to me in North Lancashire), but I’m about to fly to Japan, and hope to see something of ‘typical’ Tokyo/Osaka, which will be novel to me whilst being utterly mundane to the locals. :wink:


#14

Westerners engage in the exact same behaviour whenever they leave the bubble, right down to photographing themselves with cultural artifacts that they find quaint or peculiar.


#15

I always love this little treasures, Cory - thanks.


#16

:smile:


#17

Reminds me of when the company I work for was entertaining our best customer in China… My boss mentioned that I was from a small village in WI – the visiting CEO said that he also grew up in a small town in China. We then compared “small”: less than 500 for me; less than 100000 for him.

Edit: added quote for context…


#18

If the Chinese version of Lonely Planet says “check out this village on your way to the outlet mall”, and that’s the standard tourist guide for a billion people, then you’re going to get a good few tourists showing up. If I ran a hard-to-find shitty gift shop or unlicensed rodent zoo, I would be taking careful note.


#19

#20

“Because we don’t have [these] in China. Here, we are looking for the true sense of this country.”

According to wiki - “Agriculture is a vital industry in China, employing over 300 million farmers.[1] China ranks first in worldwide farm output,”

So yes, they do have “country” in China. A different brand, perhaps. Hell we went through some rural areas and I am FROM KANSAS. I guess they way their fields are little patch work quilts is quaint. So it is a pretty area to visit.