Someone please explain to me, the westerner : the Chinese adore Hello Kitty. She is cute enough, but why the obsession? In my understanding, Hello Kitty is a proportionately inaccurate representation of a girl kitten that can change clothes (but not postures) and has a very limited vocabulary. (hello.) Yet, they love this little feline. I learned that they love her enough to justify a store front in the busiest shopping district of Puxi, Shanghai, named after her and selling nothing but her.
I am walking through said shopping district. I enter said Hello Kitty store. Stuffed Kitties bump my head where they hang from every ceiling space. Floor bins full of small dolls lead deeper into the chaos, and I follow because I expect each bin to contain something that will unmask this obsession. By the time I can no longer see the street entrance, I realize that each bin only holds Kitty in a differently colored shirt. The eager clerk moves nearer, presumably to sell me one of 50 sticker sets lining the walls. I turn back, looking forward to the scratch-n-sniff free air again. There is nothing but masses of white and pink, interrupted only by the jet black hair of the shoppers seriously perusing the merchandise.
What is it about that creepy Kitty!?
There is another mystery from my night of street walking in Shanghai. This entire distance of this highway is lit from beneath with blue rave-ish lights. Is this meant for function or beauty? I have a sneaking suspicion it is meant for beauty, but again, I don't quite understand! The lights turn everyone walking beneith into aliens or sickly smurfs.
View from pedestrian crossing near my hotel