Fruity bar

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One of the items in the gift box handed out to the thousands of runners in the Qingyuan marathon in Guangdong province last Sunday:

You're dehydrated, your mouth is parched, you need a shot of energy….  You pull out the attractively packaged bar and take a quick glance at it:  grape flavor, new, fruity, extra moisture….

You tear open the package, chomp into one end, swallow it ravenously…, before you realize it is soap!  It's already down in your stomach.  You don't even have a chance to spit it out!

"Over 12,000 Runners Seek Medical Care in S China’s Marathon, Some of Them Mistook Soap Given by Organizers as Energy Food" (People's Daily Online, 3/25/16)

It would have helped if they had put féizào 肥 皂 ("soap") somewhere on the front of the package, but it seems that this company prefers English only.


  1. Victor Mair said,

    March 26, 2016 @ 6:01 pm

    Note at the end of the People's Daily Online article: "(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)" — but Facebook and Twitter are blocked in China! Why / How does People's Daily have accounts on Facebook and Twitter?

  2. Karen said,

    March 27, 2016 @ 9:34 am

    People's Daily on Facebook is an English-language page. I'm sure it's allowed for external use only, as a propaganda tool.

  3. Jongseong Park said,

    March 28, 2016 @ 8:01 am

    When I saw the photo before reading anything else, I thought the post would be about what looked like the use of 'open O' in 'Ɔrchard'. Alas, it seems to be only an illusion from the crease in the packaging.

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