We at Language Log are already quite familiar with Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. That's where the completely fake Apple store was discovered by a blogger named BirdAbroad (see "Your friendly fake Apple Stoer in Kunming"). It's also where we located some of our most amazing airport Chinglish.
Now, in the same airport, a Chinese Communist official went on a rampage after missing his flight and thoroughly trashed a check-in station. First, a silent video which is fairly well known:
What this man is doing in Chinese would be called fā píqì 发脾气 ("throwing a tantrum; having a fit"), a kind of infantile behavior to which adults sometimes succumb. His name is Yan Linkun, and he's the deputy chairman of a mining company and a member of the Communist Party political advisory body in Yunnan, as well as a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Here is an article from the Chinese version of China Daily showing Yan Linkun apologizing to a broadly smiling higher-up who is shaking his hand amiably.
I was extremely fortunate to find a shorter video with sound, so we can hear some of the what the man is shouting:
It's hard to hear everything Yan Linkun is saying, but it seems like part of it goes thus:
Wǒ běnlái dǎ de shì tóuděng cāng de. . . Shénme yìsi a! Shénme yìsi, a? ! Wǒ běnlái shì tóuděng cāng de. . . . Tài qīfù rénle. . . Dōu jǐ cìle? ! Tài qīfù rénle. Āi, gǎnjǐn gěi wǒ kāimén nǎ! . . . Āi, nǎ yǒu zhèyàng de, tài qīfù rénle! . . . Tóuděng cāng. . .
我本来打得是头等舱的。。。什么意思啊！什么意思，啊？！我本来是头等舱的。 。。。 太欺负人了。。。都几次了？！太欺负人了。哎，赶紧给我开门哪！。。。哎，哪有这样的，太欺负人了！。。。头等舱。。。
"I originally booked a first class [ticket]…. What do you mean, huh?! What do you mean, huh?! I originally booked a first class [ticket]…. You're really bullying me…. And not just once?! You're really taking advantage of me. Hai! Hurry up and open the door!… Hai, how can you be like this? Really browbeating me!… First class…."
I have translated qīfù 欺负 ("dupe; hoodwink; cheat; deceive; bully; take advantage of") in several different ways to try to bring across the various nuances of the word.
Perhaps others who watch the video can catch more of Yan Linkun's ranting and raving or what some of the onlookers are saying.
I sent this video to a former student of mine who lives in Kunming. Here is her reply: "YouTube is blocked in China… no freedom… i could have used a VPN, but again it's not working very well and very slow to watch videos in 阻国."
She makes a very clever pun on zǔguó 阻国 ("blocking / obstructing country") and zǔguó 祖国 ("motherland; fatherland; homeland; native land").
The motherland could have used a bit more blocking right there in Kunming when Yan Linkun began to trash the check-in counter. The security forces just stood by and watched, perhaps because he's a member of the Communist Party and can behave with impunity?
[Thanks to Jing Wen, Jiajia Wang, and Fangyi Cheng.]