They say when it rains it pours. People in Shanghai say "When it's hot out, you get to wait in a really, really long line. And I mean really long." Shanghaiers are pretty accurate in this regard, in so far as it was like 95 out and I stood in a line that (outside) was the length of 17 warehouses. Inside, however, it was only 3 warehouse lengths long. What for, you ask? For ChinaJoy! The world's largest "gaming" convention. I say "gaming," because it's mostly this:
Yes, the infamous "booth babes" and their hunting Segways. Although it would seem that the booth babes were mostly walking around smiling at me, they were mostly on top of huge stages, done up in pounds of makeup, and wearing minimal clothing at best. Except of course the one booth that had everyone wearing wedding gowns, because China. Of course, this is not to say that games were not to be had, oh no! There were stellar games such as these:
If you're wondering, I didn't go this alone. I had my trusty co-worker Michael with me.
We wandered up and down, in circles, got separated often, and didn't do nearly as much oogling as everyone assumed we were doing. If anything, the hordes of men with their huge cameras dissuaded most of the oogling. This was also helped by the general unattractiveness of the booth babes. Maybe they saved the hot ones for Saturday?
Besides booth babes, there were three ways to attract people to your booth.
I kid you not, moments after taking this the black guy looked me dead in the eye and winked. He winked at me. Yesssss.
Ok, so you might be wondering, what does this have to do with swag? Well, I won this. Yes, I only won this because I'm a foreigner in a sea of Chinese males, but still, I had to make a (semi-)fool of myself for it! The announcer asked something and I immediately started jumping up and down pointing to myself yelling the number 6 like everyone else. The announcer saw this and picked me! So I go up on stage, answered some questions (e.g. What's your name? Why the hell is it 郭一口? Do you have a wife? How about my hostess?). Then, came the questions that I didn't understand, which just so happened to be the entire reason I was up there. On that note, I guessed wrong on the question. Still got a pillow. There is now apparently a video somewhere on the Internet of me not really understanding what‘s going on and looking into the camera saying 你好. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. And this time I won an adorable smiling pillow that I will love and cherish and name Smiley McSmileyPillow.
Just to round things out, here is a picture of a man getting squirt-gunned by a bunch of women. It was an experience, to say the least.