Dave Leggett | 14 November 2005
Have you ever seen that programme on TV (shown on MTV, I think) called 'Pimp My Ride'? Basic idea: take someone's abused old banger and transform it for them in a blingy sort of way (the usual customisation stuff with added flashiness) - 'pimp it'. The stuff they get up to is quite mind-boggling. I remember one of the programmes featured a cinematic projection system that popped out of the vehicle - you just had to pull up in front of a white wall after dark; they'd even fitted a popcorn maker for the film-going occupants.
I've been sent a press release from eBay in the UK helpfully pointing out that what's in your taste in the accessorising area may not be to everyone's (yes, that zebra-themed Beatle* may be difficult to shift when you want to sell). Okay, that makes sense. And there's a website where you can access the eBay 'easy peasy guide' to buying and selling cars (below link). They have also introduced me to a new term that had me smiling: P-I-Y (Pimp It Yourself). No, I'm not a big PIYer myself.
A couple of stats in the release: 1. Men spend eight times more than women on accessorising their cars (on relatively big ticket items like DVD players, PS2s, MP3 players); 2. Women 'prefer to splash their cash on cheaper novelty items like fluffy dice, cuddly toys and nodding dogs to keep them amused while driving.' Hmm. Not sure, on reflection, which gender comes out best from that...
*someone at eBay thinks Volkswagen introduced us to the Beatle, not the Beetle. It's a bit late to have a zebra-themed John Lennon or George Harrison, although I guess Paul and Ringo are still potentially available. Hey, final copy mistakes like that happen to the best of us - I only draw attention because it caused a nanosecond of mirth in this instance and Beatle for Beetle (and indeed the other way around) is a commonplace one.
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....
Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...