It’s good to know the good members of the Shanghai police force are rolling up their sleeves and hitting the mean streets in an effort to protect us from all the ills of modern China … like shops that sell bubble tea. From the Associated Press:
A Shanghai tea house whose name translates roughly as “Frog Keeps a Mistress” has been deemed a threat to public morality and told to get a new moniker, local media said Friday.
The “Qingwa Bao Ernai” shop was violating China’s advertising law, the Shanghai Daily and other newspapers said, citing a local commercial bureau official, Xu Jun.
“The name is also against social morality and common ethics,” Xu was quoted as saying, adding the change was needed to “purify the city’s ad markets.”
A few things worth noting:
- The name of the restaurant, 青蛙包二奶 (qing wa bao er nai), could indeed mean “Frog Keeps a Mistress” or “Frog Has a Concubine.” You can also replace “frog” with “ugly guy” as qing wa can mean either in Chinese. However a Xinhua story (in Chinese) quotes a worker at the shop who said er nai refers to the “two kinds of milk” they use in their tea. And the shop also has drink called “qing wa bao yi nai,” to which only one kind of milk is added. Also, the tapioca balls (or “pearls”) used in bubble tea are sometimes referred to as “frog’s eggs” (青蛙下蛋 or qing wa xia dan), giving more credence to the non-risque meaning of the name. Still, it’s obvious the double-entendre was intended — but who really cares.
- Well, according to the Xinhua story, “angered” citizens cared. “How do you explain that to the kids?” one interviewee asked.
- The address of the shop is 甜爱支路21号 (21 Tian Ai Zhi Lu), which (ironically?) could mean “sweet love.” The street is in Hongkou District and is a relatively well known dating spot, for obvious reasons. The cross street is 山阴路 (Shan Yin Lu). Maps of the location can be found here and here.
- We’re not sure what you would see if you went there, though. We think the shop, which had been open for less than two weeks, was ordered to close. Not sure if it can reopen if it changes its name.
- The shop appears to be somehow related to, or just a copy of, a place with the same name in Taiwan.
- According to one reviewer on Dianping, tea at the Shanghai version was expensive and it “tasted different” and wasn’t “particularly tasty.”
The reports didn’t say, but we can assume the many whorehouses within walking distance of the immoral bubble tea shop were left untouched by authorities.