Have you ever wanted to become internet famous in China? Turns out, all you have to do is set up a food stand outside your local Chinese university and have the cops run you out. Oh also, be French.
Two French students studying at Tongji University (Hongkou district) have recently become well known among Chinese netizens for setting up a small crepe stand outside the university and consequently being chased out by local chengguan (urban administration officials.)
These two Frenchman (identified as Benoit and Julien) became a hit with the local college crowd as many wanted to try what these silly laowai’s were selling for only 4 yuan. Their stand became so popular that the two soon bumped up their prices to a whopping 5 yuan per crepe (ooh la la!).
While initially confused by the approaching chengguan and the vanishing of the other food vendors (unlicensed stands are not allowed right outside the university gates), locals reportedly yelled to the foreigners that they must “run”, and so they did. Surrender monkeys!
They told local reporters that “they are very proud, but because of studies, they can only sell three or four days every week.” However university officials have said that these two men have since been banned from operating any further businesses around the university.
No one knows whether these two gentleman will return or not, but if you want to try your luck, they were last seen setting up on a white tricycle outside of Tongji Universities south gate on Chifeng Rd.
PS. Benoit and Julien if you are reading this please bring your crepe making skills to the Hongqiao district, thanks. Also, sorry about the surrender monkey quip…maybe.
By Patrick Keefe