Sci-fi in gaokao, too many melons, mosquito-repelling crayfish, and million-yuan hot pot—it’s Viral Week
Viral Week is our weekly round-up of the weekend’s trending memes, humor, rumor, gossip, and everything else Chinese netizens are chatting about.
This week, another gaokao season wraps up amid superstition and sci-fi; students brush up anthem; crayfish repel mosquitoes; and social media promotions run amok:
Stressed parents in Gansu made burnt offerings to bring luck to children taking the grueling college-entrance exam, while dutiful teachers in Jiangxi built a bridge with desks to keep students’ feet dry during heavy rains.
“Gaokao grandpa” Yao Keliang, an 84-year-old retired worker who has tried to pass the exam three times previously, has sat for the gaokao (along with his granddaughter) for what he says will be the last time.
Students were ecstatic to discover a mutiple-choice question on hit sci-fi film The Wandering Earth in this year’s exam, following the appearance of Liu Cixin‘s sci-fi novella Micro Era in a reading test in several provinces last year.
Shaanxi surgeons operating on an 8-year-old girl with severe stomach pain were surprised to learn the cause—a 225-gram hair ball caused by the child’s five-year hair-chewing habit.
Ahead of the PRC’s 70th anniversary in October, the Ministry of Education has launched a campaign with singing competitions and classroom activities to improve schoolchildren’s ability to sing the national anthem.
A Shanghai restaurant is offering Liushen Florida Water-flavored crayfish in cooperation with the famous mosquito repellant (no word yet on how the dish tastes and whether it repels mosquitoes).
A Zhengzhou university student ended up with 15,000 kilograms of watermelons after forwarding a free giveaway post for Alibaba’s Hema Supermarket too many times (she plans to share the boon with her entire campus, plus the city’s firefighters).
A Suzhou hot pot diner mistakenly included her table’s QR code (used for placing orders at many Chinese restaurants) when posting a photo to a WeChat group, eventually causing someone to order 4.74 million RMB’s worth of food on her behalf, including 100 bottles of baijiu (she was able to get the order canceled).
A Yunnan student, initially reported to have been drunk, felt the room spinning and evacuated three university dorms at 2 a.m. by shouting “Earthquake!” (His friends later insisted he was just having a stress-induced hallucination.)
Cover Image from Pexels