Men get a break while women shop

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHOU WENTING in Shang­hai zhouwent­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Four cab­ins with com­put­ers and dig­i­tal game gad­gets — placed in a pop­u­lar Shang­hai shop­ping mall to ac­com­mo­date men ac­com­pa­ny­ing their wives or girl­friends — have re­ceived di­verse re­sponses from women.

Some said it al­lows both to en­joy their fa­vorite ac­tiv­i­ties, while oth­ers said it de­stroyed their qual­ity time.

China Daily spent two hours be­fore lunch on Fri­day be­side the four glass cab­ins equipped with so­fas and com­puter game fa­cil­i­ties in­side Global Har­bor shop­ping mall and saw only one boy around 10 years old go­ing in. In com­par­i­son, the nearby benches for shop­pers to rest were all oc­cu­pied.

A woman who only gave her sur­name as Jiang, from the man­age­ment depart­ment of the shop­ping mall in Pu­tuo dis­trict, said the fa­cil­i­ties, which have been there for a month, are usu­ally fully oc­cu­pied on week­ends. They have been free so far but the mall will start charg­ing for the ser­vice on Satur­day. It will cost 20 yuan ($3) for half an hour and 30 yuan for an hour.

Most men wel­comed such de­sign and said they would give it a try — if it wouldn’t dis­ap­point their wives or girl­friends.

How­ever, women aired dif­fer­ent com­ments.

Jin Ji­amin, a 22-year-old hu­man re­sources pro­fes­sional, said it’s un­ac­cept­able to see her boyfriend sit­ting there play­ing com­puter games if he goes out with her for a date.

“In the era of mak­ing deals on­line, shop­ping in a mall for a cou­ple serves more like an ac­tiv­ity that the duo can do to­gether, just like go­ing to a the­ater. If they choose to do it to­gether, nei­ther should quit halfway,” said Jin, who was rest­ing with her boyfriend on a bench.

Pri­mary school teacher Ding Wen said, “Whether we started a re­la­tion­ship a decade ago, or we al­ready have 3-yearold son, I al­ways be­lieve we should take the qual­ity time we spend to­gether se­ri­ously.”

How­ever, some said it would be fine if their hus­bands play games there for half an hour while they’re try­ing on dresses and don’t need their opin­ions.

“I re­gard this as a de­sir­able and cre­ative way for my hus­band to take a break from shop­ping, in which men of­ten show lit­tle in­ter­est. Oth­er­wise I’ll be rushed by him in most cases,” said Yu Qi­uhui, a 41-year-old in­sur­ance sales­per­son.

JIANG DONG / CHINA DAILY

Vis­i­tors en­joy The Di­vine Michelan­gelo, an art ex­hi­bi­tion on the life and works of the Re­nais­sance sculp­tor, painter and ar­chi­tect, at the Na­tional Sta­dium, nick­named the Bird’s Nest, in Beijing on Fri­day. A to­tal of 105 pieces of his work, in­clud­ing a replica of the statue David from one of the three casts made di­rectly from the orig­i­nal sculp­ture, are fea­tured in the ex­hi­bi­tion.

GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY

A man plays video games in a cabin, which is spe­cially de­signed to ac­com­mo­date men who ac­com­pany their wives or girl­friends to a mall, in Shang­hai on Thurs­day.

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