BEI­JINGERS VENT STRESS IN ‘ANGER ROOM’

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - NEWS - —REUTERS

BEI­JING— It took Smash cus­tomer Qiu Siyu just a few sharp blows with a base­ball bat to wreck what looked like an old car ra­dio, after which two friends bat­tered tele­phones, au­dio speak­ers, rice cook­ers and even a man­nequin.

All three paid 158 yuan ($23) to spend half an hour in an “anger room,” where pa­trons wear­ing pro­tec­tive gear use ham­mers and bats to vent their frus­tra­tion on house­hold ob­jects while staff play mu­sic of their choice in the back­ground.

Qiu, a be­spec­ta­cled 16year-old high school stu­dent with braces, said she was there to vent anger about school.

“It feels so good when I de­stroy those bot­tles and watch them ex­plode,” she said, smil­ing sweetly.

Smash­ing suc­cess

Since the ven­ture opened in Sep­tem­ber last year, cus­tomers have smashed around 15,000 bot­tles ev­ery month, said 25-year-old Jin Meng, who co­founded Smash with her friends.

Not in­tended to pro­mote vi­o­lence, Smash aims to help peo­ple deal with the pres­sures of liv­ing in big cities like Bei­jing, Jin said, adding that their tar­get cus­tomers are be­tween 20 and 35 years old.

An­other cus­tomer, Liu Chao, 32, looked re­laxed and pleased after his ses­sion.

“If you have money, you can smash any­thing—smash some TVs, com­put­ers, wine bot­tles, fur­ni­ture, man­nequins, but the only thing you can’t do is to smash some­one,” Liu said.

600 peo­ple a month

Sim­i­lar ven­tures al­ready ex­ist in other coun­tries, in­clud­ing the United States and the Philip­pines.

Jin said around 600 peo­ple visit Smash each month.

“A woman brought all her wed­ding pho­tos here, and she smashed them all. We wel­come peo­ple to bring their own stuff,” Jin said.

“Ev­ery time when we come across cases like this, they af­firm our be­lief that we’ve pro­vided a safe place to let out neg­a­tive en­ergy. And we are happy for that.”

In Bei­jing, Jin said her next step was to open a new anger room in a shop­ping mall where peo­ple could take a break from their shop­ping to smash a bot­tle or two.

—REUTERS

STRESS RE­LEASE Wear­ing pro­tec­tive gear, a Smash cus­tomer re­lieves him­self of stress as he pounds old fur­ni­ture with a sledge­ham­mer in­side an “anger room” in Bei­jing.

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