A MAN TRIED to get on a plane wearing 60 outfits. Too miserly to pay the excess baggage charge, he simply opened his suitcase and put on everything he owned.
"I've done the same thing myself, but only with four jackets," said Shreya Gangul, the reader who sent the story to me."I was really uncomfortable. I can't imagine wearing 60 layers."
The news clip said the passenger, a non-Chinese man at Guangzhou airport in southern China, looked like a giant ball. I can imagine the conversations that would have ensued had he managed to board the aircraft:"Please sit down, sir." "I AM sitting down."
But he never made it on to the plane. That's because he had a USB drive or two tucked into one or other of his garments. When the security gate went beeeeep, guards asked him to empty his pockets. Imagine his horror: "Yeah, sure. Just gimme a moment." But there was no way he could reach all his pockets. The staff detained him.
Shreya said that her worst clothes-smuggling experience was when she wore a leotard, three outfits and a padded jacket.""I started the journey in a really hot country, so I nearly died of heatstroke on the way to the airport. I had to drink two litres of water."
But the worst part of the ordeal was still to come."NEVER wear a leotard as your bottom layer. When you have to go to the toilet, you have to strip totally naked, even if it's just for a ten-second pee."
On a 19-hour trip with a three-hour stopover, she had to strip naked seven times. "I seriously considered asking the baby sitting behind me if I could have one of his diapers," she said.
TWEET FROM Gabbar Singh describing India's parliament:"Think of a bus where every seat has a steering wheel & the bus moves in the direction of the sum of all the vectors." That sums it up pretty well.
YOUNG DESPOT Kim Jong-un released video footage of his missile launch centre. Eagle-eyed viewers noticed his monitors were running Windows Vista.
This is a terrifying thought for anyone in range of North Korean missiles (i.e., all of us in Asia). Picture the scene. Hackers send a virus to launch all the missiles at once. Kim reaches for his master computer to stop them.
But the screen freezes and up pops a message" "Keyboard not responding.
Press any key to continue."
A RESTAURANT in China serves spicy soup which is so hot it burns a hole in your stomach, I read in several Asian news sites. After dealing with a 26-year-old victim, hospital staff in Wuhan said that 15 percent of gastrointestinal cases now came from extreme soup eating.
Women reading this are thinking: Yeuuch, how dumb can people be?
Men reading this are thinking: Where can I get me some of that?
GEEKS HAVE INVENTED a programme that can make anyone East Asian. The link was forwarded by a helpful reader who had heard this columnist lament that he had not been born a member of one of the cooler races. "This will make you Chinese or Japanese or South Korean," said Sunita Chau.
I clicked the link but Make Me Asian only works on photographs, not on real people - not yet, anyway. You upload your photograph, whether you are Caucasian, Australoid, Mongoloid, or, like me, Random Nondescript Brownoid-and then press a button.
Round eyes are flattened, noses shrink, skin is tinted yellow and a wig of straight black hair is photoshopped over the top of your head.
The app-developers have been castigated as racists in America, since people on that side of the planet are terribly sensitive about these things. But Chinese and Japanese people seem unoffended, and are using it themselves to make their eyes longer and their noses tinier.
Further investigation revealed that it's part of a range of photo-editing apps which include Make Me Old (your hair disappears), Make Me Fat (the lower part of your head expands) and Make Me Irish (orange hair and a beard appear on your face).
Surely the range would sell better if they were Make Me LESS Old, Make Me LESS Fat or Make Me ANYTHING BUT Irish.
Anyway, the Make Me Asian app is so badly coded it crashes all the time. One reviewer wrote a note to the programmers: "If you want to be Asian, you should make functioning apps for a starter."
TWO STUDENTS wore hi-tech cheating shirts during exams, the Indian press revealed last week. The shirts have a lapel mike built into the collar and a mobile phone in the armpit. This is utterly despicable and I wish I had thought of it first. Grade F for ethics, Grade A for resourcefulness.
A NEW TRAFFIC law was passed in China last week, forcing drivers to stop at yellow lights, I heard from reader Chris Donnolley. "How about getting them to stop at red lights while they're at it?" he asked. That may be asking too much!
A BOLSHIE MONKEY with a Donald Trump hairdo took up residence in the US embassy in Sri Lanka the other day, forcing staff to evacuate. It was eventually persuaded to leave using a trail of bananas - to the British government building next door. If this starts another war in Sri Lanka, America will pay.
A CERAMICS TYCOON in Fujian, China, is giving his daughter away in marriage along with a dowry worth more than one billion yuan. Never mind her, I would marry HIM for that. Or, if my wife is reading this, I wouldn't marry either as perfect spouses are beyond price.
(Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveler. Send ideas and comments via www.mrjam.org).