Time Traveling Woman from Past Begs in Subway, Has iPhone

A woman dressed in traditional clothing claiming to have time-traveled from 500 years in the past begs for money in a Shanghai Metro stop to help her get back to her village 500 years ago.

A "woman traveller" dressed in traditional Chinese clothing begs for money in the Shanghai Metro.

There have been many documented instances of people using public transportation while dressed up in costume or eye-catching clothing. Previously, chinaSMACK has told you about the mummy, Superman, Deer man and cross-dresser, as well as another cross-dressing fashionista riding the Shanghai Metro. Similarly, we’ve brought you the story of the pole-dancing woman on the Nanjing subway.

A woman dressed as Athena from the anime "Saint Seiya" riding the Shanghai Metro.
Cosplayer "Athena"

Recently, there have been a few more of these “subway performance art” occurrences: a young woman cosplaying as “Athena” from the anime “Saint Seiya” was photographed on the Shanghai Metro (seen above), as was a woman who dressed up in the historical outfit of a person from the ancient city of Loulan, once located in western China (seen in a translated comment below). The annual ChinaJoy Expo recently took place this past month, and may have played a part in these women cosplaying on the subway.

The story brought to you now is very similar to the rest of these stories but with some major differences. First, this person wasn’t riding the subway, but rather was begging for money near the subway entrance. Second, she wasn’t just photographed but also filmed talking about why she is dressed this way along with the rest of her story. As such, this may have been more than just “performance art” but instead a focused advertising campaign for online marketing.

From Mop:

After Athena, now a “time traveling woman” has appeared in a Shanghai Metro station begging for “travelling money”

Following “subway Athena“, now a “time travelling woman” has appeared in the Shanghai Metro. Recently, a woman who claims to have been “sent through time” sits lengthwise at the exit to the subway station asking pedestrians for money so she can return to her home town 500 years in the past. What is even more dumbfounding is that this ancient woman even takes out and iPhone 4 to ask for mobile phone numbers from the passing crowd.

A "woman traveller" dressed in traditional Chinese clothing begs for money in the Shanghai Metro.

A "woman traveller" dressed in traditional Chinese clothing begs for money in the Shanghai Metro.

A "woman traveller" dressed in traditional Chinese clothing begs for money in the Shanghai Metro.

A "woman traveller" dressed in traditional Chinese clothing begs for money in the Shanghai Metro.

Translation of the hand-written (mostly) traditional Chinese sign on the ground:

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I am from the Qingyuan village and have unwittingly time traveled here. I have nothing upon me and am begging for traveling expenses to return home, a debt I will repay in the days ahead [future].

The following video was uploaded to Youku received almost 2.5 million hits and almost 2 thousand comments within four days of being uploaded. At time of translation, the number of downvotes outnumber upvotes nearly 8,500 to 2,800:

Translated transcript of dialogue:

Um, miss, what are you doing?

Begging for money to go home.

Your home is Qingyuan village?

That’s right.

Qingyuan village… where is that?

It’s from five hundred years ago.

From five hundred years ago? In that case, if I donate some money to your cause, how will you be able to give it back to me?

With noble sir’s kindness, I should [repay you] by being betrothed to you, but I am so homesick! But when the day comes in the future, this humble girl will definitely repay your noble sir’s kindness.

Noble sir’s kindness…heh, no need [to repay]. But if at that time you were to run away [disappear, renege on her promise], how would I find you?

This is a token/pledge. [she hands him a “Certificate of Life-long Full Financial Support”, a fake document identifying a kept mistress, a woman who is financially supported by a man.]

So with this…this…this lousy card? But even with this lousy card I still can’t get a hold of you.

That’s not a problem, wait a second…oh, here it is. [Pulls out a mobile smartphone] What’s your phone number?


A "woman traveller" dressed in traditional Chinese clothing begs for money in the Shanghai Metro.

Comments from Mop:


Well, this is easily handled, if there is anything brother [referring to self] has, it’s extra money! Here I come!


Her legs aren’t sore? [from sitting in that position the entire time]


Is she really crazy or just publicity stunt crazy? Sweat.


The last line [of the hand-written sign] is the key!!! …repay in the “days” to come!! [“日” means day, as well as “fuck”, so the joke here is that she will repay with sex.]


This post will definitely become popular!


She already has everything.


If she were to have the money, just what kind of transportation tool would she use to go back in time?


[She’s] read too many [time traveling or historical] novels.


Nowadays publicity stunts are becoming more and more stupid/ridiculous!


[She] appears to be very beautiful.




Truly there are all sorts of people [in this world].


Quite pretty, how much for a night? You’ll make money quicker that way.


She looks like Zhou Xun.


Is there anything more tragic than this?


Performance art?


Sweat; her clothes are very nice as are the chiffon wrappings; delicate and charming.


These days there sure are some lousy people who have nothing better to do. Performance art? Publicity stunts? Fuck. If you have nothing better to do, please do something meaningful, not just act coquettish in front of the camera for publicity/attention! Ridiculous!

Comments from Youku:

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Her acting is poor, but her breasts are big.


Did you see/notice? [She’s] was sent out by the makers of the “Journey 2” MMORPG game [for publicity/marketing]!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So sexy/skanky/slutty!


“Certificate of Life-long Full Financial Support” – –


“Repay in the days ahead”, she’s already made it very clear. [Same joke as above, to repay with sex.]


Same as others before her, just to get fame, is [getting fame] really that interesting?


This kind of publicity stunt isn’t very interesting anymore, I didn’t hadn’t even finished watching the video before I got bored. However, it can be said that with the society in China today, even swindlers are of a high quality [going to such lengths]. Truly moving and commendable.


If you admit you time traveled from the Cretaceous Period, then brother [referring to self] will give you money, and a whole “big dinosaur” for you! [referring to his penis]


Doesn’t even understand how to write the classical style of writing, and yet still pretends.


A match for that SB Loulan woman.

[The “Loulan woman” is a woman who appeared on the Beijing Subway this July dressed up in the style of a person from Loulan, an ancient city in Xinjiang, western China that only exists as ruins now. The following is a picture of her.]

The "Loulan woman" dressed up in Loulan attire, riding the Beijing Metro
The “Loulan Woman”


“Certificate of Life-long Full Financial Support”…well fuck me.


When you’re ugly, don’t come out and let others see how ugly you are.


[The MMORPG] “Journey 2” is trying to advertise yet doesn’t know to hire someone prettier.


*Sigh* Yet another person who wants to get famous…


Totally someone who escaped from a mental hospital…


Advertising for “Journey 2″~~ “Xinshou” village is called “Qingyuan” village; even the clothing is completely the same.

qq345770099:(responding to above)

Truth 0.0


Fuck, a “Certificate of Life-long Full Financial Support”, a mobile phone, were these all brought here from 500 years ago?


I can totally see the modern-era underwear she has inside.

What do you think? Do you find this amusing, or do you find this shocking and upsetting? Is this a scheme for a panhandler to make money, or is this a carefully-executed online marketing campaign? Why are there so many cases of people dressing up on the subway?

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A "woman traveller" dressed in traditional Chinese clothing begs for money in the Shanghai Metro.

Written by terroir

Terroir is a gentle soul who doesn't enjoy sunsets but does like the company of those who do. He says no to Tia Carrera, yes to Bruce Lee, and walks the thin line between the top of a still, calm lake and below it, where it looks even calmer.

  • Eva

    I find this a tad pathetic.

    • Jack

      Dude…Chinese have not YET reached a stage to go full throttle to con people for marketing or propaganda

      If it was in the US of A. They would smartly put some of their own guys in the public and then donate money..seeing that…many others will donate too….and then few of their own will come and start arguing about donating money and then they start fighting..creating the whole good cop bad cop thing..:)

      This will make it look more authentic and well be in main stream news as well…

      So far Americans are the best marketers on entire planet…..Chinese agencies need to be more dynamic …they need to go for the kill or hire an American guy….he will take it to the next level

  • Pong Lenis

    Common beginners problem, forgot to feed the cat before time travel.

  • badnews

    is it true…can it be….????

  • Derp

    Sign’s in Simplified Chinese. I’m sure they had that 500 years ago.

    • Mike

      It’s in traditional.

      • It’s in both. Whomever wrote that sign:
        a) has terrible calligraphy, and
        b) does not know how to write 来 and 归 in Trad.

        You know, concerning Trad. calligraphy, there’s an app for that…

        • Comrade Fu

          You´d have to check whether 归 and 来 were indeed not written this way back then. Remember, character simplification is not exclusively a thing of modern times, but was going on al throughout Chinese histroy, while the opposite was happening all the time too. Additionally, a lot of characters that are official simplified script nowadays have been around since the Yuan dynasty and before, but were handwriting tricks to write more conveniently or were calligraphic abstractions of sorts.

          But it´s still fake anyway.

          Comrade Fu

          • I’m not going to get “nerd” on you. I don’t know what Chinese writing was like 200 years ago – I don’t own a iPhone/time travelling device.

            But, in modern times, there exists Trad and Simplified, and the words that she wrote were 来 instead of 來 and a really crappy version of 歸. So, my comment still stands: the handwritten note is mostly Trad with one word in Simplified (来) and the gui is done improperly. So, it’s both.

            As calligraphy, this is a farce. I mean c’mon: people got laid back then according to their handwriting – should we be any less critical?

          • Peter Pan

            And why the fuck is she speaking fucking Mandarin? Thought it was invented by the Communists to unite all the diiferent dialect speaking provinces?

  • vic2u

    Just like the Viking I use to see all the time begging for money to build a ship to sail back to Norway.

    • anon

      I imagine the Viking was a lot more amusing that this.

      She’s quite ugly up close.

      • Tengu

        Vikings are always fun…it’s all the mead!

        • The raping and pillaging, too. They’re a violent and armed fraternity with benefits to heaven/hell.

    • Hongjian

      Vikings haet cultural marxism, socialists and niggers.

      • Yes, but yours is a noble and proud people; you guys even have that new superhero movie celebrating your God of Thunder that was just released recently.

  • TAKE5

    We have beggars in the usa, some truly need the money, some beg for a living, some just crave attention and dress and behave in an outrages manner. I think she is a little off.

  • 大熊

    HAHAHA theres people like this all over the world. it least this one is nice looking

  • Tengu

    Her clothes are clean, she’s healthy ( physically) and someone is paying for that phone bill.

    Who cares if she’s from the past, nuts or part of a marketing campaign…she has a rack on her….

    • Comrade Tengu,

      like anything else here, that cleavage is just an illusion. That looks like some kind of bronzer on her; at any rate, that horrible cleavage is made by mashings two A cups together, just like the horrible concoction of a three-wheeled bicycle truck in the middle of a head-on collision between two buses.

      Chinese ladies: you have awesome breasts. Other ladies: you too. Back to Chinese ladies: let your awesome A cup breasts be awesome, like going bra-less underneath a loose-fitting shirt. Please don’t try to go for the shadowy-cleavage look; it’s literally like Evel Knievel trying to bridge the gap between the Grand Canyon — you can do it, but everybody can see the ramp you jumped from.

      • staylost

        Regardless of education, culture, knowledge, experience, or apathy, breasts remain awesome. Why? The answer lies up there with existential questions, entirely unfathomable, but completely intrinsic to our reality.

        • Why can’t we all get along? It is a universally-known fact that the Chinese people have enjoyed 5000 years of boobie worship.
          Since when have boobies hurt the feelings of the Chinese people?

          People: the trivial issues are driving a cleavage in between us! Let us come together in a mass harmonious uni-boob, let love and love of boobery flourish!

          • Just John


            Isn’t that what you get when you try to mash boobies together so hard that A = D?

            I would rather stick with bi-boob, then both hands get in on the fun.

            After all, do you prefer the Unicycle or the Bicycle?
            Thought so. One is just awkward….

          • Uni-boob is terrible, but it’s boob. Side boob, underboob, overboob, uni-boob…

            it sounds like complaining, but it isn’t. Boob is boob. Mankind is demonstrately the more enlightened by this offering borne ye of women

          • Just John

            How come I feel you are about to bust out Bloodhound Gang’s “Hooray for Boobies”?

            Just an idle observation.

          • Tengu

            Don’t you wish they had a third one in the middle of their back for slow dancing.

            Okay, no flying cars, but this one is possible.

          • @Tengu:

            so after the drum fill that you play on her back on Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” you can press it like a buzzer


      • HubeiJames

        Guess you haven’t actually been to China if you think all Chinese ladies have A’s.

        • Since the KFC franchise and all its hormone injected chicken have infiltrated the mainland, there have been a surge in non-A cuppery. However, looking for said non-A cuppery is like looking for a good conversationalist – it’s like looking for the Holy Braille (it has two raised points).

          That said, where does China have the most KFC stores? Shanghai.

          • Johnny Basic

            Presenting Terroir: the Roger Irrelevant of the Chinasmack comment section


          • Just John

            Eh, terroir is like a mushroom,
            You wonder why anyone would like something growing in places you would rather not go, but you find it eventually grows on you.

            Now, we just sit back and say he is such a fun guy (fungi).

            Yes, I know, my humor sucks, guess that is why I still have a day job….

          • Johnny Basic

            Looks like a child, looks like a ladyboy, and looks like she’s had surgery. Not to mention the fact she’s pasty white.

            For Chinese guys, the confused saps that they are, this is exactly what turns them on. Seriously, there are no more attractive girls in Shanghai anymore, they’re all aping this look in order to attract some fuerdai pussy with an Audi.

          • @Johnny Basic:

            Presenting Johnny Basic, just another self-entitled “Liza General” of the chinaSMACK section, one of many among trolls and lurkers who can’t see past their own big noses.

            Haven’t heard of a “Liza General”? Here’s a link to a wikipedia page:


        • DUXESTLUX

          since they started eating milk and cheese they began to develop decent breasts

          • Leo

            @ JohnnyBasic

            LOL THIS. a thousand times THIS.

        • Tengu

          Indeed you are right. Seen some very robust ones.

          Oddly enough the best were on a girl selling spicy duck necks near Starbucks in Wuhan, she was most fulsome in her decolletage!

          Who doesn’t like titties and spicy duck necks?

    • Tengu

      Not to get off point or be off-putting, but I have long, well longed after smaller breasts, just a preference on my part.

      It may have to do with my ex-wife who was Polish, you know the ones who let inept pilots fly their president and cabinet.

      She had huge sagging breasts as a young girl due to her parents thinking that a young girl wearing a bra before a certain age was “dirty”….never been a fan of giant boobs ever since.

      Having said that, I have still never met a tit I didn’t like.

      What’s an old lady have between her tits that a young girl doesn’t?
      A belly button!

      I’ll be here all night, try the veal!

      BTW – This kid’s no “A” cup, I like “A’s”. They will defy gravity for a lifetime!

      • “I have still never met a tit I didn’t like.”

        Tits are the gregarious ambassadors to the land of Plushville; they are welcomed everywhere, have no standing military but have won every single staring contest they have entered.

  • Ray

    Fun times in the subway, probably was the most exciting event for the people who saw it in a while.

    Also I guess its a good round-about hiding from cops way of selling sex…. maybe?

  • wahkiu

    Somebody needs to give that woman a DeLorean equipped with a Mr. Fusion home energy reactor. Since garbage is literally everywhere in China, she should have no problem going back to her time period.

    Too bad time travel movies are banned in China.

    • Jay



    • “Too bad time travel movies are banned in China.”

      It’s made up by the fact that everybody is still living in an age 200 years ago.

    • “Whoa, Doc, that’s heavy!”

    • wahkiu

      And make sure that DeLorean flies as well. With all the traffic jams, obstacles and people on the streets of Shanghai, the time machine will never get up to 88 mph.

      Funny how 88 is a lucky number for the Chinese. Unfortunately, 88 mph in the metric system is 140.8 km/h, which is not exactly the most auspicious number.

  • Steve

    If her feet were bound it would be more realistic.

  • Dark Canuck

    In todays day and age everything we see read or hear has some sort of advertisement or product endorsement. If this really is a stunt for an up coming game I say good on the company. Would peoples comments be saying “Its pathetic” if a guy dressed as Master Chief ( Halo series of games) was begging for money to return to the future? Or a guy dressed as a transformer begging for money to return to Cybertron? No, we would find it hilarious

    • I combed through a lot of comments, and all I ever found was just anger or disdain for this woman. The fact remains that while there are some comedic qualities to this video (the camera man has good comic timing), certain things will still piss Chinese netizens off: publicity stunts, beggars, being fooled, women exploiting their beauty, etc. Not many of them thought this was funny when it clearly is a set-up video.

      As Tengu says, at least there is (some) cleavage to look at (at a flash of midriff). I think I chose this story because of all the extreme reaction to it.

  • MadeInChina

    She time travelled all this way into the future to buy an iphone? Why doesn’t she use the Time Traveller app and warp herself back?

    • It costs 3.99USD; she’s saving up, or at least waiting for another similar app to come out for free.

      • Just John

        Nah, she bought the wrong phone. Apple does not allow that app because someone might travel back in time and steal all their patents.

        Guess she should have went with an Android.

    • do_sex_machina

      that’s no iphone. that’s an ifun. immediately after pulling it out, someone in the background murmurs “ifun?”

      see, chinese people can spot a fake as well as any of us americans can. that guy knew right away it was an ifun and not an iphone.

  • k

    She looks like a plastic transgendered in the face….scary.

    • Just John

      In the US, we have two terms for that.

      IF a woman has a nice body
      AND her face is not attractive

      THEN she is a butterface
      OR a sack lunch (Put a bag over her head and call her lunch).

      Sorry, think I have played with to many logic statements today.

  • I say it so often, but: here I go again (on my own… ba-bow, ba-bow) — this is fake.

    I find it absolutely hilarious that one of the still pictures taken of the scene has the arm of the guy who took the video. In short, this whole thing was likely only 5 or 10 minutes long. They did one or two takes, and the “time travelling woman” wasn’t sitting like that for hours. The clues are always evident, don’t see how else they could be.

    Still, I find this to be quite a telling commentary on contemporary Chinese culture as well as being (marginally) funny; they should get some love for at least being original and capitalizing on the weird “subway dress-up trend” that only happens in China.

  • MrT

    Id giver her a ride home.

  • 平凡人

    People are so creative nowadays, a new way of begging. She can try the whore house!

  • typingfromwork

    Wackos in the New York underground- no one bats an eyelid.

    Wackos in a Chinese citie’s underground- internet sensation!

    This sort of thing is a daily occurance in Harajuku as well. So what?

    • hmm.. NYC’s “Sad Panda” likely wouldn’t go over well on the Shanghai tube..

  • gabriel

    she might as well be a whore… lol jk

  • 贼,一枝

    dame it, the iphone must be fake!!! and Chinese is famous for that

  • vic2u

    I know that is Michael Jackson in a Chinese dress.

  • Master Huang

    Another great idea by cunts, next time I will be Santa on Shanghai Metro begging for money from children. Text me what you want for Christmas….hohoho

  • Leo

    Wow I didn’t know they had polyester clothing during the 16th century.

  • Meh

    That last picture looks like something from a nightmare. That face! AHH!

  • JSakamoto

    I think she aged about 30 years from the first picture to the last picture.

  • Danny

    Too much plastic surgery. Her face is falling apart.

  • Jess

    It must be a fake chinese iphone or she is from the future!

  • Hongui

    i wonder if she accept shanghai metro card? as i would be glad to offer her 200renmb for 45mins of her time.

  • Patriot (aka We Never Left!)

    She looks hot from far away, but ugly up close

    • vic2u

      So remember that and stay away from China girls.

      Just stay away from China, the women are “ugly up close”

  • mr. weiner

    I’d give her points for trying, as to matters of boobery, more that a handful is a waste.
    Docter: Do you want me to numb yiu breasts before we start?
    Female Patient: Sure.
    Doctor: Num, num,num!

  • Song of the Article

    Spaceman Came Travelling
    -Chris De Burgh


  • Kyle

    iphones are time traveling devices.

    way to go steve jobs.

  • Andy

    Why do you always say ‘marketing campaign’ ? Marketing campaign for WHAT ? There is no product being promoted here – unless you count the shaming of China as one ?

    • Kyle

      Marketing campaign for Iphone. It’s so easy even a caveman can use it. No wait.

    • Several netizens independently called this a marketing stunt for the MMORG “Journey 2”; one had said that the changed the name of the village around, but kept the same style of dress (anybody else notice: she’s sporting midriff like a 90’s Britney Spear’s video).

      Marketing campaigns don’t have to be blatant; this can be used just to arouse people’s interest, and then a second campaign or strategy can then link the two together. For example, visitors to the “Journey 2” web page can see this splash on the front, and see a well-broadcast video (over 2 million views) seen in the proper context — and on a budget that is next to free compared to all the people who have seen it.

      See also: Halo’s “i love bees” (?) viral campaign as well as the one for “The Dark Knight”.

      As for the your last comment, I don’t see this as “the shaming of China” when a train derailment is currently causing China to eat itself alive at the present time; I do see many netizens reacting vigorously to a smartly planned out campaign that might not have gone the way they had liked. Maybe a few more jokes would have helped, but it’s evident there isn’t much love for beggars in “(Falling) Glass Town”.

      Didn’t anyone else notice the “bloop” sound effect when she reached for the “official document”? That was the giveaway for me.

  • Regina

    I like how when there’s something like this going on, people just stand around watching. Like, what are they expecting to happen?

  • Rod

    Sweet. I’ve never seen a time traveling beggar before. I’ll have to try this in the states.

  • bibiana

    This woman is either a con artist or mentally ill. And how would someone from that era know how to use an iPhone???

  • YourSupremeCommander

    I would totally T A P that!