A children's memory game purchased in Bangkok but - crucially - made in China, contains a set of instructions that can only reasonably be described as 'bewildering'
The game, Clever Friend by Dongba Toys, was bought at Tang Hua Seng by English teacher, Moys Kenwood, in 2010; it cost 79 Baht.
It has a plastic lattice-type board with 36 squares (6×6). Under the lattice, a card is inserted which contains 36 images, which can then be seen through the lattice. The images are in pairs, so that each card contains 18 pairs of images. Little, yellow, plastic cones are then placed on the top of the lattice - to hide the images.
To play, the first player lifts two yellow cones. If the images he has uncovered are the same, he has a 'match', and keeps the cones. If not, the next player has a turn. Gradually, the players start to remember where the images are located, and 'matches' are easier to achieve. When all the images have been uncovered, whoever has the most cones, is the winner.
The game has a selection of 36-image cards to choose from, including pictures, numbers, letters and words. It's a fun challenge, especially for kids.
The Chinese instructions, however, are a challenge in themselves.
Purpose: find out the most similar or the connected picture from the card.
Preparation: put the 36 pyramid-shape chess into the lattice of the game box, cover the picture on the card, and then extract the upside most card and put it in the nethermost.
Method: the first. thing to do is to decide who will the game start. Disclose two pyramid-shape chess by turns, must observe the disclosed chess and try to remember the pictures position. If the two disclosed chess have no resemblance and connection, you must put them to the original position return back, and then the next players' turn came. If the two pictures are similar and connected, the player can get the two chess and go on ahead. When all the chess are disclosed, the game is over.
Over before it's started, if you're relying upon those instructions!
The game packaging box also contains some strange notations:
"looking for friends?"
"THIS PRODUCT IS MOST WELCOME AMONG KIDS!"
"If the manufacturers are going to print the instructions in English, why not do something novel, and get some token Englishman to assist?"