16 January, 2019
It took Qiu Siyu just a few swings of a baseball bat to wreck what looked like an old car radio.
Then two friends destroyed telephones, loud speakers, rice cookers and even a life-like model from a clothing store.
The Reuters news agency says all three paid 158 yuan, or about $23, to spend half-an-hour in an "anger room" at a business called Smash in Beijing. It is a place where people can take out their anger on everyday objects while listening to music they choose.
Smash requires its customers to wear protective equipment when they enter the room, armed with a baseball bat or small hand tool. This is to keep them safe from flying wreckage.
Qiu, a 16-year-old high school student, said she went there to release her anger about school.
"It feels so good when I destroy those bottles and watch them explode," she said, with a smile on her face.
Since Smash opened in September, customers have destroyed around 15,000 bottles every month, said 25-year-old Jin Meng. She started the business with her friends.
However, Smash is not meant to support acts of violence, she explained. Instead, it aims to help people deal with the pressures of living in big cities like Beijing.
Jin added its target customers are between 20 and 35 years old.
Another customer, 32-year-old Liu Chao, looked pleased and at ease after a recent visit to Smash.
"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 smash someone," said Liu.
Similar businesses already exist in other countries, including the United States.
Jin said around 600 people visit Smash each month.
"A woman brought pictures from the day she was married, and she smashed them all. We welcome people to bring their own things," Jin said.
"Every time when we come across cases like this, they confirm our belief that we've provided a safe place to let out negative, bad energy. And we are happy for that," she added.
In Beijing, Jin said her next step is to open a new anger room in a shopping center where people can take a break from visiting stores to smash a bottle or two.
I'm Dorothy Gundy.
The Reuters news agency reported this story. George Grow adapted the report for VOA Learning English. Mario Ritter Jr. was the editor.
Words in This Story
baseball bat – n. a wooden stick used in the sport of baseball to hit the ball
customer – n. a person or group that boys goods or services from a business
mannequin –n. a figure shaped like a human body that is used for making or showing clothes
negative –adj. harmful or bad
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