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Complaints Cloud Romance at Party

Parents complained about high ticket prices and nearly everyone grumbled that a massive singles party at Century Park on Saturday was disorganized.

Despite hopes of finding a suitable match, many singles left feeling the event did little to help add romance to their lives.

"Maybe it will be a no-go again," said Wu Zhonghui, who went with her 26-year-old daughter, Kong Xiaowen. "The whole event seems disorganized to me."

She also complained about the 150-yuan (US$18) tickets, saying the price should be per family, not per person.

"I only told my daughter to go in," Wu said. "It's nonsense to pay 300 yuan to stand in the sun."

Wu's daughter works for an international trading company, speaks fluent English and earns an above average salary.

Wu said she didn't have high expectations for the party as she accompanied her daughter to a similar matchmaking event at Zhongshan Park last October. They went home with no potential husband.

The eagerly-awaited matchmaking bash at Century Park for 22 to 45 year olds saw 6,000 people purchase tickets, although the organizer claimed last week that 10,000 would attend.

The ratio between male and females was 3 to 7, according to the dating party committee.

Lan Yaodong, 27, a Website designer, said he didn't think the singles party would help him find a girlfriend.

He moved to Shanghai from Fujian Province three years ago and said he regretted going. Lan took part in the eight-minute speed-dating game, but left after three rounds.

"How much can you really learn about a woman in eight minutes, besides her body shape and appearance?" said Lan. "Call me shallow but at least I'm honest."

Like Wu, many parents chose to linger outside the park and avoid paying for a ticket.

Qiu Jianying, a disabled woman in her 50s, also didn't want to pay to get in. She went alone and was looking for a match for her 27-year-old daughter who works in advertising.

Qiu said her daughter's previous boyfriend broke up with her recently after he learned her mother couldn't walk without crutches.

The six-hour party ended at 7 PM.

(Shanghai Daily May 22, 2006)

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