Every country has its own needs. Therefore, each has its own unique service to provide these needs which other cultures may find odd. Here are 16 unique jobs that you can find around the world.
Panda hugger – China
China’s Giant Panda Protection and Research Centre has been looking for people who’ll “spend 365 days with the pandas and sharing in their joys and sorrows”, paying them about $32,000 a year to cuddle, feed, clean, and play with baby pandas.
Cuddle girl – Japan
If cuddling pandas isn’t your type, you might be interested in cuddling with a human instead – for a price. Tokyo, Japan’s Akihabara district is filled with cuddle cafes which lets their customers have a chance to cuddle with beautiful girls with no strings attached. The cheapest cuddle for 3,000 yen lasts for 20 minutes and some add-ons like “staring at each other” costs 1,000 yen.
Churrasquerio (Steakhouse chef) – Brazil
A Brazilian barbecue called churrasco won’t be a legitimate churrasco in a churrascaria (restaurant) without the churrasquerios (barbecue chef) – got it? Barbecuing meat is a serious job that churrasquerios are treated as specialized knowledge workers in the US.
Manual Scavenger – India
Manual scavenging is a term used to describe the removing of human excrement from dry toilets and sewers using basic tools such as thin boards, buckets, and baskets lined with sacks carried on the head. Basically, those who do this job are called manual scavengers. The job has been banned in India for decades, but continues to be an inescapable job for the Dalits, also known as the untouchables, the lowest rank of Indian society.
Mourners for rent – China
In China, absence of tears during funerals means that the deceased wasn’t loved, and is a disgrace to the family. To show everyone that the deceased is loved, families hire actors to cry at funerals especially when the deceased’s relatives are too busy to be present. The hired actors, mostly young women, wail loudly with full makeup and wearing traditional clothing while encouraging other visitors to join the cryfest. A man n UK was inspired by this odd job that he even made his own rent-a-mourner company in the country.
Drying paint watcher – UK
Industrial paint manufacturers make sure that their paints live up truly to what they should be after a few minutes. The painter watcher’s job is to make sure the paint well dried or touch the painted surface to know its tackiness.
Human scarecrow – UK
A farmer in the UK had decided to employ a human scarecrow after other methods have failed to shoo away the birds from eating the farmer’s young rape shoots. One music-graduate human scarecrow earns about 250 British pounds a week just by sitting, reading, playing the ukulele, and just stands up whenever the upcoming partridges need a good scare.
Oshiya (train pushers) – Japan
Japan’s railway system is thought to be efficient, fast, and cute at times. But during rush hours it doesn’t look kawaii anymore with the huge crowds of people filling up the train cars. During these tough and crushing times, all it takes to fit everyone in is a good push and that’s mainly the job of an oshiya.
Tissue sellers – Singapore
Singapore is known for their food courts called hawker centers and usually besides stalls offering different local dishes and beverages, there are also tissue sellers around. Most of the tissue sellers are disabled locals or senior citizens and it is illegal in the country to sell tissue papers without license.
Candy and cigarette street vendors – Philippines
Driving around the streets of Manila is a pain in the ass (figuratively and literally). So whenever drivers are stuck in traffic, expect to see street vendors walking around the main roads to sell cigarettes, candies, nuts, and bottled water. The cigarette boxes and candies are all stacked in a special wooden case that the vendors carry around to sell easily around the congested streets. No need to look for a lighter as they can readily light up a fire for you.
Car plate blockers – Iran
In Iran’s capital Tehran, people can actually pay for someone to block their car plates when the car number coding doesn’t allow their cars to enter specific roads.
Baboon monitors – South Africa
Natural habitats for the wildlife in Africa continue to disappear causing baboons to travel and step into human territory. These baboons roam around towns in search for food but at the same time destroying things around them. That’s why South African advocacy group Baboon Matters train locals to be baboon monitors whose main job is to patrol towns and herd away baboons from towns and farms.
Sign spinners – USA
Sign spinners or human billboards spin, dance, or wear costumes with the promotional sign to attract possible customers. They are often seen standing on busy street corners doing their own style of sign spinning and flipping.
Federal Counselor – Switzerland
Wondering who is the president of Switzerland? There’s actually none. However there’s someone who they refer to as the “President of the Swiss Confederation” who isn’t the Head of the State but chairs the meetings of the Federal Council and undertakes special representational duties. The seven members that make up the Federal Council are considered the collective Head of State.
Car watchers – Brazil
Scared to get your precious car stolen in Brazil? Don’t worry. You can hire car watchers who’ll literally watch your car while it’s parked on the street to prevent it from getting stolen or damaged… just in case.
Mukbang performer – South Korea
“Mukbang” or “eating broadcasts” are live-stream videos where you can watch someone eat. Not just simply eat, but devour huge plates of food while chatting with his/her audiences. How do they earn from it? Audiences can simply send virtual currency in the form of “star balloons” to the mukbang performer during broadcast. Popular mukbang stars can earn as much as $10,000 a month.
When On Earth Magazine is for people who love travel. We provide informative travel guides, tips, ideas and advice regarding places to see, things to do, what to taste, and much more for world travelers seeking their next dream vacation destination.