Posted by: Megan | September 3, 2007

Just a thought …

Crossing the road by foot in China (even when the light is green) is just
another challenge – for foreigners like me! For my own safety and sanity I
find that snuggling in between the locals as they walk across their mad
roads – is definitely the way to go. And, if there are no locals to ‘use’ as
padding then surely I must be seen as an Australian Olympian who has arrived
in Beijing a year early – sprinting across the road at full speed for gold!

Do you remember me mentioning finding on the menu at the Yinbo Hotel Cafe
(in Shanghai); “Our Quality Tea Leads to Relaxation”? Never mind if not,
but the thing is, I have been thinking about should the Chinese really be an
entrepreneural nation how they could be making a killing (in fortune)
selling this tea to foreigners when visiting China for encounters like road
crossings – should it actually work! “Work”? Even if it didn’t, like most
products, the surely the pyschological aspect would have some effect …

And, not just for the roads but for pretty much everything. Like take for
example checking out of a hotel here – what SHOULD be a simple proceedure!
Ah yes, where was the “Quality Tea That Leads To Relaxation” when I needed
it recently during my trip? When it can take up to or more than 30 minutes
to check out of a hotel! If I had had a cup in preparation (in my room)
before heading down to the reception desk I’d be like bring on the “Meiyou”
(meaning no, can’t do, won’t do, can’t be bothered, go away as you are a
foreigner and I just do not want to deal with you … MEIYOU!) that is said
time in and time out! With a cup of quality tea leading to relaxation I’d
be able to deal better with the time it simply takes to hand in my room key
(10 minutes), have housekeeping swear that one of my passengers has stolen a
plastic coat hanger from their room (10 more minutes), explaining that they
really did not take the 10 cent coathanger and would prefer luggage space
for a replica Terracotta Warrior (further 10 minutes), and hand over our
luggage for safe keeping until we come back and head off to the train
station (a final 10 minutes)!

Yes, a fortune there to be made – someone just needs to see the value within
the Chinglish of the cafe menu of the Yinbo Hotel! As a leader, I’d for
sure have a couple of packets for all my passengers to add to their lovely
blue Intrepid Travel Responsible Travel Bags given out at the group meeting.
Amongst the China guidebook, chopsticks, and itinerary would be …
several packets of “Our Quality Tea That Leads To Relaxtion”! Perfect for
leading styles like mine. Have myself and the group miss the local bus (as
I did) to one of China’s great historical sights? No problem – leader and
group drinks some tea! Passengers have squatting anxiety on trip? No
problem – they drink some tea! Trying to breath as we sight-see China with
10 Billion locals chain smoking and spitting on the streets as we go? No
problem – leader and group drinks some tea! Stuck in a taxi who can’t speak
English and can’t read the Chinese directions handed over to him – ending up
on the other side of Beijing? No problem – drink some tea!

Personally, I am more of a coffee drinker but I tell you what, the more time
I spend here in China I am all for drinking tea of this nature!


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