Tuesday, December 30, 2008

China Incidents (Stressful)

As merry the year end period is, with the cool weather (at times too cold), and the holiday mood... but I've also encountered a few stressful China incidents.

Now, so far, the holiday has been very fun... but I thought I'll share some of the 'behind the scenes' too.

1. Boat ride at Hangzhou's westlake
I remember I heard clearly the boatman says he'll take me to see some views & BACK. But, as we arrived to the destination - he say's that's it. For that destination is his parking deck (ie the place where he parks his boat for the day).

And to makes things worse, that part of the lake is a lil deserted where there are no taxis around - but touts.

2. Hangzhou restaurant
I went to this restaurant for noodles - and asked for a bowl. The waiter told me the price is old price and now the prices has changed (from 10 yuan to 16 yuan).

I thought, that's it's ok since I'm already there and this is already one of the cheaper restaurants I found in Hangzhou Westlake area.

stressful china trip, foodI was stunned when the food arrived - see how big the bowl is! Thought it a bit weird, but ate what I could anyway.

stressful china tripAfter eating, I asked the waitress why do they serve such big bowls for 1 person - and she replies, I could have ordered a smaller one.

As I went out, I just asked the waiter - "Why did you give me such a big bowl?!"
"Ah.. ah.. I thought you were 4 people".

3. Wuzhen Hotel
I thought I had a good deal when the boss of a budget hotel told me his hotel rates (140 yuan/ night with internet).

But what I found out later - if I had stayed in the Xizha Scenic Zone, I need not pay for entry, meaning I could have slept in a house by the canal at the same price in the end. Ok, that to me doesn't really matter.

However, when I got to the bus station, one of the ticketing aunty asked me out of friendliness how much I paid for my hotel... which she just went "What?... usually, it's only 40-60 yuan.. at most 100 yuan!"

Seriously, in my mind - 'hotel also can cheat?'

4. Shanghai Hotel
Upon returning from Wuzhen, I actually booked a hotel in Shanghai. On the website, it's stated as a self rated four star hotel (yes it says 'self rated').

The reason I chose this for 1 night was because I knew I would feel tired and would like to rest and maybe use the hotel facilities - mainly the gym.

But first, none of the equipments in the gym were working. So, I paid more for same - another one of those 'good deal' (I wonder whose side is this 'good deal').

And then, when I was checking out, the cool to cold reception staff (the ones who stare) said I have to pay more. To settle this, I had to actually speak to the Manager in charge and showed him the hotel website.

5. Cold Rude Bookstore Staff (Shanghai): Of all encounters, this is ranked no. 1!
In one of the bookstores which I went today, I met this lady who speaks without talking to you and without a movement of face expression (with rare blinks) - yet staring at somewhere else.

And the part that got me fuming is that she gives me directions to others and then to others.... and which finally, I found out she is the one in charge!

And when I asked her again, she just again "bu xing bu xing..." - again with that cold face and the 'don't care attitude'.

Seriously, this 'bu xing' (cannot) sounds so much like Pusing! (bluff!)

I was really dissapointed with the rudeness of such staff, who to me disgrace the city of Shanghai.

6. 'Not nice one'
These hustlers throughout the famous Nanjing Dong Road keeps asking tourists to buy stuffs or pay for services. And on once instance, when I said no but continued to take pictures, the guy just said "take for what... not nice one".

7. Push me, push you
One more thing I encounter here is that there's a lot of pushing. Maybe this is the normal way of life. Like when I'm at the door and about to open it, someone will barge in. This happened more than once.

Or when walking, some will just push you aside to hurry walk their path. No excuse me, but just pushes - though many times you are not even blocking their path.

*Not all Shanghainese stare blankly, pushes or are rude. These are just my own experiences with some of the 18 odd million here. There are some very nice hotel staffs and even people on the streets who willingly give directions and help a foreign tourist who look so like them.

In fact, after I came out of the bookstore flustered, a Shanghainese couple were quite nice and said 'they understand & know'. And the girl nicely ended with "... but we (meaning the 2 of them) are not rude" (smiles).

Anyway, despite these incidents, the trip has been fun & even fruitful for me. And I'm looking towards exploring Shanghai further! :) (btw, I'll be seeing 'Jackie Chan' today!)


  1. My hat off again to your high tolerance, I think I would flip if I met such people... think it's been implanted in my brain that no one should be rude or even think that I'm someone that they felt they could cheat by... haha! But still, as foreigner in a foreign country, it's more of trying to tolerate the unfortunate incidents there.

    Regardless, enjoy the trip, I knew you are enjoying most parts of it. These ugly incidents just made you appreciate the better ones more :)

  2. I had a stressful experience in Shanghai-HangZhou too. I find many of them are trying to cheat mney from the tourists. I couldn't trust them even the tour guide. But I will still go back to China. I would like to visit Beijing. May be that will be my last trip to China.

  3. Ha ha! This is the most interesting and humorous post you've ever written! Really enjoyed myself reading this.

    1.The boat ride at Westlake, how did you get back? Did you pay the touts?

    2.What did the waiter mean when he said he thought you were 4 people? Did he see 3 "ghosts" accompany you? Or did he mean you are big size, which is an insult?

    3. OMG! 40 yuan became 140 yuan? Hotel also cheats! Horrible. Can only happen in China!

    4. Self rated? I didn't know a hotel can self rate itself. With Chinese people, can you trust how they rate themselves? I won't be surprised if 3 stars become 4 stars! LOL!
    What? None of the gym equipments working? Definitely no longer 4 stars status! Yes, you are right - the "good deal" is on their side, not yours! haha!

    5. "Bu xing" sounds like Pusing? Haha! Very funny! Can't stop laughing! : )
    I've met this type of people in Malaysia too - usually I'll say to someone else near me very loudly "I've never met anyone so rude! Don't even look at you when spoken to, and don't know how to treat the customers right! Don't know how they do business!" then let out a big sigh and leave.

    6. Haha! Maybe you should say "I want to take photos to tell people your things are not nice!"

    7. Wow! looks like when I go China, I better be careful at the door. What if someone barges in and the door hit my face? LOL!
    What?! Push you even though you are not blocking their path? Wow! That's a new level of rudeness - again can only happen in China! Haha!

    Looks forward to more funny and stressful incidents from you : )

  4. Your tale sounds familiar. It is the attitude there n values I believe. Tales like these really put me off especially since i am a banana.

  5. Wow! Sounds like you are having quite some trouble huh! Well! Well! It seems cheating is so universal nowadays. Even hotel can cheat and rate themselves? Gosh!

    Haha =) You are that "fatt" meh? "I thought you 4 people"! LOL! =)

  6. @land-of-singapore
    ur right. this is just part of the fun of the trip. i really had a good time, and kinda miss the trip :)

    ya, it happens at every tourist city. i think not just china.

    btw u just want to go beijing as yr last place in china? but there's so many more places haha. where have you covered already? :)

    1. ya, no choice. but i did bargain as much. looking back, i should have bargained even more.

    2. the waiter is just out to cheat i guess.

    5. haha. i just couldnt help myself after so many 'bu xings'!

    6. didnt cross my mind earlier, but now i know what to do. thanks hehe :)

    7. that is china - they just jump queue. in fact, in another experience, at the counter, i just told the guy to wait!

    ya, i think we need to learn their culture. but i think its not only china, but even in countries in asean or even other parts of the world - we just got to learn and adapt, so we dont get fooled.

    but of course, i agree, it can be a turn off. that's what i told some of them - "do you like to be treated the same when you visit my country?" (ie get cheated).

    ya, cheating is everywhere. we got to be extra careful :)


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