[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: Ni hao y'all?

Friday, September 16, 2005

Ni hao y'all?

There's Padraig and I with two potential scammers in Tianamen Square, Beijing.
I've always known about the scams people pull on tourists, but it got especially annoying when we offered a 1,000 Yuan (100 euro) taxi ride to the city centre from the airport, when it only took about a 100 Y. And it's like that everyday; people are desperate to make money. Everyday we are bombarded with street hawkers offering us deals. In fact, the two girls up there were good enough to be subtle: at first they wanted to show us some of their art work in the museum. After a short tour of their shabby exhibition room, they drew us some calligraphy as a gift then wanted to sell us some more professional art. Perhaps they were hoping to wow us with their work that we would give in. Of course we didn't buy anything but we decided to give them a few quid for their hospitality. I guess everybody wins!
I only wonder about the news we've been hearing about China becoming a global superpower and an economic powerhouse soon to rival the U.S & Europe. In reality, it's the big businessmen and politicians that really benefited from China's growth. A huge majority of Chinese aren't earning what they should be. I would think most Chinese here in Ireland whether they be studying or working, were lucky enough to amass the money to get out of China and come get 10 times higher wages here. But such is the fate of capitalism- wealth falls into the hands of the few. And especially under the dictation of the Communist Party, they don't have to pride on wealth distribution measures, after all there's over a billion Chinese to deal with!
People have got to start learning better English, what with the Olympics in two years time. Chinese efficiency needs some tuning too. The services & attitudes we came up with shabby to say the least. Our hotel was a four star yet it felt like a cheap motel. What's worse our conditioning was broken and when I asked maintenance about it they just told me to open a window! It would've been OK if not for the construction work outside that went on till 4 am!
To be honest I really don't like Beijing. All I wanted to see was Tianamen, Forbidden City and the Great Wall and then get the fuck out. But only after achieveing two, I had to leave early because my eczema was getting worse and I wanted to go see my dermatologist in HK again to get it treated ASAP. The UV treatment takes about 2 weeks so I had better start now.