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Published: September 8th 2017
Shanghai Full Moon
This was the view from my Shanghai hotel room on my first night...
I won't bore you with the mundane details involved in travelling from Nanaimo, via Vancouver to Shanghai and then on to Jinhua, Zheijang Province, PRC for my third teaching semester at Jinhua Polytechnic University other than it went smoothly and without serious aggravation. Even the security clearance procedures at either end were relatively painless, apart from long queues at the Air Canada counter at YVR as passengers for three Asian flights were all checking in more or less simultaneously. My flight was on a sparkly new Boeing 787 with all the bells and whistles like newest version in-flight entertainment and spiffy cabin 'mood' lighting.
Shanghai was hot and humid and predictably smoggy, although not as bad as the media would have you believe.
My Shanghai hotel was great as always: old school service and a solid business property.
As I waited for three or four Front Desk personnel to decide between them if my passport and visa ( a long story all by itself) was actually genuine and I really wasn't a white slave trader, a snappily dressed chap sidled up (yes, really, he 'sidled') and introduced himself.
"Good Afternoon, Sir" he said, in a tone a
The world's saddest breakfast...
Breakfast on my last morning with Mary at the Richmond hotel...sad...
tad obsequious for me.
"I am Arturo D'Cambazola"
"Good Afternoon, Arturo: I am Merv Jefferies."
Two can play at this game.
"You must be here on business".
Not sure how he deduced that as I look like something the cat dragged in by then.
"Have you stayed here before, Mr. Jefferies?"
"Yes. Yes, I have. Several times. Very nice property".
Basically fishing for an upgrade. Futile, as always.
"Where are you from, Mr. Jefferies?"
I thought we'd established my name by then. Maybe he was trying to trip me up, thereby confirming his well-founded suspicions that I really shouldn't be staying at his hotel.
"I am from Italy." He replied somewhat haughtily.
"Ah. Right." Not sure if he was vetting me for potential security breaches or just checking my shoes so he could (accurately) gauge my net worth.
"My job is to look after the foreign guests."
"Oh. Really?" Slightly puzzled as to what that might entail.
"Yes. Yes, it is."
Then he pivoted on his shiny little Ferragamo's, walked away, and I never saw him again.
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