Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Lost in translation

It's been a month since I returned from China and Hong Kong and I can't believe I forgot to write a blog about the wonderful Lost in Tranlsation moment that occurred when I checked in to my hotel in Shenzhen, China.

I was hugely jet lagged (leaving at 6pm means you arrive at about 2pm, but to your body it's about 4am) and was also in a slight state of "Crikey, I'm in China, the red state", and so already susceptible to confusion and bewilderment.

Our bags were taken by the bellboys, and we ascend the lift to our rooms, I went inside and checked out the view, and waited for my bag to turn up before I could grab some much demanded sleep.

Sure he enough he turned up and left my bag in the room before heading back to the door, so far, so good. Then, as he got there, there was another man behind him, in workmans clothes, holding a large round bottle connected to a long piece of tube with a nozzle on the end that looked a little like a blow torch.

They both looked at me, I at them, bleary-eyed and the bell-boy pointed at the bottle before pointing at the bathroom. I nodded, "Ok?" I offered, but they didn't understand and so we all just stood there.

I rocked on my heels, the two Chinese men looked at each other, and I felt we might be there forever, until the bell-boy, smart as paint, remembered his mobile phone.

He whipped it out, and showed me a list of tasks he had to do of which number one was "1. insect". I immediately let out an "Ohhhh" noise, as in "Oh, I see", when of course I of course didn't.

I gave him an eager thumbs up and watched as the blow-torch man went in to the bathroom. There was a short swooooshing sounds and then they both left, smiling and happy.

I peered in to the bathroom, wondering if he'd just pumped a lot of insects in to my barthoom as part of some local custom of welcome, but not, don't be stupid ridiculous tired and confused Dan, I thought, they've just removed on from somewhere.

With that I went to bed.

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