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Subject:  Re: OT? Guangzhou translator... Date:  11/7/2003  11:16 AM
Author:  baccigator Number:  1413 of 3437

I'm with you on that one, TB.

When I arrived in Guangzhou (I speak not a lick of Chinese), I had NO idea where my hotel was. The bus dropped me off at the fanciest hotel in town, where not even the concierge spoke English. I don't mean to sound like a spoiled American. I don't generally expect to be catered-to in my native tongue, but I was surprised that the hotel staff spoke no English, especially given GZ's increasing stature in international trade. All I wanted was to get a cab and instruct them where to take me, but that was impossible without finding someone with whom I could communicate.

Some fancy prostitutes on the corner spoke a little English, but their vocaulary was limited and we had different spheres of interest.

Finally, I saw a young Chinese woman with braces. I thought she must live in the U.S., and it turned out she did. She was home, visiting family. She shared a cab with me, wrote down some phrases for me in my notebook so I could get around, and told the cab driver where to take me.

I love being lost in a place like that. But it's nice to be found, too. Luckily, in China, it seems that if you just smile, everything works out.
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