Isn’t China like India?

Email to one of my hosts:

The hotels you suggest seem very nice. My wife will be with me for two weeks or so and during this time it would be nice if we had access to a little kitchen. If it not possible, then we will, of course, be very happy to choose one of the hotels.

Instant reply:

I will contact the program manager about your question. I’ll get back to you soon.

Several days later my host wrote back:

I have asked the staff and they told me there are no nearby hotels which have rooms with kitchen. I am sorry for that so you have to choose from the list.

I replied:

Thanks for trying. I’ve now marked my choice of hotels.

Instant reply:

Thank you for your information. There are really apartments with kitchen, but they are poorly equipped and mainly for junior people in China, not for senior foreigners like you.

Why didn’t he say this before? Why did he say it now?

I totally understood. This conversation was not lost in translation. South of the Himalayas we do things the same way. I love travelling in Asia because of these sudden cultural resonances. Sometimes you are in a country where you cannot speak the language, you are a little overwhelmed, and then there will be a conversation like this, which makes you feel you are home.

We are now looking forward to the trip even more. Of course, still with a little anxiety because neither The Family nor I know the language at all.

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Author: I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

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