China Trip: Why it was good and bad at the same time ? (First Day)

Yayınlandı: 19 Haziran 2014 / ARDA İŞ: Yazılarım

I was in China last week for a business trip,consumer goods fair which was held in Ningbo, a port city, where the heart of logistics and transportation of China beats. Nice, coordinated and relatively small city comparing to other Chinese metropols such as Beijing or Shanghai with a population of 5 m people. The first thing that you notice in China that is totally different from the rest of the world. Not only culturally but also with  the way people behave, with the way of architecture and with the way of life style, is another world. For the ones who mostly travel to Europe  and United States, the places differ but at the base you may find the same cultural roots everywhere. But here things are getting different when you get deep inside the country. On the other hand, while China has accepted liberal economy globally since 70’s in terms of trade and business, you still feel that communist suppression over its own citizens. My first stop was flight  transfer from Urumqi to Beijing airport.Urumqi is located  North of China, an independent zone of Xinjiang Uyghur where the people still live in a traditional way. The airport  is also old fashioned and complicated for international guests. However, in Beijing airport, you feel the difference in terms of size and international service but unfortunately at the same time, you cannot find anyone who can speak in English not even among the flight crew and airport personnel. This was the most difficult part for me to handle in the first place, because either you have to follow the signs on boards , or you need to explain your problem with gestures and body language. I was thinking that this is only temporary situation because i was going to an international fair obviously. I made my reservation to a five star hotel located at the center of Ningbo few months ago and it was really cheap, one of the best thing in China by the way they offer the best price for international guests for their accommodation and transportation. When I took the taxi at 2 am in the morning after arrival at Ningbo, I had to show to the cab driver my hotel location on google map because he did understand nothing, not even a word from I told him. I learned that they use different terms for international brands and names, it means that you have to show or tell them its Chinese pronunciation or writings. The cab cost around 60 RMB (Yuan) from airport to the hotel which is around 10 $ almost 35-40 km road even at night tariff. It was quite amazing to pay such a low price for someone who lives in Istanbul. When I arrived  to the hotel I was exhausted after 12 hours flight plus 5-6 hours waiting for transfer at the airport. Citic Ningbo International Hotel wasn’t  as good as it seems in photos on web. It was built like a skyscraper shape, and raising in the middle of city like any other huge building. The streets were empty at night, only taxis were on the traffic, then I realized that maybe my expectations were too high… I entered the hotel, no one is there except a Chinese lady at the reception. No bellboy, no security, not other personnel. I went closer to the reception desk and I started to speak in English for few minutes the lady had listened to me very carefully then she answered: No English, sorry…

I could accept everything outside the hotel, but here inside,  in an international hotel, it was totally unacceptable to see that people cannot speak in English. I gave her my passport and luckily I had brought my reservation papers so I showed her that I just want to sleep with my hand gesture. She was totally indifferent to me, she said wait a moment, and finally another lady came out from the back room, she seemed she was responsible or manager. She took my papers in a very rude way and asked me why I came here in English, I was still thinking that it was only cultural difference and I shouldn’t get it in a rude way. When she insisted on her question I exploded and started to yell, I was too tired and frustrated with whole this issues, she finally realized, at the end, I was a customer not a tourist who asks for direction. She apologized hundred times but it hadn’t finished yet  after all this mess, when it came to the payment for hotel , she asked me not only hotel fee but also the same amount of hotel fee for deposit. What I know, from anywhere around the world, when you check-out, they ask you the money and extra fee if you use something from minibar or other things. They asked my credit card and said they  didn’t accept cash. I had no choice but to pay at that time, so finally after so many calculations ( they calculated everything  just like they solve a problem in quantum physics) I finally got my room key and carried my own luggage to the room without any lead, which was another interesting point about the hotel…(To be continued)

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