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Braybuddy
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Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:25 pm

This may be a bit sensitive, so I apologise in advance if anyone is offended, but transiting through China recently I received an unsolicited text message. I assumed it was simply a text from my phone company with some information, but out of curiosity asked our hotel concierge to translate. He recoiled as soon as he saw it and told me to delete it as it "is no good message", and refused to elaborate further. That only made me more curious, so I asked a couple of waiters in a restaurant to help. The first "didn't know" what it meant, and the second wouldn't say, even when pressed, even after I asked him if it was advertising some sort of, ahem, "services".

If the concierge had dismissed it as a simple promotion or something I would have just deleted it, but his reaction, and the reaction of the two waiters has made me even more curious, and that's why I'm asking on here. And if it really is too sensitive to translate, please PM me:

http://i.imgur.com/hxFzATR.jpg

 
 
Derico
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:07 pm

I cannot help you all the way but I can at least give you some clues:

北京保健按摩服务: Beijing health care massage service
针对酒店上门服务:directed at 5 star hotel "to your door delivery" service
有日,韩,美外国: there are Japanese, Korean, American (from all the Americas)
少妇,美女,帅哥: there are young and married, beautiful ladies, also handsome studs
全套服务,尽快您的期待: complete package service deals, ASAP awaiting your call:

Pretty clear though if you ask me.
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Braybuddy
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:18 pm

Quoting Derico (Reply 1):

I cannot help you all the way but I can at least give you some clues

LOL! No surprise really, although the reaction of the concierge and the waiters would lead you to believe it was something really shocking. The concierge physically recoiled, and the waiters were extremely coy. Are the Chinese really that sensitive? I would hardly think so, given the amount of friendly young girls stopping us in the street asking us to go for a coffee or beer, "to improve their English".  

Thanks, even if I am now a bit disappointed . . .  

[Edited 2016-03-09 07:21:38]
 
BestWestern
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:28 pm

'Special services' are available all over china. But they are far less obvious now than a few years back.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 2):
Are the Chinese really that sensitive? I would hardly think so, given the amount of friendly young girls stopping us in the street asking us to go for a coffee or beer, "to improve their English".  

Thanks, even if I am now a bit disappointed . . .  

The improve their English scam is totally different - you bring them for coffee and then get stiffed with a $200usd bill and the heavies (acting as police officers) arrive when you complain.

For the capital, Beijing sees more scams than any other city in China.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:52 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 3):
The improve their English scam is totally different - you bring them for coffee and then get stiffed with a $200usd bill and the heavies (acting as police officers) arrive when you complain.

I did some googling and came-up with a lot of that carry on. I think its a given that anyone approaching a tourist under the guise of wanting to improve their linguistic skills or learn about their country is up to no good at all. Having said that, we always take it lightheartedly and enjoy having a bit of fun with them, engaging them in banter and letting them think we're interested, then making some ridiculous excuse to turn them down.
 
Cerecl
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:30 am

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 2):
although the reaction of the concierge and the waiters would lead you to believe it was something really shocking. The concierge physically recoiled, and the waiters were extremely coy. Are the Chinese really that sensitive?

To most Chinese commercial sexual activity/prostitution is regarded strongly negative. Additionally, prostitution is illegal (of course this doesn't mean it is not prevalent). The behaviour of the concierge and the waiters is exactly what I would expect. In fact, if they reacted indifferently I would recommend you not to stay in that particular hotel unless the "service" contained in the message is something you are interested in pursuing....
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BestWestern
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:30 am

Quoting Cerecl (Reply 5):
To most Chinese commercial sexual activity/prostitution is regarded strongly negative. Additionally, prostitution is illegal (of course this doesn't mean it is not prevalent). The behaviour of the concierge and the waiters is exactly what I would expect. In fact, if they reacted indifferently I would recommend you not to stay in that particular hotel unless the "service" contained in the message is something you are interested in pursuing....

I'd say 'special services' is available in 99% of Chinese hotels. The fact that these services are normally run by an outside, well 'connected' firm tells to all you need to know.

Scratch the surface of china and you will find a seedy underbelly very quickly. I'm well travelled and believe China is worse than most other nations. Even my driver in Shenzhen had a 'second wife'.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:03 am

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 6):
Scratch the surface of china and you will find a seedy underbelly very quickly. I'm well travelled and believe China is worse than most other nations. Even my driver in Shenzhen had a 'second wife'.

Been reading "In Order to Live", by Yeonmi Park, a North Korean girl who escaped to China when she was 13. Her stories of being trafficked shines a light on a part of life in China which we never get to hear about in the West. It's fascinating, if sad, but no surprise really. Every country has its seedy side.
 
seat64k
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:20 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 2):
No surprise really, although the reaction of the concierge and the waiters would lead you to believe it was something really shocking.

It's actually not unexpected, as Cerecl suggested. The legit staf in the hotel often have no involvement and would rather feign ignorance than risk being seen as complicit. This reminds me of Laos, who is so bent on not becoming another Thailand as far as its seedy reputation goes, that, not only is prostitution illegal, it's illegal for a Lao citizen to sleep with a foreigner unless they're married. And don't think you can get away with it either - hotel/guesthouse staff will more ofen than not tell on you. Which, again, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. If you know where to go you can still get what you're looking for. There are lists of "bachalor friendly" hotels/guesthouses on-line, and some bars turn a blind eye.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 4):
I think its a given that anyone approaching a tourist under the guise of wanting to improve their linguistic skills or learn about their country is up to no good at all.

It's sad that that perspective persists, because it's mostly not true - it really depends on where you are. These scammers hang out in the touristy places. Since I hate touristy places, have Chinese friends who are avid travellers, and speak some Mandarin, my travels round China have generally been well off the beaten track. I've only been approached with the tea ceremony scam once (in People's park in Shanghai), but I've had dozens of encounters with people who legitimately wanted to practise English or want to have their picture taken with me.

I also know that some more inventive teachers will give their students (or school kids) assignments to hang out in touristy areas and talk to tourists.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:39 pm

Quoting seat64k (Reply 8):
It's sad that that perspective persists, because it's mostly not true - it really depends on where you are.

I think you're being a bit naive here. I travel off the beaten track enough to know that people don't usually approach you "to improve their linguistic skills". They tend not to approach you at all, although sometimes -- as you say -- they may ask to have a photograph with you, which is harmless enough. The further from tourist areas you get you tend to be treated with a cautious curiosity, but once you make eye contact and smile they usually respond well and start laughing or talking, often asking questions. But anyone asking you to accompany them to a café or bar is something else, and either looking for a freebie or operating some sort of scam.
 
Flighty
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:14 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 6):
The fact that these services are normally run by an outside, well 'connected' firm tells to all you need to know.

Scratch the surface of china and you will find a seedy underbelly very quickly. I'm well travelled and believe China is worse than most other nations. Even my driver in Shenzhen had a 'second wife'.

Agreed. I think it is generally a safe place, but you should never assume it is a law abiding place. It is fascinating to try to figure out what is going on. The rule of law is only on the surface. IMO
 
BestWestern
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:56 am

My first visit to China was in 2004. The only people who spoke English then were the 'I want to practice my english' scam artists in the tourist areas - and the tuk tuk drivers behind the forbidden palace. Now 12 years later, the same scams in Beijing exist, but the taxi drivers and street vendors are in on it too.

Beijing is such a fantastic city - pity that on every corner someone is out to get you.

Leave Beijing and head to cities like Urumqi, langzhou, manning, Chengdu, Kunming or Guiyang and get to know the real Chinese people, the real culture and the real life they live. It's amazing. If you don't speak the language get yourself a Lonely planet language book and the fun of that alone is simply invaluable. I've enough Chinese to get by socially.

Outside of Beijing and Shanghai, china is a very safe city for (white) foreigners. I never once felt scared in China. However, china is racist towards other north Asians and black people.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
Cerecl
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:42 am

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 6):
I'm well travelled and believe China is worse than most other nations.

In what way?

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 6):
Even my driver in Shenzhen had a 'second wife'.

With due respect, If I may assume you are not a native Chinese, the section of society you are exposed may be restricted and may not be representative of the entire population. While China certainly is not a strictly monogamous society by any means (albeit by the letters of law having two wives is actually illegal), it is a stretch to think every second man have a second wife.

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 11):
china is racist towards other north Asians and black people.

Again, please do not paint the whole 1.3 billion people with one single brush. While one can encounter racism in many Chinese, I don't believe one can label the whole country as racist.



[Edited 2016-03-10 17:44:43]
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Elite
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:57 am

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 6):
Scratch the surface of china and you will find a seedy underbelly very quickly. I'm well travelled and believe China is worse than most other nations.

Prostitution exists, yes, and it isn't hard to find. But is it really worse than other nations? How about the disturbing amount of underage prostitution that goes on in countries like the Philippines. Reading the news about that has always disgusted me.
 
BestWestern
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:28 am

Quoting Cerecl (Reply 12):
a second wife.

Well Duh. You didn't notice my ' ' around the second wife comments. Er Nai is the Chinese expression well described here:

http://www.beijingmadeeasy.com/beiji...ty/er-nai-modern-chinese-concubine

Quoting Cerecl (Reply 12):
the section of society you are exposed may be restricted and may not be representative of the entire population.

I learnt my Chinese on the street talking to people, and not in class. I spent most of my time in tier two and three cities, well off the beaten track of Shanghai and Beijing.


Believe me that there is anti Japanese and black racism in China.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
Elite
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:34 am

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 14):
anti Japanese

A very old, antiquated, World War II hatred that is dying out by the day, heightened by the occasional political nuts when the Japanese Prime Minister visits the shrine.

The modern day China loves Japanese products and visiting Japan. Unfortunately, like essentially every other country, the race hatred has just shifted onto other races.
 
BestWestern
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:01 am

Quoting Elite (Reply 15):
dying out by the day,

From 2012...

"protesters in the southern city of Guangzhou invaded the luxury Garden Hotel, which is attached to a building that houses a Japanese consulate. They smashed glass windows and desks and unfurled banners reading "Kill Japanese Robbers" and "Boycott Japanese Goods" before being chased away by hundreds of police, according to a hotel employee, who declined to give her name. The hotel's Japanese restaurant was forced to close all day, she said.".

In the central city of Nanchang, one resident contacted by telephone said the window of a store selling Sony goods was smashed. "I saw a female car owner crying beside her Nissan sedan that was turned over, " he said.

The embassy official said that around 10 Japanese companies in the coastal city of Qingdao, a magnet for Japanese investment, had reported damage. Protesters set on fire a sales outlet of Toyota Motor Corp. in the city on Saturday, a public-relations officer from Japan's largest automobile maker said.

Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
Elite
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:23 am

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 16):

Oh yes, it still happens, and the government doesn't help either when trying to whip up the anger. But speak to any of the younger Chinese, and the attitudes towards the Japanese are much more positive (disclaimer: personal experience, no stats to actually back this up).
 
Cerecl
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:31 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 14):
Well Duh. You didn't notice my ' ' around the second wife comments. Er Nai is the Chinese expression well described here:

I am familiar with the expression. What I wanted to say was that it is actually a costly exercise to keep a second wife/Er Nai. Generally only some rich businessmen or corrupt government officials can afford to do so. In absolute numbers there are quite a lot of them, in population percentage terms they are a small fraction.

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 14):
Believe me that there is anti Japanese and black racism in China.

Yes, Anti-Japan (note the different between Japan and Japanese) sentiment is prevalent in China. There are many reasons for that, but chief amongst which was the repeated invasion of China by Japan and the refusal by many Japanese government official to acknowledge this part of history. I don't think Chinese in general are racist towards Japanese people. You hardly ever hear stories about Japanese who do not represent the Japanese government in an official capacity being attacked in China. In fact A LOT of Chinese admire many aspects of Japanese life.

As to racism towards Black people again there are racists everywhere. I am sure one can find many such cases in certain parts of USA. Doesn't make the whole country racist.

Quoting Elite (Reply 17):
the government doesn't help either when trying to whip up the anger.

No doubt the government is quite ready to tap into the nationalist sentiment. On the other hand, many of Japan's highest ranking politicians seem to be doing their best to feed this type of sentiment. I should also mention China is not alone in this aspect, similar antimony exists in Korea as well.

Quoting Elite (Reply 17):
But speak to any of the younger Chinese, and the attitudes towards the Japanese are much more positive

I think you will find many Chinese, old or young, admire Japan in some ways. They seem to have no problem separating the Japan where Shinkansen runs flawlessly accurate to the second, where people are hard working with attention to details. where innovative technology are constantly being developed, with the Japan where officials at the highest level insists there were no comfort women on a large scale and Japan "occupied" instead of decimated.
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BestWestern
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:07 pm

Quoting Cerecl (Reply 18):
What I wanted to say was that it is actually a costly exercise to keep a second wife/Er Nai. Generally only some rich businessmen or corrupt government officials can afford to do so. In absolute numbers there are quite a lot of them, in population percentage terms they are a small fraction.

The concept of the mistress is quite different in China though - i spent three days visiting airports and cities in south west china with an airline chairman his 'Er Nai' and his assistant. No shame at all (she was a total stunner from north east China and in some ways was more a foreigner in rural china than I was!!!) I had the best dinner of my life on that trip in a farmhouse on the border of Myanmar. As I said, my driver in Shenzhen had a second wife, so obviously they aren't that expensive, although she was nowhere near as high maintenance (nicer person though) as the previously mentioned.

China is wonderful, really is, and I had such a fantastic experience in my four years there. Some things just take more getting used to though. It's great to see the government tidying up the corruption and returning stronger rule of law to business. Transition pain now will stand to the nation in a few years. The Chinese should be proud of their government.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
Flighty
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:07 am

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 11):
Beijing is such a fantastic city - pity that on every corner someone is out to get you.

Leave Beijing and head to cities like Urumqi, langzhou, manning, Chengdu, Kunming or Guiyang and get to know the real Chinese people, the real culture and the real life they live. It's amazing. If you don't speak the language get yourself a Lonely planet language book and the fun of that alone is simply invaluable. I've enough Chinese to get by socially.

Outside of Beijing and Shanghai, china is a very safe city for (white) foreigners. I
Quoting BestWestern (Reply 14):
I learnt my Chinese on the street talking to people, and not in class. I spent most of my time in tier two and three cities, well off the beaten track of Shanghai and Beijing.


Believe me that there is anti Japanese and black racism in China.

You spent a hell of a lot more time there than I did. Great recommendations about cities to visit. Agreed China is a great place, unlimited people who are often kindly to foreigners (this is excluding the top 4-5 cities).

Being a foreigner in the USA isn't easy. I could live in China, it's far from home, and I spent my first real time there in 2000 (3 mos in Beijing, during which the Concorde crash was big news). Back then Beijing was like a country town compared to what you see today. We went way out into Datong, Hohhot and outskirts, Hangzhou, huangshan, Baoji, we got around a fair bit, weirder the better. Looking back those experiences couldn't be matched now. The world has changed and the people have too..
 
Elite
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:14 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 20):
The world has changed and the people have too..

Certainly to Westerner's, the rapid development has taken away the "exotic-ness" a bit compared to Americans visiting in the 1980's and 1990's.
 
blueflyer
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:31 am

The first time I went to China, the "I want to practice my English" thing was not a scam. They were groups of students, male and female, sent by their professors to ask foreigners questions to actually practice their English. They were usually quite enthusiastic and grateful and the conversation could go on for quite some time if you let it, but they never bought me tea or coffee. It was not unique to China either, I've had the same experience in Japan. It is unfortunate that it has turned into a tourist trap in China. As of my last visit to Osaka, it is is still a genuine educational exercise in Japan.

Quoting Cerecl (Reply 18):
On the other hand, many of Japan's highest ranking politicians seem to be doing their best to feed this type of sentiment.

Japanese politics aren't that different than US politics. Both have a minority but politically influential group of motivated voters who cannot admit that their country is anything but the proverbial shinning city on a hill and will severely punish whoever doesn't pander to their beliefs.
The Trump/Johnson special relationship: Special people on both sides of the Atlantic
 
Flighty
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RE: Any Mandarin Speakers On Here?

Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:09 pm

Quoting Elite (Reply 21):
Certainly to Westerner's, the rapid development has taken away the "exotic-ness" a bit compared to Americans visiting in the 1980's and 1990's.

Even to overseas Chinese, they go back, they don't recognize it so much anymore. But you're right; there was something about watching the wheels of history turn in the years 85-2005 or so in China. If that's "exotic," that promising stage of development has moved elsewhere in the world -- India, Nigeria. And you may be right that that's what I am looking for. The pre-modern lifestyle and way people used to act.

The movie So Young really showed the 90s time period, I saw it on a DL flight and it brought me to realize that those times are gone. That HK movie Chungking Express, saw it when it came out (1994). Im not expert on this stuff, and these are probably laughable examples. But growing up, I went there young enough (15) I was actually in Taiwan for a long time too, so it became part of my reality, I actually felt these were places I could live. Anyway. We've all met the creepy ex-pat. I had zero interest in being that expat.

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