I’ve already talked my sister into visting me in China in August. (This is a picture of her with her Chinese music ensemble at Wesleyan… guess which one is my sister!) Now I’m trying to convince my mom and my dad to come to China, too. I really hope they can come — it’s going to be awesome to see them and I can’t wait to show them around.
This morning, my mom said that they could use my dad’s Marriott points to stay in Beijing.
“Normally I wouldn’t want to stay in a Marriott in a foreign country,” my mom said. My mom backpacked in Europe when she was about my age and she doesn’t want to miss local color by staying in an American chain hotel when she goes abroad. But when she said it, I started to giggle. Actually, I started to laugh hysterically.
“No, Mom, you really do want to stay in the Marriott. Trust me, you will be experiencing authentic China on the packed buses and trains. You’ll see that all the time you spend teaching me manners was a complete waste of time when I shout at taxi drivers not to rip us off. You will have the real Chinese experience when we go to restaurants and find that half the menu is mei you, or when you forget to pack something and find that it’s just not available in Yantai. You’ll see real China when people spit on the street or when you actually push vendors away from you.” I stopped again for giggling.
Don’t you remember our Weifeng hotel saga? Believe me, you will want a nice Western-style hotel when no one is shouting lao wei! or the thirty-second delayed “Hullor”, and no one is crazily trying to anticipate what you want. I think it’s safe to assume that you’ll want a bathroom is attached to the bedroom, and it has a bathtub, and the tub’s been cleaned in the last ten years.
So yes, Mom and Dad, I think you should stay at the Marriott. I think it’ll make the difference between enjoying the Wild West of developing China or counting the hours until you get home. Besides, it’s very Chinese to use your connections to get something for free!