I’ve often wondered at the futility of making advance plans in China. Black And White Cat explains why.
The boss says to his secretary: I’m taking you to Beijing for a few days. Get ready to go.
The secretary phones her husband: I’ve got to go to a meeting in Beijing with the boss for a few days. You’ll have to look after yourself.
The husband rings his lover: My wife’s going to be on business in Beijing for a few days. Let’s get together.
The lover phones the young boy she tutors: There won’t be any lessons for a few days, I’m busy.
The boy rings his grandfather: Grandpa, my teacher’s busy for a few days so I haven’t got any classes. Can we go out and play?
The grandfather rings his secretary: I’ve got to spend time with my grandson for a few days, so we can’t go to Beijing.
The secretary calls her husband: My boss has got some urgent business, so I won’t be going to Beijing.
The husband calls his lover: The date’s off. My wife’s not going to Beijing now.
The lover calls the young boy she tutors: The lessons aren’t cancelled. I’ll be teaching you as normal.
The boy calls his grandfather: Grandpa, I’ve got classes after all. I can’t spend the time with you.
The grandfather calls his secretary: The trip to Beijing’s on again. Get ready to go.