China livingIn these, the industrialized portions of China, there is an evident push to make things more “Western”. Between the factory and the hotel we passed at least 2 McDonald’s… there might have been another one behind me when I wasn’t looking.

And the hotel itself is really nice. Rooms are large by Chinese standards, and they have a lot of standard Western amenities that weren’t typically found prior to all of this overseas business. Like what? you ask.

Like the “Do Not Disturb” sign.

The DND sign is electronic, like most mundane things here in China… gadgetized. There’s a little switch near your bed and an associated DND sign out by the front door that lights up. Convenient, right?

The thing is, though, it’s one of those things culled from observations of Western culture without really taking the meaning along with it. The reason I say this is because, despite the sign, someone knocks on my door, or calls my room at least 4 times a day. First, the laundry lady who can only smile and say, “Laundry? Laundry?” No thank you, bu xie. Next comes the housekeeping lady who can only smile and say, “Housekeeping? Housekeeping?” No thank you. Then, the call. “You need housekeeping?” (said with an audible smile). No, no thank you. Then, the evening turndown service (no thank you). And then sprinkle in a few random visits that I can’t figure out due to my deficiencies in Mandarin. Maybe they’re just trying to figure out if I’m still alive, and why I’m apparently so anti-social.

Why why why the Do Not Disturb sign if you don’t actually intend to not disturb the person inside?

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