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《Edutain and train》__ Rose Ho

“Your mother is hilarious”, my daughter’s colleague told her over the phone about me.

Yes indeed, I had to be funny especially when travelling around with a person of a different generation, race, culture, upbringing and with a different value system and life experience.

For the past two weeks, I had to entertain, educate and train a person twenty-seven years of my junior on a tour of HK, Taiwan and Shenzhen.

…and….I wrapped the trip up successfully at the end of the 13th day. 

“Mrs. Ho, Please bring me to Japan next time.  I will go travelling with you.”  !!  

Educate

“What’s these people’s business to tell me not to chew gum on the train?” 
“Taiwan has good civic education.  This lady is just doing her part to keep people straight and honest.  Do spit it out on a piece of paper, JJ”, I said.

“These hawkers and vendors (in Taipei) have to pay for their garbage.  So, unless you patronize them otherwise they would not take your food wrappings.  We either have to bring them back to the hotel or find a garbage bin in the subway to dispose of them.” I told JJ.

“Why would people who could step up to this platform (the rear end of the bus) need a priority seat?” 
“JJ, there are many elders who can walk but still need a seat for the hour-long bus ride.  There are also women carrying babies that need a seat.  We have to offer our seats when we see them.” 
Lo and behold, these things did happen…and even elderly people were volunteering their seats.  (Taiwan)

“Don’t throw away your purchase receipts.  The number printed on them is good for the monthly country-wide (Taiwan) lottery draw.  Give them away to a charity box or to the housekeeping ladies instead of throwing them away.” 

“If you don’t copy down your number, how do you know you win?” 
“JJ, If I give them away, I don’t care if I win or not.  Any windfall will go to whoever.” 

Entertain

“Oh, my sole has never been so supple before!” JJ exclaimed after she had a chance to soak her feet in the sulphuric hot springs in Taiwan. 
“I love it!”   JJ enjoyed the feet soak.  Unfortunately she isn’t ready to go for the naked body soak in those hot springs yet.

“That masseur is so good.  He kneaded my calf so well that all the tightness on my feet from the past few days’ walking is now all gone.  I feel like in heaven with the tenderness and the strength he did my feet and calf.  I am going to advertise for him on the Facebook.  ….   If I live in HK, I would go for his massage every week!” 
I am glad that JJ loved that foot massage in Shenzhen.   

“Can we go to Stanley Market again for those linen clothes?  These things are so expensive at the Waterfront (in Toronto).” 

“Oh, I love those balloon pants.  The fashion in HK is so avant-garde.” 

"I love those pineapple pastries (referring to the ones sold in Taiwan).” 

Shopping…purchasing at a relatively lower price….which lady does not like it?

Train….

“How much further do we have to walk?” 
“I don’t know, JJ.  This is also my first time here.  So, let’s continue.  Heaven knows how far that waterfall is.  Since we have travelled by train and bus for so long, we might as well endure to sightsee.” 
Unwilling as she was, JJ continued
à pied.   Later, she learned how much she would have to spend had we gone on those organized tours in those slick brochures in the hotel in Taipei. 

“Yuck!  I wouldn’t eat in those places,” JJ said.   
“JJ, the majority of the food eateries along the streets in Taiwan is very rudimentary, with décor that is not even comparable to the Cha Churn Tang’s in HK.  The most important thing is to make sure their food is boiling hot.  See….the office people, young people dating…they all come here for food.  This is paying for what you eat, not for the décor or ambiance.”

“You can just call Housekeeping for more bedsheets …… You don’t have to roll up the sheets to tell the hotel you need the sheets changed.  Just put this card on the bed  …… The lights are not broken.  You have to turn on the master control  …..  Did you try the bidet and warm toilet seat?  You will love them  ….. Yes, Airlines do offer free meals, personal TV and headset even though the flight is only an hour long.” 

I am pleased to open JJ, a person who lives in the Western part of the world, to a different world of hotel and air travel experience in Asia. 

On this duet trip, I learned too.  I am happy I have done it.

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