I recently came back from a 3 ½ week vacation from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.
We were traveling in a group tour in both Taiwan and China. I was very impressed with the tour guides who provided us with information about the various places we were visiting as well as stories from previous tours they headed. One particular story told pertains to the new wealth of some Chinese from mainland China.
Shopping at various stores are part the each tour. A Chinese tourist was in a group that went to a jewelry store as part of the tour. The store clerk was trying to get this particular tourist to purchase a Rolex watch from a tray of various Rolex watches. The Chinese tourist said to the clerk, “Bring me more expensive ones, these look cheap.” So the store clerk brought out another tray with maybe thirty very expensive Rolex watches. The Chinese tourist pointed out three or four of the thirty or so watches. To the pleasant astonishment of the store clerk, the three or four were watches that the Chinese tourist did not like and ended up purchasing the rest of the watches in the tray.
The power in the all hotel rooms we stayed at in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China were controlled by our room key. There’s a slot by the door where the room key is inserted to turn on the electricity in the room. I thought this was a very environmentally sound method of conservation.
We are used to having toilet paper in every stall and plenty of paper napkins at all eating places. Some of the public restrooms in Taiwan and China had a spot where one would grab some toilet paper before entering a stall. And then there are some that don’t provide toilet paper at all. Paper napkins at restaurants sometimes were just Kleenex, not what we are accustomed to. Of course, the expensive restaurants catering to the wealthy and the westerners had the paper or cloth napkins.
We were warned not to drink the tap water without boiling it first. Bottled water was provided in all the hotel rooms. We drink bottled water in the states by choice and not because we must.
Overall, I came home with a feeling of how good we have it in the United States and how much we take for granted.