Compliments aplenty in China

About ten years ago, I went to China to trek the Great Wall with a group of people connected to a charity called Quarriers. It was one of those things were you get people to sponsor you and the money goes to the charity.

Apart from waking up on day three, unable to move, it went well. It was loads of fun. We zipwired over a river….

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We were chased off the wall by some soldiers and had to escape through a farmer’s field and persuade the farmer not to charge us for walking through his fields without permission. There were adventures round every corner.

Often, when we started, some of the locals would walk a little way with us, trying to persuade us to give them our bags to carry, the implication being that you give them a little bit of money at the end of the day. Most of us wanted to carry our own bags, to feel we’d ‘done it ourselves’ but occasionally some would cave in and accept help.

This one day, I think it was about a week in, one of these helpers had been with us all day. She was helping a 60 year old lady called Lily and they were steaming ahead, leading the group, while we trailed behind!

At the end of the day, as we were making our way to our accommodation and the lady was getting ready to turn and repeat the day’s walking in reverse to get home, she produced some t-shirts with pictures of the Great Wall on them and asked us if we wanted to buy some. They were quite nice and not expensive so we all had a look. By the time, I looked, however, all the t-shirts my size has gone. She looked at my top half and ruffled through her remaining ones but they were all children’s sizes. Dammit.

“Never mind,” I gestured, shrugging my shoulders and starting to walk away.

“Wait!” her voice rang out, in the way someone might shout ‘Eureka!’ if they had solved some great mystery.

(Are you ready for this?)

I turned back to see what she had found. She was holding a red t-shift aloft and offering it to me.

“I have extra large!” (Actually she said, ‘extra rarge’ but you get the idea)

Now I don’t know how things go down in China but in the UK, if you want to make a girl buy some clothes off you, it’s not by telling her she looks like she needs the ‘extra rarge’ size.

Unsurprisingly, I passed on the t-shirt…..

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Don’t take it personally, lol, you were a foreigner.
    Scott

    Reply

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