keskiviikko 14. lokakuuta 2009

In the Big World

My mom arrived in Shanghai this morning. She visited a year ago in November, but with a friend. Now she is here alone. I tried to prep her. I draw her a map of the airport, so she would find the taxi stand. I reminded her, that taxi from the airport to where we live costs about 160 RMB. (Although it may be a bit more now, after the increase in taxi rates effective last Saturday.) I told her to go straight to the taxi stand. And to call me immediately if she has any questions.
She is always telling that she is an experienced traveller, which, in a way is true. She does travel a lot in Europe. But not alone. And in Europe.
Well, this morning my phone rings. When I pick up, I can hear my mom talking with someone, discussing about prices. She, however, does not hear me, as she has obviously called me accidently, without noticing the call. "Three hundred" I hear a male voice say. "No! No no no no!!!! What are you doing! Mom!!" I yell, but with little use, as no one hears me, save for the nextdoor neighbours.
What is she doing now, I wonder, and close the line. I immediately try to call her back. The caller you are trying reach is busy now, a voice tells me in Chinese. I try again. Please go through, please... This time I get another chinese message, which I do not understand and don't care about. Third time I get through, and find out my mom is already in the (black) cab, on her way to somewhere, hopefully here.
- "No, but this IS a taxi" she saya, when I ask why she didn't go to the taxi stand I told her to go.
- "How much did you agree to pay?" I ask.
- "250 RMB, but they tried to ask for 350" she says. "I was strict with them" she adds. "I told him I don't have that much. When the man saw how much I have, he said, ok 250." Oh for Pete's sake!
- "And you paid already? But remember I told you two days ago it costs 160 RMB?" I ask.
- "Yes, and I remembered it was 140 RMB last year." she replies.
- "So why, oh why, did you pay 250?"
- "Well, I was going to the taxi stand, but the man asked where I am going, and when I said to the city, he said that those taxis leave from here."
- "But in which country do you pay in advance for a taxi?" I still try.
- "Yes, but if only I wasn't so tired from the flight, nothing would have happened."
What can I say? The monetary loss is insignificant, and we all make mistaked. But it is just the principle. The principle that I am not sure how I can let her go around and do things here alone. She is here for two weeks, and I am suppose to be working part of that time. We'll see...
For all of you not used to big cities:
- in a taxi, always make sure the meter is on.
- you don't show your money to anyone
- if someone tries to take you somewhere say NO!
- if someone tries to offer you something, say NO! No, I don't care if it sounds interesting, just say no. No no no. No.
And most importanly: listen to your daughters. They know what they are talking about.

3 kommenttia:

Tarja kirjoitti...

Paasiko sun aiti turvallisesti perille? Rupesi jo kesken tarinaa hieman huolestuttamaan... Joka paikastahan loytyy noita ihme hihaskiskojia, Pudongin kentta lienee viela helpoimmasta paasta. Minunkin aiti tarttui aina kaikkiin ihme syotteihin, vaikka oli kokenut matkustaja. Ilmeisesti silla rahalla ei niin valia, kunhan sai vahan seikkailuntuntua... =)

Eeva kirjoitti...

Paasi joo, ja loppu vierailu sujui ihan hyvin, mutta pidin hanet aika tiukassa lieassa ;o)

Nyt jo turvallisesti Suomessa, ja mulla taas hieman vapaata vapaa-aikaa :o)

Eeva kirjoitti...

Yksi kokenut Kiinan matkaaja kollega saapui viime viikolla Shanghaihin (puhuu sujuvaa Kiinaakin) maksoi myos 300 RMB:ta taksista Xu Jia Hui:n. Taksi laittoi kylla mittarin paalle, ilmeisesti rukatun mittarin...