How often can you say a group of nomadic Mongolian herders who had never been to the city were in your office? Yeah, that’s what I thought…
One thing I’ve learnt this year is that the Chinese really, really like to use the word ‘maybe’ and other ambiguous words… a lot.
For example, maybe your washing machine will be fixed within 7 days. Maybe your water will be delivered in 10 minutes. Maybe he will come after lunch. Maybe the bank will be open tomorrow, or maybe it won’t.
I appreciate that it’s about saving face which is very much embedded in their culture. But you know, sometimes you just need a straight-up, direct answer. For example, will you or won’t you be able to get me a visa to allow me to stay in the country?
And even though the ‘maybe’ is usually superfluous, it always casts doubt in my mind. This is probably because when your parents used the word ‘maybe’ it always meant no. (Yes, I intentionally used the word ‘probably’ then.)
Restaurants have also jumped on the obscurity bandwagon and use it as a way to circumnavigate false advertising claims. I guess with over 70,000 restaurants in Beijing alone, it would be a pretty big claim to say they were the best. But again, it really makes me question the legitimacy of their claims. What do you reckon?!
FYI: It is not even close to being the best duck in town, and not sure about the Bleu Marine as I haven’t eaten there.