The MT Diary


Shirtless in Beijing; Toronto's taxi choice: conspiracy bore or Mr Geography's challenge?

I don't often pack too many clothes for a business trip, but every now and again Homer nods, and he did so on a recent visit to China, when I forgot that if you spend one night at a hotel you can't do the laundry thing without paying an outrageous supplement.

It didn't seem too serious a mistake, as there was a Lane Crawford department store right opposite the hotel, in Beijing's new financial district. So, in a gap between exciting meetings about non-performing loans (NPLs) in Chinese banks (I can get quite excited about them), I slipped across the road to pick up a size 151/2 with regular sleeves. Nothing fancy, plain white would do.

It turned out to be one of those department stores that is really an umbrella for a collection of designer boutiques - Hugo Boss, Ermenegildo Zegna and the rest - which gave me a sinking feeling. But I was only after a shirt, so I could scarcely come to serious harm. I picked up the one that seemed to have been least mucked about with by a 'designer' and shimmered over to the checkout, only to discover that it cost RMB2,600 - pounds 200, give or take a dim sum.

Muttering something about credit cards and hotel rooms, I beat a humiliating retreat. Surely I had stumbled on a shirt made of spun silk or rare birds' nests? No, all the rest were roughly the same price. You could find a discounted number at RMB2,000, but only with those tacky short sleeves.

Your correspondent is not easily daunted. He knows that every fancy new quarter of Beijing is still surrounded by real life, with ordinary shops selling to Chinese bank clerks. So I set off to the nearest frontier, to find - sure enough - an old scruffy street and a few hutongs. But, oddly, I stumbled on an area in which the only thing you can buy is Perspex trophies for ping-pong tournaments or tai-chi championships. There were 23 trophy shops, all in a row - and nothing else. By this time, the NPLs were calling loudly, so I had to retreat once more, shirtless in China.

Next day, I ironed a dirty one and doubled up on the roll-on, seedy but solvent.

In Beijing, it's hard to avoid the Olympics. When I say I opposed the London bid, the Chinese look quizzical. Another of those English jokes they don't quite understand. Boris Johnson is in the same category. As the mayor of the next host city, he has to turn up at the closing ceremony to accept the Olympic flag. Gordon Brown will be there too, in attendance but without a role. That should be the most interesting part of the whole event, unless Paula Radcliffe stops for a pee again. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The MT Diary
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.