Day 77: The Sun always shines on Sun Ji

2 October 2010

Location : Yuanjiang to Mengla

Ever had a bad day, week or even month at work? Who hasn’t right? Quite possibly you’re in the midst of one now and reading this in an attempt to escape for a few minutes. Wow, I feel for you, things must have got really bad. However let’s put this into context.

Imagine your month was a follows:

You are a good person, hard working and go the extra mile (I’ve probably lost half of you already). You are hired by four 30-somethings from China to hand hold them around the UK for the best part of 4 weeks.

All four think they are hilarious and comedy kings of China. You can speak mandarin but you don’t understand sarcasm, banter and phrases such as “cheap as chips” or mum jokes. But my mum isn’t a lizard you say

They turn up in a truck. A converted truck where the seats that will test the strongest of backs. Brilliant!

They have set the itinerary. Great you say! Then you realise they have just looked at Google Maps from the comfort of a Beijing Green tea shop and the accommodation is still “to be arranged”.

It suddenly dawns on you. For the entire time you are responsible for the route, directions and choosing the accommodation, ringing ahead that morning. Not forgetting the truck requires secure parking. For god sake it is only a truck……

At least they can speak the language? Errr…..well no….did I not mention that… Not a sausage. They have no idea. So for the entire time you’re their translator and do everything and anything. You book the accommodation, order their food, order their drinks and pretty much blow their nose and wipe their bottoms. A guide?!? You’re now more like their butler, school nurse and mum rolled into one. You didn’t go to University for this…….

Despite all this you take them home to meet your parents. You’re a good person remember, you’re desperately trying to hold on to your sanity. However you are being taught all sorts of words and phrases that you’re sure isn’t appropriate and sometimes when you get your right and left mixed up you are teased remorselessly. They have driven you to taste green tea, for the first time…….you now need it.

And worst of all, for some reason your fellow countryman treat them like royalty. Everywhere you go you are shunned and ignored while they are ushered into photographs and asked to sign autographs. Things get worse and they appear on national BBC2 (CCTV2 equivalent) and share the headlines and photos on the front page of national newspapers with some chap called Obama.

Feeling slightly better about your month?

After a long but beautiful drive to the border town of Mengla we we’re all very tired and hungry. As we slumped back into our chairs after a wonderful meal our attentions quickly turned to something that had been on our mind all day. This would be our last night with Sun Ji.

I have tried to put what into a light hearted context the job he has done for us above. Sun Ji has not only done an incredible job, he has become a very great friend to all those involved in China for FTFE. He has been incredibly kind and patient throughout our entire time in China and really gone above and beyond the call of duty. We all hope to extend the same hospitality to him when he visits the UK 2011.

Sun Ji, from all at FTFE a massive thank you.

Paul Barham

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2 Responses to “Day 77: The Sun always shines on Sun Ji”

  1. Sun Ji …. you rock !!!!!

  2. Thanks all you guys! miss you! Have a good journey in the following trip, my friends!!!