Sunday, June 17, 2007

Strider 2.0

"Chris" is a 25-year-old woman from the north of China. She was born under the one-child policy, and thus has no siblings. She has a pixie haircut, which she thinks is cute, even if it makes other people think she's younger than she is. Her friends tease her for being a spendthrift; they bought her a jade Pigu, a dragon god's son whose power is saving, to help her. He eats, but never, um, yeah. Let's just say he has the power of saving.

Her real name is Mu Zhou. I like her; she's the kind of person I'd flirt with in a bar. She is not, however, as good a guide as Wang Rui, and we all notice. She isn't as good as a translator, and as a guide, she's a Beijing native who has never been to Ningbo. So it goes.

One small advantage, for me anyway, is that she does not seem at all threatened when I try to speak Chinese. Wang Rui acted as though I was trying to push him out of a job; Mu Zhou appears to get that I'm just trying to talk to a native speaker who doesn't want to sell me knicknacks.

So small good for me, but on balance, I believe we were better off with Rui.

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