Monday, May 31, 2010

The things we take for granted

The hotel I was staying at in Yangshou, Guangxi Province, had a waitress named Rils.
Every night after serving the last meal I would see her sitting in a corner with a small translator.
When she waited on my table she always had a big smile and took my order shyly in acceptable english.
She asked me if I had the time to teach her some words in english that her translator could not manage.
She had noticed that I was always skimming through the "Rough Guide Phrase Book Mandarin Chinese".
I was more than happy to try and accomodate her the best I could.
She seemed thrilled that the book had chinese characters and showed the english words.
She told me that she was from Beijing and came to this area to learn english.  I asked her if her parents and family still lived in Beijing and she said that she had no family.
When I left Yangshou I gave the book to her. She cried and said it was very valuable and that she would always cherish it.

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