The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Welcome to the Hotel Beijing

I arrived at my hotel in Beijing at around 10 p.m. on Wednesday. We were effectively guests of the government (through one of its banks) and were staying at a nice looking state-run hotel. (Although compared to the magnificent hotels that I had been in in Tokyo and, especially, Hong Kong, this was like a Holiday Inn).

Two things immediately made an impression. First, the clerks at the front desk did not speak much English. Second, and more importantly, the place stunk. Literally. I cannot even describe the smell because it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. For most of the next 20 hours my collegues and were subjected to to this horrible smell.

This led to a funny epilogue.

The conference ended at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday. At 6 there was a dinner hosted by the bank for all the speakers. (Luckily, I did not have to stay because I headed to the airport). Immediately after the dinner, as soon as our hosts had left the hotel, all of my remaining colleagues stealthily snuck out of the hotel and registered at the Hyatt.

If I never go to Beijing again it will be too soon.



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