Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A funny story

The first whole day with Maggie, we put her in her crib for an afternoon nap without a diaper...she's potty trained, but we were told she still wears a diaper at night. We were on task for the nighttime, but we haven't done diapers in a pretty long time, so we just weren't thinking during nap time. Well, she wet her crib.

We had the guide talk to the front desk to have someone clean the sheets and give us a new mattress, but later that evening, the wet sheets and mattress were still there, so I called downstairs. Now, in Beijing, the hotel staff spoke pretty decent English. Here...not so much. When you speak, you have to talk very basically, and you can't use any local phrases or they simply have no idea what you are saying. I knew this when I placed the call.

Well, when I called downstairs, I told them my daughter had an accident in her soon as the words left my mouth, I wanted to pull them back in. I knew I had made a mistake. The problem is, you can't just hit the rewind button...nor can you backtrack and try to explain yourself...that's just too much talking...but that didn't stop me. I tried to explain that she wet her crib...."crab?", "crab?" Assuming they couldn't pronounce crib, I said "yes, the baby crib"...then they said..."ACCIDENT!...BABY CRABS??". I said..."ugh", and just hung up. I looked at Graham and said, "I think, they think I said Maggie was hurt by baby crabs in our room". Needless to say, he thought it was hilarious.

Moments later, a very worried manager was knocking on our door. I sheepishly let her in, and showed her what I meant and tried to explain that we use the term "accident" for reasons other than what they thought. She was very nice, and we all had a good laugh. Obviously, they had no idea why those crazy Americans had baby crabs in their room. We've since come to find that the 5 western families in Guiyang in this hotel are all on one floor...all by ourselves. I guess we are high maintenance...or maybe they are worried we'll offend the other guests. Probably, both.


1 comment:

  1. I love this story and then to find out you were segregated to your own floor. It is amazing what can got lost in translation. Glad it is nothing more than clean sheets that you needed.