Monday, March 7, 2011

Hey Clara, Where is the beef

Once again in Shenzhen supposedly on a 7 day trip, includes 2 weekends so Big Daddy can continue doing the work of 3 people in a sort of half-assed way. Half-assed because you cannot do the work of 3 people in optimum conditions, which is not here, and the bosses keep saying "Just do your best." In China that is the "It ain't happenen, dude" phrase. If a Chinese person tells you they will do their best it really means that there is no way in hell that is going to happen. Nuh huh. Never. Dream on.

Trip started out pleasantly enough. Taxi ride to Hongqiao was not too scary as it was a Sunday morning. Which if we had thought this through meant we did not have to leave at dawn. Security did make us take off our shoes, a first, and when I refused to go get the used flip flops to wear the officer and went and got me the nasty, torn, falling apart plastic K-Mart type flimsy basket to put my shoes in. Okey-dokey.

We got to the hotel in one piece and I only had to introduce Jesus Christ to the taxi driver once. It was not his fault, he was going about 70 mph and an asshole in the far lane decided the exit ramp was his appointed turn off. So the asshole pulled across 4 lanes and stopped sidways to on-coming traffic so he could wait to make his exit. Statistics say there are 8000 accidents here everyday. They do not publish fatalities.

Once at the hotel I proceed to the bar. Mr. Green was not there. 30 minutes later BD finally shows up. I inquired as to why this check-in took so long. BD was confused as the first room did not have a walk-in shower. THIS hotel does not have walk-in showers. OK, so BD is getting hotel confusion. We order lunch. This particular hotel is not known for the food so you go with what you know is edible, cheeseburger and fries. I know, not healthy in other places but here is it the best of the worst. Just to clarify, as the wait-staff will ask you repeatedly, beef hamburger with cheese. I told the new restaurant big-wig I wanted mustard and ketchup at the same time I got the beef hamburger as this has been a previous issue.

Everything is soon coming up roses, she sets the table, she sets out mustard and ketchup, I spread the mustard on the toasted bun (remember that, toasted bun) and take a bite. Actually looked great and had to be the best condiments ever. Except now BD and I noticed something was not right. There was no hamburger. Nope, nada, none, not a scrap of beef hamburger to be found. So I call over "Missy" and tell her, no meat. BD chimes in as he does not feel I communicate properly in English. That is another story. A few minutes later she reappears with a plate of Chinese bacon which is always served partially raw. Now of course I am trying to be nice and do not say what is on my mind, I simply inquire, why are you bringing me bacon? Missy does speak English but she starts to babble. As I soon tire of the babble I ask for a Manager. Missy says no she can fix this. Missy babbles more on the telephone and at me. BD and I have taken the entire "burger" apart to show her, NO MEAT. She looks and babbles.

And that is when the evil demons came out and I gave her the famous "eyeball look" and told her I wanted a manager NOW. So the manager came over and I asked him he saw any beef in the taken apart "burger". Being an intelligent man he said no. Running the tape forward he had Missy get me another burger, verified well-done on the meat, verified 15 minutes to food and all is well. Not. Get the burger, Missy is hiding and when I pick up the burger theyre is more blood dripping than at a slaughterhouse. I am now done with trying to eat lunch and this fiasco has taken 1 hour and 40 minutes. I left. And Missy told BD it was all because I ordered a cheese sandwich. Which is not on the menu. And someone decided it should come with a toasted bun?  Manger had to come back again to fix it. The bill, cause Missy thought we should pay for all this fantastic food that we did not order and could not eat.

Went across the street to the Shangri-La and had lunch. A burger, more than perfect in 15 minutes.

When we came back to the hotel and plugged in the laptop all the electricity went out. In our room only.

*Missy took off her name tag when things got ugly.
** 3 maids and a housekeeper tried all the switches and then Shemp came with a ladder and fixed something in the ceiling.
***Maid tried to vacuum today and could not as the stupid plug does not work.
****I forget how frustrating it is here, TV now going going off about 2X per hour whenever CNN talks about "things" going on in the world.

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