Tag Archives | family

Shanghai Scam: Like Father, Like Son

I stumbled upon a Reddit post today where expats in China are sharing their experiences of being swindled in China. It’s funny how the same scams are ever-present throughout the decades. Here was what I posted:

The first year that I was in China (in 2005, on the Coors Tour organized by Sascha) I was walking down Nanjing Lu in Shanghai when an English speaking girl approached me. She said she wanted to practice English, but I kept walking and answering her questions after saying that I wasn’t buying anything.

She offered to take me to a teahouse nearby and I said okay, so we go to the fifth floor of some random building and it’s an empty restaurant with a small cove that we were seated in. I check out the menu and it’s clearly bullshit prices but she continues talking and calls friends and says that others are joining us. I decline to order anything and she insists that this is rude – by this point I’m aware of what’s happening, but as she persists I excuse myself to leave as the situation becomes more awkward.

Before I can make it through the door frame, two Chinese guys come out of nowhere and are blocking my path. I got the impression that these were two “threatening looking Chinese guys” but I just laughed. Then they took me into a side room with people counting money in it and an old man told me he’d let me go for 500 kuai. I said no so he said 200 kuai. I held up my phone and said I was calling the police and then they opened the door for me to leave without saying a word.

Lesson learned. A funny coincidence is that almost the same thing happened to my father when he was in Shanghai in 1989. He ended up paying something like $50 for a bottle of beer though after being drawn inside by an English speaking Chinese girl.

Scammed: like father, like son.

Published on January 31, 2012
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Mom & Sister on a Bus in Ecuador

Have I ever mentioned to you that I have the coolest family in the world? What it lacks in size it makes up for in the courage to be exceptional. This is my mother and sister traveling through Ecuador on a bus last week. I love them!

Published on January 31, 2012
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50 Years in the United States

Today is a very special day, indeed… the 50th anniversary of my mother first stepping foot on American soil, where she’d be married, have children, and spend the rest of her life. She sent me an e-mail to let me know, briefly recanting the tale of spending five days crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Germany. It took four tugboats to pull the giant ship into the Manhattan harbor where her brother, my uncle, was waiting for her.

Pretty remarkable! That’s my immigrant Mama. Above is an image of Manhattan in 1961, the year of her arrival. Below is the actual ship – the SS United States.

SS United States

The SS United States, the largest ocean liner constructed in the US

Published on February 9, 2011