Wednesday, November 26, 2008

First Impressions

I remember when I was in sales, I was taught that the 'first six' are the most important values.
These sixes are what people remember the most.
These included, the first 6 inches of from the top of your head down, the first 6 words that come out of your mouth, your first 6 steps when you walk into a room etc.

Being a foreignor living here in Beijing, it's easy to think, (and feel) that the local townfolk look down on you, or talk behind your back.
Yesterday, one of my worst fears was realised.
I've always thought that I looked respectable (well, respectable as you can go, for someone who either wears shorts or jeans all the time) and being a foreignor, I always try and keep myself to myself.
So yesterday, whilst in the life going downstairs, my neighbour from below, wheeled into the lift (he's in a wheelchair)
"Morning" I said (in English, as I know he can speak a little)
"Morning" he replied, his helper gave me a big smile
As we get outside, he motion an elongating jesture with his hands, followed by a twisting motion. Now normally I play dumb (not hard for me) and just shrugg my shoulders and walk away, but this is an elderly gentleman, and always tries and speaks English to me.
So I start, rattling away in Chinese, which I'm not to sure is great relief to them, or a huge shock.
The problem is, is that they have a suitcase, which is locked, could I come round tomorrow and have a look.
"Sure, no problem, see you tomorrow"
Errrrr no problem, since when I have I become an expert at picking locks? When have I ever picked a lock? Even more troubling, do I look like the type of person that can pick locks? I can see the coversation now,
"Dam, can't open this suitcase"
"I know, ask that foreignor guy, he looks kind of shifty, I'm sure he can do it!"

And guess what, I did, within 5 minutes. I was really embarressed by my new found skill, explain that one then to the PSB!

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