When we get models made, since we do not have our own workshop (gripe no. 274), we outsource it to one of a number of model shops in the local area. When Aken, Sandie and I went along we met with the boss and chief modeller and went about explaining our concepts with diagrams and explanations and gesticulation. However, although Sandie was doing a perfectly good job of translating for me, as soon as the boss (Lau Ban) found out I was English and studied at Cambridge he insisted on getting his daughter to translate for me. This was not too bad, until he kept interrupting with random and rather derailing questions such as… “do you like Taiwan?” …. the model conversation would continue…. “do you like Taiwanese people?”…. “er, yesss….” he pauses again….. “do you like Taiwanese girls?”
I freeze in terror, with his daughter puppy dog eyeing me, the boss probably expecting to break open the family scotch, Aken with his hand on my knee asking the same questions earnestly and Sandie in the corner almost tearing herself in two with laughter… and then there is me, stuck in the middle, unable to work out what to answer – answer “yes” and I probably need the next flight out of the country, or answer no and insult everyone (including the tough looking modellers) in the room. I opted for silence and squirming, only escaping to leave to go back to the office.
There was no escape.
We were offered a life in the boss’s wife’s car… and of course our friendly (and now rather creepy) daughter jumps in, eyeing me in the mirror. I am still waking up in cold sweats, expeciting her pathetic face at my window with glowing eyes.
And of course Sandie made sure my whole office knew all the details, which of course continued the torment!