Shanghai 1985

July 1-11, 1985. I was in Shanghai for the Automotive China’85, staying at Jinjiang Hotel 锦江饭店.

Judging from our cloth and the nature daylight, I must had more than one lunch a day ..

One of my favored qipaos .. ‘姚微 是黑白配,好看 – 黑衣女孩我上海的小姐姐(爸爸同学的女儿)现在澳洲 ..’

That business trip, attending the Automotive China’85 to Shanghai was full of stress and struggle.

Getting a decent hotel accommodation was difficult and I was lucky to have a reservation at the top hotel in town through a travel agency in HK. When we arrived at lobby about to check in, my boss said to me quietly but as matter of factly,
“Let me know if you need me.”
He’s a German, stationed in Hong Kong and traveled to China often.
It hurt. It humiliated.
I said nothing, determined to make it on my own. It’s my country, and they were my people.
I handed over the telex confirmation sheet from the Jinjiang Hotel.
A young desk clerk looked at it ceremonially and said firmly,
“We have no room for you.”
What?! What did this confirmation say?
“No room, we have no room at all.” He impatiently repeated.
My body language must had showed bec I saw my from peripheral vision that my German boss began moving toward us.
Oh please, pretty please, I begged silently. Let’s solve this just between you and me.
“Are you ok Irene?” My boss asked as he stood beside me.
As if it’s on cue, the clerk’s old supervisor appeared. He took the sheet and scanned it quickly
“Oh, I do have rooms for you … but you need to move on the third day .. “ The older gentle explained that a head of state from an African country was visiting ..
“We will move your stuff if you can pack up in the morning.” He offered graciously.

We took the offer and moved, between our stay.

Then I found out that Jinjiang Hotel won’t let local Chinese in as I waited in the room for YZ to come. Self inflicted 华人与狗不准入内.

The Shanghai host gave a banquet on the first day of the exhibition; they only invited the non Chinese.


With YZ’s friends .. 红衣女孩家是北大地质系的住在中关园,考在上海交大,现在美国,叫钱美意,你帮着找一下

2 Responses to “Shanghai 1985”

  • Todd Corey Says:

    Irene, I was also in Shanghai in 1985. I am an Australian was working at the Airport as a helicopter engineer and although it was difficult times, it was the most memorable and best experience of my life.

  • admin Says:

    Hi Todd, sorry for the tardiness. When you posted this I was in Shangahi -:). Although a very different city now, at core it’s still Chinese …

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