In recent years, we hear increasing number of Chinese tourists visit Western countries. I have certainly seen my share and even encountered quite a few. While at Universal Studios yesterday, I am yet again reminded of that trend. In fact, for a brief moment I thought I was in China as two large groups of tourists made their way towards the Transformer ride. I had just gotten off the ride and was heading out. As they walked by, I glance into the crowd. Partly, because I was hoping to catch some eyes so that I can give back a welcoming smile. But, partly, because I was intent on observing for any odd behavior.
(Earlier this year on Maui, Hawaii, I regretted not able to stop in time a Chinese tourist spitting water he gurgled his mouth with unto the pristine beach – the same beach where shortly after I took these shots of cliff diving. Suffice to say, he was embarrassed. And so was I – knowing other beach-goes have just caught a glimpse of something as unthinkable as that just happened!)
Alas, both groups were well mannered and “normal.”
Due to the volume of Chinese tourists, Universal Studios in fact have studio tours conducted in Mandarin couple of times a day.
I should also give credit to this Chinese female tourist below. I took this shot at the Animal Actor show. The audience was asked for a volunteer who would then stand up with a dollar bill held out with two fingers. An actor bird is smart enough to fly into the crowd, find that volunteer, and then retrieve the dollar bill back to the trainer.
She enthusiastically volunteered. Unfortunately, she couldn’t understand English well enough to follow the trainer’s directions. Eventually, through gestures she understood enough for this whole demonstration to complete.
She reminds me of the current generation of Chinese tourists visiting the West. They are eager to participate and see for themselves what the West is like – while in that process may suffer some embarrassment here and there. Just as the audience and the bird trainer was gracious towards the above Chinese tourist, I hope Westerners continue to extend that same hospitality. Those impressions are lasting and they really do bridge between peoples.