I’m back –jetlagged, sleep-deprived but excited to finally have stepped into the year of the rabbit (and to have the internet up and running, yay!)!
I had a good trip to Sweden and stayed at a beautiful hotel at Skeppsholmen in Stockholm. Not that I got to enjoy it that much though –each day was packed with meetings from early morning to late night. But that’s what work trips are about so I’m not complaining.
I travelled together with a Chinese colleague from Shanghai, and I think our biggest culture shock was the fact that the hotel where we were staying didn’t have any hot water boilers or mugs in the rooms.
When I went to the reception to ask for one, the front desk guy gave me a strange look:
-We don’t have any?
-But…. So… like… how do your guests drink tea then?!
At the end he gave me a thermos!! Haha! But better that than nothing. Didn’t keep the water very hot though. So note to self: one must always bring their own tea and hot water boilers when travelling and staying at hotels in Sweden.
The funniest thing about the trip, however, was when my colleague asked me for some free time to run an errand.
I asked her where she was going and she said:
-Louis Vuitton store.
-Eh… right?! I looked at her. She was wearing a pink bagpack and fake leather boots. Did not really look like the kind of girl who would splurge on luxury handbags.
-Oh, I am buying a bag for my friend! She asked me to do it! Gave me loads of money to do so!
-Ahh…. But… like.. doesn’t she want to buy it for herself? Choose the bag for herself?
-Nah, she just wants it. She’s been saving for a year. And they are cheaper here in Sweden than in China. So she asked me to get it for her.
Wow. I must say that Chinese girls impress me when it comes to their luxury bag craze. I tried to envision it being me: having saved for one year (!) and then NOT getting the chance to buy the bag for myself? Not stepping into the store and selecting my dream bag, having the snotty Louis Vuitton shop assistants sucking up to me (they better be nice to their customers, right?!)? Not seeing my dream bag being packed into a luxurious bag and handed over to me? Not being able to take it home, unpack it, and stand with it, in front of the mirror and just look at how good it looks on my shoulder?! Yeah, I simply don’t get it –just buying it would be half of the pleasure?!
But sure, it makes perfect sense: if you just really want the bag then having a friend that is going abroad anyway getting it for you is kind of convenient. Even though it is kind of boring.