Peter Pan cannot fly… Shanghai Blog.. 

It makes me smile just to type this short blog, but one I have to report.

In China if you work in the service industry, (that’s anyone from the three staff in every public bathroom to the 4 people at the door of the restaurant who bow and say “huanying” as you enter and “xièxiè” pronounced ShiShi as you leave) you have to have a name that can be pronounced by foreigners. 

Foreigners? Not very PC, well when you arrive in China the two lines say  Citizen of China and Foreigners.

So these English sounding names, how do they get them? For some when they are 100 days old they are given an English name at a very posh ceremony, for some individuals they take an English name or phrase because it sounds good. Some of these are names of pop stars, of a favourite band or even the name on the favourite packet of biscuits. Others get their name from HR, they are given the name when they start work with an explanation of it’s meaning.

Two such names were sported by the waitresses working the bar in our hotel. The first was ‘Sherry’, as she explained from the Spanish drink.  The second was ‘Echo’, she spent some time expraining to us that it was a famous name from Engrand. Maybe I should visit Engrand some time and look up Echo!

The one however that had us all smiling and created the most discussion was the poor Training Manager who gave me his name card and in astonishment I saw his name was Peter Pan. He was about 6 foot tall (very tall for Chinese), he had no green outfit or pointy hat and even though I looked I could not see the fairy ‘Tinkerbell’ anywhere.

So just to let you folks know, Peter Pan is alive and well, hiding in normal clothes in Shanghai. And he cannot fly!