The Boao Forum is supposed to be China’s Davos; so it claims!
But the organisers are mostly of Third Word materials.
I was registering my attendance for their April 8-12 do.
I am half literate in Chinese. After the registration fee of USD7,500 had been paid, I was directed to a website email@example.com to book my room in designated hotels. Without paying attention to the in-out dates, I promptly paid up. That’s where nightmare began. I didn’t know it was for April 9th in and April 11th out. But the conference is from April 8-12! I tried to change the dates, but there was no feature in the link for me to do. I could not do anything and decided to wait for the Lunar New Year to be over before I tried to contact the secretariat.
I wrote and they promptly replied that it could be done. BUT IT COULD NOT BE DONE! I asked a colleague to telephone them. Indeed, it could not be done on line as advised. It involved the cancellation of the existing booking and making a fresh one; even then they had to fix something before I could effect the booking. Done finally! But I am just wondering if I don’t have a colleague who could speak with them in Chinese! Isn’t this supposed to be an international do?
The next frustration: I need a visa to go to China. I thought I had everything ready – Invitation Letter, Hotel Confirmation and Air Tickets. My wife took it to the China Visa office.
Where is the chop?
The host’s chop!
Another round of calling the secretariat…
No one answered from the English-speaking desk. I dialed again and spoke to the Chinese desk. Done!
How do those non-Chinese speaking guests cope?