The 2008 Tianjin Grinch Award goes to the bunch of self-interested professional butt-kissers (aka kiss-ups, brown-nosers, toadies, boot-lickers, 马屁精) for their eye-roll inducing paranoia, beyond-ridiculous intolerance, and gutlessly-executed last-minute squashing of totally innocuous Christmas activities joyfully performed (or in this case, not performed) by some of the most pitiable members of Chinese society.
I can’t provide details because this is Tianjin, and they-who-must-not-be-named, and the broken systems they perpetuate, are just that grinchy. Suffice to say that if they were trying to make a bad impression, encourage foreigners to “look down on China,” embarrass a bunch of locals in front of their foreign friends and co-workers and break a bunch of kids’ hearts, then they’re doing a fantastically effective good job.
(PS – I realize, of course, that giving foreigners a good impression is far, far down their personal priority lists. But anyway, now I feel better. ;) )
(PPS – The feelings expressed above don’t reflect our long-term, regular attitude toward these kinds of situations and the people who do them. But occasionally feeling this way is an unavoidable part of living here.)
(PPPS – Comments are closed on this post.)