Putting the knife in

Knife w

Lesson number one in how not to win friends abroad: deface an ancient Egyptian temple with your autograph. This was the mistake made by Nanjing teenager Ding Jinhao on a family holiday to Luxor (see WiC195). The graffiti was spotted by another Chinese tourist and posted online with a message about how Ding had brought shame on the nation. Even Vice Premier Wang Yang piped up, worrying how China’s new breed of tourists were sullying its reputation abroad: “They speak loudly in public, carve characters on tourist attractions, cross roads when traffic lights are red, spit anywhere and indulge in other uncivilised behaviour. It damages the image of the Chinese people and has a very bad impact,” he lamented.

Well, it seems lesson number two in how to besmirch China’s national prestige comes courtesy of a boorish tour group visiting Southeast Asia. According to the Qianjiang Evening News, 30 tourists caused havoc on a Singapore Airlines flight when they refused to give back the stainless steel cutlery. This posed an unexpected dilemma for the flight crew as they tried to retrieve the knives, forks and spoons. The incident was only resolved when the furious tour guide screamed at them: “Stop hurting the reputation of Chinese people!”

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