speak your mind

New brooms sweep clean

Posted by Marion de Groot on August 23, 2008
Story / 3 Comments

One day, I was working at the office in Shanghai. The cleaning lady was sweeping the floor. Her broom was wrapped in plastic. I was wondering whether there was a reason for that. I observed her for a while, and couldn't think of a reason why you would wrap a broom in plastic. So I asked my colleague: "Why is her broom wrapped in plastic?" He said: "I don't know." Some other colleagues admitted that they found it strange, but hadn't paid attention to it. When my colleague asked the cleaning lady, she responded, a little surprised: "Well, that's how I found it in the closet. I assumed that's the way it should be." Everyone laughed, and she took off the plastic. The sweeping went a lot easier.

I wonder if the broom would ever have been unwrapped if I didn't mention it. Is it typical Chinese to not speak you mind when you see something strange?

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