Over the weekend I made a day trip to Qinhuangdao, a port-city about 3 hours east of Beijing. I went over to do a cross-cultural communication training session for some recently-arrived Americans. I took the express train out there, ate lunch, lectured, and was on the 4:00 bus back to Beijing. WhenI arrived in Qinhuangdao, I hopped a cab to the training site, and enjoyed seeing how much the city has changed since my last visit 5 years ago. It’s actually a lovely city, being made even more so, since it will be one of the Olympic host cities (the football stadium is there). Anyway, I ended up with a nice taxi driver who was surprised and thrilled to have a foreign passenger he could talk to. Eventually, he asked me where I was from, and I told him the US. "Oh," he said, "I didn’t think you were an American." "Why not?" I asked him. "Because Americans are beautiful!" As soon as he said it, he whipped around and said, "no, no, you’re beautiful too….it’s just…." Right. Whatever. I decided that he was just assuming all Americans look like movie stars…..At any rate, it was one of those moments when I thought it might be nice not to be able to understand Chinese!!!