The Travellator

On Friday night a friend and I were exiting the Lotus Supercenter at the Golden Resources Mall, in western Beijing.  This is supposedly the largest mall in Asia, but that’s neither here nor there.  The Lotus is in the basement, and we were looking for a way to get back above ground when we noticed a big sign pointing us towards THE TRAVELLATOR.  Huh?  Thinking that the Chinese characters might shed some light on what was meant I checked them out:  roughly translated, they said "automatic walking person road."  Not much help, really, since I wasn’t sure what an automatic walking person was.  I didn’t remember seeing any robots wandering around! Well, we decided the only way to find out was to follow the sign and hopefully see for ourselves what this mysterious travellator was.  Lo and behold, it was a moving walkway, that ran between the basement and the main level.  These are quite common here, so that folks can haul their shopping carts between floors.  I can just imagine the translation team sitting around working on this one.   It’s not an elevator–that goes straight up and down.  It’s not an escalator–those are stairs! I know, let’s call this a travellator!

Works for me!