The Police - Oh Hai - CycleBlaze

The Police

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I got NFA'd (No Foreigners Allowed) by my first hotel of the evening. Could have gone on to try some other hotels but the place felt good to me. Not sure how to describe it. The lobby was the right kind of clean and the right kind of maintained to let you know that the rooms weren't going to be anything special but they also wouldn't smell like cigarettes and mold. And let's be honest, the flocked purple velvet headboards with the rhinestone upholstery buttons always smell like cigarettes and mold.

Also, the boss wasn't unfriendly about my NFAing, was in fact willing to go along with me after I told him that the police had neither the right nor the authority to have told him and the other small hotel owners "at a meeting" that they can't take foreigners, so I apologized profusely for making things hard on him and insisted that we bounce things up the chain now because if he'd been told this, then everyone had been told this, and there wasn't really any point in my trying other places then was there?

(One of the many points in favor of my certainty that whoever it is that makes the decision "no foreigners allowed" knows that they aren't allowed to make this decision is the persistent lack of written communication on the topic. It always always always happened "at a meeting".)

He was sure that they would tell me I couldn't stay-would in fact insist that I go elsewhere. I grinned like a madman and said that I was fine with going elsewhere as long as the police paid for anything above and beyond the cost of his place and rapidly won him over to my side while simultaneously still remaining absolutely certain that I was utterly and completely full of shit.

"I've been in China 17 years now. I was in China when the announcement about the cancellation of specific rules limiting foreigners to certain types of accommodation was made at the national level. Counting tonight as an incident, and only counting incidents where someone official like a police officer or a police captain or the armed military police or other military or other people from the government told me in their official government capacity 'you cannot stay here, it's illegal' I've been told to go somewhere else 121 times. Of the 120 times that were not tonight, they've successfully convinced me to be moved along 4 times. So, how likely is it that tonight is going to be the 5th?"

He still wouldn't let me start the registration process until after the police arrived.

Fair game though. I probably wouldn't have if I was in his position.

People are predictable. People doing the sort of things that get the police called on them are very predictable. Police training is heavily based on these scripts. What to do when someone is brawling. What to do when the wife attacks the mistress. What to do with a unruly drunk. What to do when reporting a robbery.

I take these scripts and I tear them up into little unrecognizable pieces.

The random Chinese lady's ID card was the last item scanned in
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Even during last year's horrible Incident where I got arrested, I didn't have the decency to stay arrested like a proper criminal would but had to be all complicated and weird and innocent instead.

Tonight's officer started off with trying to establish social dominance; to put me in my place. "Why would you want to stay here? Are you poor or something? Don't you have the money to stay somewhere nicer?"

"Of course I've got the money to stay somewhere nicer. Couldn't take a three month vacation if I didn't have the money to stay somewhere nicer. Doesn't mean I want to spend it."

He lobbed a few more softballs my direction that were trying to be firm authoritative statements of fact but which were met by exaggerated looks of confusion cause I clearly couldn't believe that a police officer would ever be so thoroughly wrong on such basic items of knowledge until finally he attempted to be sarcastic in response to "I usually register myself" with: "on what system? You have your own registration system that you use??"

"Don't be silly. How could I have my own registration system? I use the hotel's access to the Public Security registration system and fill in all my own details. Even at places that are familiar with foreigners, it's usually quicker if I do it myself and that way I know they haven't made any mistakes."

And then, with his permission, which was still kind of sarcastically given, I sat down behind the desk and registered myself. For extra pain in the ass points, I kept an educational monologue going of what I was doing and why I was doing it. 

Since he obviously didn't know how and needed to be taught, it was the friendly thing to do after all.  

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Paul KriegGo get 'em! Hoist them on their own petard!!! Well done!!
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1 month ago
Catherine HastingsDoes it make me a bad person that I really enjoy these stories of Marian's battle against the NFA forces of darkness and ignorance?
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1 month ago
Marian RosenbergTo Catherine HastingsNo worse a person than it makes me for taking pleasure in being sweetly poisonous to the police officer who almost certainly isn't the one who came up with the idea.
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1 month ago