Banquet

Ah dearly beloved China!
I was invited to a banquet in celebration for National Day.
Other teachers from our school were invited as well, but not all.
After a little chaos of getting downtown by taxi, we all met up and headed into a great hall.
The decorations were elaborate and I felt a bit under-dressed for the occasion. The buffet was incredible and aesthetically pleasing. After a minute of mingling the procession started. A man gave a little speech in Chinese introduced some other people whilst the cameras were rolling. After 10-minutes of hoorah, our school representative slid over and told us that we were free to go whenever we’d like. Then the reality set in… at least started to…
It seems only the big wigs, important people had a table (there were 3 tables and the rest of the hall was empty). The rest of us had to stand around and eat with plates in hand and use little tables to rest our drinks and plates. For some reason the excitement started to die out quickly.
An Australian approached me, an older fellow who was a teacher at another university. He was interesting to say the least and quite bluntly laid out the reality: we were eye candy for the event. I deemed myself an “extra” from the event and decided to reap the benefits of the situation, consuming as much food and drink as possible. For some strange reason, our group was the last to leave, which is quite ironic.
The next time I’m dragged to a banquet, I’m going to actually find out a little bit more about it and be wary, especially when my school didn’t provide transportation and tells me that they’d reimburse me for the taxi fee later. I hate being a tool as it were and wasting my time as a prop is not my cup of tea. It is actually quite lame and devaluing.
Beware of the banquet…

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