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Shanghai tea party vol.3

After serving the last tea, Ms.Cheongsam asks.
"So which one was your favorite?"
Then she gives out the price list of tea for souvenir. "This is quite expensive. Is this a main deal. So what we've done so far is just tasting for the souvenirs?" The photographer will never know to the end. He answers
"No, Thanks. I don't need any souvenirs"
Actually, He has never expected to buy souvenirs.

For his answer, Ms. Cheongsam, even Potter and Wendy give expression like "Cannot believe it" But the two order expensive leaves two for each. At the end, two sheets of check are given to the photographer. He's surprised. It says 2100Yuan(300USD).
"How can I do for it?"
He asks Potter. Potter's face says "Of course, we have to pay for it" Then he let the photographer make decision again. Although the photographer thinks 60USD must be his bill at most, he give them an idea with full of hesitation.
"Let's divide in three"
Then Potter says his opinion in first time.
"Listen. Pay for this 888Yuan88Cents(140USD) bill. So we'll pay for another bill 1200Yuan(160USD), OK?" The bill which the photographer pays must be a performance charge for three. The total amount consist of all 8 digit. "A lucky number" Ms. Cheongsam said in the ceremony. "Oh! It should be 1 lucky number" Photographer hates the lucky number, although he agrees to Potter.

The 45min. tea party is over. "Gee. 140USD for just having tea" The photographer's steps going down after Potter and Wendy on the red carpet stairs is dull. Men are still talking in the darkness of the foot of stairs. To the contrary, Potter and Wendy look so happy.
"That's an exact tea shop which I really wanted to stop by in Shanghai"
Wendy says. The three walk to a subway station.
"We are gonna have a dinner from now. Do you wanna come with us?"
Once again, Potter and Wendy invite him. However the photographer is somehow unhappy. He says he has another appointment and good bye to them.

"Shit! A stingy guy"
"We couldn't earn so much, could we?
"Tourist, such a stupid, ha"
"In addition to that, he left a business card. By the way, when we'll get the rewards?"
"The photo guy said he'll be here till after tomorrow. So it's better for next week"
"OK. Let's change the fishery next time"

After he left Potter and Wendy, the photographer notices he didn't get the receipt for his charge card payment. So he goes back to the antique shop by himself. Shutter of the shop is already half closed. The men at the table give suspicious eyes to the photographer. He run up the stairs every other step and gets to hallway on the second floor.
The photographer hear the cheerful laughing voices from the room. Then a door open and the three women is coming out from the room. They change to a private clothes now. Under the dim light of hallway, they find the photographer and are so frightened widely opening their eyes as if saying "This guy comes back for what?" But they are relieved as hearing he says "Hi...Excuse me... a receipt. I've gotta have a receipt for the charge card" Ms. Cheongsam is also in private clothes now. She nods and fishes her wallet from a hand bag. She picks up receipt and gives it to him. The photographer gets it and says "Good night" In the dim hallway the women answers in Japanese "Oyasumi nasai (Good night)"

"Was I cheated? Is that fraud?" I thought in the linear motor car heading for Shanghai airport with 400km/h speed. If it's fraud, Potter and Wendy could be professional actors. They'd be better changing the job. For the hustlers I introduced myself and shown my photo works with full of proud? I've experienced a variety of criminals in travels. Mugging, luggage lifting, a threat ... for all of them I actually knew I was in the crime. I had pain. I had fear. However this Shanghai tea party case is all in gray zone. At least, I got a tea ceremony.

A month later, I got e-mail from Wendy. "I came back from vacation in local cities. Thanks for showing me your wonderful photo works. I'm looking forward to seeing you again" Well, it made it more gray. Should I commit her as pretending I don't know anything true? No, maybe I should not.

Whoever Wendy is, somehow I'm a little happy she remember my photos. It's funny.

Apr. 2012

Today's piece
" Window of Maglev " Shanghai, China 2011

fumikatz osada photographie