Calling 110 because your coffee is too hot?
The Shanghai Police call center reports to have received an average of 37,000 calls daily in the past year, 2,330 of them from frantic foreigners... in perhaps what might not be considered the most serious of situations.
But at the end of the day, these problems are being solved. How? Well, because there’s a beastly team of bilinguals or even multilinguals at the department who can speak English, Korean, Japanese, Russian, French, German, Arabic, Spanish and Italian. Twenty-four hours at your service.
According to the Shanghai Daily, calls have ranged from an American having complications with getting their luggage retrieved from a hotel to an American wife and her Chinese husband having beef over raising a child.
But that’s not the worst of them. Korean speaker Yang Yonghao, a 37-year old officer working at the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of Shanghai Public Security Bureau is constantly on call in the middle of the night, with people on the other end claiming bartenders are scamming them on their drink bill. (Right, we've heard that one before).
With the amount of calls from foreigners, officers have been trained to ask in English, “Which language do you speak?” and “I will help you connect to an interpreter.”
A great tool for those in the trenches, but perhaps not something to abuse for an overpriced bar bill.
[Image from gettyimages]