Su suggerimento di @Ruzar Briffa.
Fare affari in Cina segue un suo particolare protocollo, abbastanza diverso da quello occidentale. In un sistema in cui i legami personali sono più impegnativi dei contratti scritti e in cui il controllo governativo e la corruzione riescono ad essere entrambi onnipresenti, i businessmen cinesi si affidano ad una rete di relazioni fatta di alcool, prostituzione e legami personali. Il tutto in ambigue spa che di giorno sono centri salute e di notte bordelli di fatto. James Palmer racconta questo ambiente per ChinaFile.
Turning down an after-dinner invite to a brothel is always a social minefield. But the city’s Party Secretary, a 50-something man with baby-soft hands, had been gently fondling my thigh underneath the banquet table for the past 45 minutes, making me even more eager than usual to make my excuses and leave.
Perhaps the spa in the small-town Shandong hotel where I was dining with a cluster of businessmen and officials was an entirely legitimate establishment, and I was misreading the nature of the invitation. But the neon sign outside advertising the “Health Body Center” (康体中心) had replaced the upper strokes in the character 心 with flashing red hearts.
“Health Body” is an approximation; I was sloshed on baijiu, the near-undrinkable spirit ubiquitous at social events, and my memory of the evening is dubious. I had been doing the rounds of provincial cities as my boss’ token foreigner for the whole summer, though, pitching training courses to the dim children of the rich so that they could study at foreign universities, and the routine of hard drinking followed by a group excursion to a brothel was becoming a familiar one. My status as a foreigner was enough to excuse me from the sex itself after only a light barrage of gay jokes from the others, but not from the social obligations around it.