August 3rd, 2008
When I’m in China and traveling with my brother-in-law, I note how he takes photos of almost everything.
At the airport he takes photos of the arrival and departure signs. He takes them of me getting my boarding pass. He takes them of the advertisements on the walls, the flight attendants. He even takes photos of text messages sent to him on his cell phone.
As the plane is landing, he’s taking photos of… the plane landing. “Runways are very interesting, aren’t they,” I say to him.
He laughs and continues.
When we’re in a hotel, he goes through the room photographing the bed, each chair, the desk, the fake flowers, the artwork – you name it.
At a hotel in Zhengzhou he was taking pictures of everything in the lobby. Then when the manager approached to tell him he could not take photos of things in the lobby, he erupted.
She says, “Bu keyi pai zhaopian.” You cannot take photos.
He raises his voice and demands a reason. She can’t come up with one. He argues with her for a few minutes – louder than what we consider polite – and finally the lady gives up. He continues taking
“Calm down,” I say. “No need to be angry.”
“Who angry,” he says. “I never angry.”
And he means it. He may have raised his voice to get what he wants – he may have yelled louder than normal – but he insists ‘no angry.’
Nothing is funnier than the fact that my brother-in-law takes photos of toilets and urinals. In the airports; in the hotels; in restaurants, at temples – you name it.
We spent a week in Thailand together. He got up from the table while I ordered the grub to photograph the toilet and bathroom. The other guy with us couldn’t stop laughing.
When he returned to the table, my friend asked, “Why are you taking pictures of the toilet everywhere we go.”
“Aaah,” says my brother-in-law. “Good question. I am putting together information to show the government one day. I want to ask them WHY in Thailand they have good toilet and bathroom but not in China.”
It’s true. In many places in China, the toilet is NOT a toilet at all. It’s the proverbial hole in the floor.
Now for something equally amusing. The first couple times I went to China, starting in 1993, when my wife, Zhannie, and I first married – I carried a camera with me everywhere. And I took photos of the bathrooms and holes in the floor.
Why, you ask. To show Americans back home: THIS is the toilet in China.
My photos of the Chinese un-toilets drove my wife mad at the time. Same goes for the photos I took of farmers walking down the street with pet water buffalo, motorcycles being ridden with helmetless young children and so on. To her the photos were pointless. To me they were priceless.
Each and every day we take mental snap shots and movies of what we deem important, and we tune everything else out.
What are you making important today.
Your health, your business, your finances, career, relationships, level of knowledge – etc.
One thing you might find interesting, if you focus on being in a business you love and have a goal to prosper in that business – ALL the other goals you have in life take care of themselves.
Find out more about this in my new book, 101 Ways to Magnetize Money.
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