As I cover mainland but not live there, I have to make hundreds of calls per day to try to get the right and prompt information. It is always interesting to talk to people on the phone, where you always have to know people's thinking and opinions just via their voice.
Not many, or only a few people are nice to the reporters, especially someone from outside. Sometimes, they said they didn't know anything though they did; sometimes, they would introduce the reporter to someone else, whose phone never get through; sometimes, they even joked at me:
Amy: Hi, is there ****? I am the reporter from ****
Someone: Hmmm, why not you call 110? (110 is the emergency number in the mainland) (Then he quickly hung up)
I stucked at the words for almost half a minute, just wonder if it is a joke, or he is really serious...
That's why I kind of felt scared before calling someone in mainland. You will never know what you will get next, though someone's mother told "Life is just a box of chocalate".
This time, I tried to call a company Cinda Asset Management Co. which is one of the four state-backed bad loan clearers in China. And they are nice. Out of my expectation.
I called two people, one in Beijing and another in Northern Heilongjiang.
Beijing guy is conservative and really knows his responsibility on what could be given to reporters and what couldn't. But the point is he is nice to every question in the whole process, without any urgent feeling to hang up the phone. I was flattered, to tell the truth. As an official in the state-owned company, he could just do his job, without talking with media. But he don't.
Heilongjiang guy is more open compared with Beijing guys. (I guess he doesn't know how distructive media will be sometimes) He is willing to give any information, and willing to answer questions with all he knows. At last, he even said "welcome calling me back". I was flattered further by the email I got from him after I sent him my contacts the day before. The email says" sorry for the late response, I got your contact". Wow...
I am always interested in digging into the interviewees to study on Chinese's character, also including mine. Sometimes I am too open to the local, sometimes I am too conservative to the world. In such a world city like Hong Kong, I am still looking for enough confidence in my country. Experienced in a changing process in this one hundred year, Chinese are changing fast, from proud to scare, to conservative, to.. I believe it will work back to the start finally that everyone's mind will be peaceful.
link to the story: http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=1&art_id=1370&sid=4562115&con_type=1&d_str=20050915