Hard to swallow

4th April 2003 at 01:00
Vic Ecclestone, arts development officer at Colston Hall in Bristol, discovered the wild side of China on a recent tour to find performers to visit the city's schools.

A notice handed to him at his hotel in Guangzhou politely asked him to "register guns and firearms, if any" and stated that it was against hotel policy to allow "radioactive items" on its premises. The notice went on to warn that "lecheorous (sic) acts, prostitution, drug-taking and trafficking, smuggling, gambling, wrestling" were forbidden. Mr Ecclestone refrained from his customary wrestling bouts, and also came across a magazine in English that contained the following restaurant recommendation:

"The chef cooks meals that are challenging. (He cooks organs you wouldn't think you could eat!)" Mr Ecclestone decided not to rise to the challenge.

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