A friend of mine loves visiting China and on one of her first trips she went to Beijing. Eager to see the sights, she decided to head to the ‘Forbidden City’, a popular hotspot for tourists.
As she was getting there, two student-looking Chinese girls approached her and told her that the Forbidden City was closed. Instead, would she like them to show her around the city and in return they got to practice their English?
My friend thought they were very sweet so accepted the offer and walked around the city with them for a while. They wanted to show her their university and took her to an old, nondescript building. Inside was an old man who they said was their professor and with him was a collection of cheap-looking art. They mentioned how the university desperately needed funds to stay open and would she buy some art?
My friend looked around and noticed that there wasn’t anything to indicate that this was a university. Being a young female on her own she just wanted to leave, so she paid a few yen for a painting and left immediately.
Apparently this is a common trick in China and the girls use their charm to persuade tourists to part with a lot of cash.