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Shanghai Homework

July 13, 1986

After reading Horace Sutton's article about Shanghai June 29, I must ask several questions. What did he expect the hotels in Shanghai to be? Maybe Sutton failed to do his homework before embarking upon his journey to the "New China," as he calls it. The China guidebook he had read could have been several years old. "Extremely comfortable" two years ago could very well have meant hot water, a private bath and bed, and heat in winter. Maybe his interpretation of extremely comfortable meant that well-stocked little room bar, logoed terry bathrobes and the free samples of shampoo that the Regent and other hotels in Hong Kong lavish on those foreigners who are willing to pay the price.

I spend five months a year in those Chinese hotels that Sutton describes as a far cry from the Regent in Hong Kong. I am an American tour guide to China. In each establishment I am greeted with a smile, a good morning and a pleasant thank you. When I eat breakfast on the eighth floor of the Peace Hotel I am seated promptly by the window and have the undivided attention of a smiling waitress who doesn't expect a tip.

EILEEN M. KRUSE

Long Beach

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