I had a few issues when checking in to my accommodation in China, as the booking had been made via far too many channels, and there were typically Asian misunderstandings at various points along the way. I was told I needed to check in before 6pm, but apparently reception expected me before 4 (16:00, instead of 6pm), so had already sold my room. Neither could they find my booking, as it had been booked under my boss’s Chinese name, and then changed to my Chinese name, but using the Mandarin transliteration instead of the Cantonese one that I use.
I showed up and told them my English name, but they were expecting the Mandarin version of my Chinese name. The pronunciation is noticeably different, and even my initials have changed, from WJW (English) or WHS (Cantonese) to HHX (Mandarin). The difference between looking like a bookshop and looking like an airport abbreviation.
I’m still unsure as to whether I’m supposed to introduce myself with my Mandarin name, but I suppose I do. It’s a bit strange having to think about changing something that feels such a natural part of me, but when in Rome, I guess …