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Cultural Intelligence, 3rd Edition by Kerr C. Inkson, David C. Thomas

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CHAPTER 2

Cultural Knowledge

WE CAN MAKE THE BEST OF IT

Chan Yuk Fai ushered his British guest into the crowded Shanghai restaurant. Around them, the atmosphere was busy with the quiet babble of a dozen conversations. Mr. Chan bowed slightly, then leaned forward and smiled. “I think,” he said in excellent English, “I think the food is not the very best in this restaurant.”

Jeffrey Thomson stiffened slightly. He found it hard to conceal his surprise. What was he to make of Mr. Chan’s remark? Mr. Chan had chosen the restaurant. Did he really think the food was poor? If he thought so, why had he chosen this restaurant? Perhaps criticizing the food was just a Chinese custom—something everyone did that had nothing to do with the real quality of the ...

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