Harvard Business School grad, Sara Jane Ho, is running a one-woman gang to clean China of bad manners. The 27-year-old is giving classes to the unwashed masses:
Converting Beijing’s nouveau riche will be no small task. At an introductory lesson, female students drove up in a convoy of Maseratis, Ferraris and Bentleys, then emerged in a maelstrom of fur and diamonds. Their nails were so ornate they had difficulty handling the cutlery.
‘In Hong Kong and London, it is all about subtlety,’ explains Sara Jane. ‘In Beijing, I will go out for lunch with a girlfriend and she will have a big Marc Jacobs ring that you open up and it’s a lip balm. When I go out to socialite events in Beijing and I put on minimal make-up, they say, “Darling, you didn’t put make-up on today. Are you feeling OK?” ’
Multi-millionaire’s wife Zaozao Jiang, one of her new students, says the shocking manners of her fellow countrymen have almost driven her abroad. ‘I simply can’t abide people who pick their noses, spit and talk too loudly,’ complains the glamorous 30-year-old Beijing socialite.
I talk too loudly, I wonder if I should roll into one of Ms. Ho’s classes?