“China”, “China”, “China”. No that’s not a quote from an early anti-Donald Trump video, it’s a summary of the source of the superb, interesting, and delightfully intriguing questions that Alistair present to club members as the Table Topics Master for today’s meeting. What was it that Alistair did to go on and win the Toastmaster of the day award over two of our club’s most able speakers, namely Peter and Rose who were each undertaking project 7 Speaking To Inform demonstrating completion level oratory skills? He run an outstanding table topics session on multiple dimensions. First he planted authority over the topic subject by stating that he has lived/worked in China for 3 ½ years. Then before delivering each question he painted the scenes for us that were real, vivid, and seemingly unbelievable. Each question was simple and clear, as it rested upon his previous scene.

For example before Ruth came up, Alistair informed us that in some Chinese cities special pedestrian lanes were being introduced for smart phone users! Should NZ introduce smart lanes too. Ruth toys with the question like a cat with a mouse, and gives the clubs its biggest and longest laugh during her answer when she connects to Roses speech where we heard the sad plight of 7 year children being given drugs by the parent! Ruth dropped in that she was addicted to ‘P’. Which took us a few seconds to realise the context she was talking about ‘P’ was not a drug but Patience game on smart phones!
Next try imaging 10,000 cars on a motorway all stuck stationary in a single traffic jam, for 12 days! What would you do? We learned from Ben if stuck in the same position on day 1 he would play on his smart phone, on day two he would play the drums to entertain everyone, on day three being hungry he would order a takeaway Pizza .
The police force of China has it tough, with such a huge population to control. They are adaptable and ready to innovate. Alistair asserted that in some cities China’s boys in blue have begun to use geese to help them! Stephen flapped his wings beginning to answer the question; should NZ adopt using geese, by assuring us from his personal experiences that geese are viscous buggers, and can go were man can’t which includes bogs and mires that he himself had try to follow them into only to find his humble weight could not be supported by mere mud alone! Steve went on to put his Kiwi beak on, and peck out the idea that a native bird, perhaps a Kiwi would suit New Zealand better.

Alistair starts the next scene with China factories chucking out horrible stuff, which travel right across the Atlantic to America, where it lands in San Francisco, causing pollution. But who should pay? Bharath comes in with a coherent argument that China’s factories are making goodies for all of us around the world, and really perhaps we should be paying some part of the price of the environmental damaged this causes instead of just blaming the Chinese factories.

Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world with 1,197,000 speakers (infoplease.com). Alistairs last question to Zaine was laid out, concluding, should NZ therefore make Mandarin a compulsory language taught in school? Zain “ni how”ed us and agreed with Alistair but only if Maor was taught first! Zain wove in some of the real issues that New Zealand faces when properties, farms, and factories are bought up here by Chinese, narrowing in on the real language problems for those whom although protected from job loss with 50% NZ staffing rules, run into the problem of not being understood by their new work working mates. Not even knowing the up down, left right secretes of Chinese characters that Grace imparted to our club two weeks ago.

Alistair our Toastmaster of the day, has our thanks for running such a lively Table Topics session.