People's Hotel, Chongqing, China

The Nolls Police Record in Chongqing

In 1985 my Aunt Polly, who was 83, came by herself to visit us in China. After spending a while with us in Chengdu we began to leave China. We traveled by train to Chongqing. Friends met us at the station and we went to their home. We had dinner with them and they said they had made hotel arrangements for us at a hotel just behind their house. In 1984 we had stayed at the People's Hotel pictured here. At that time it was the only hotel that allowed foreigners to stay. Hotels must have permission from the Security Bureau to be allowed to have foreign guests.

The Police Greet us
At about midnight we left our friends to go to the hotel accompanied with a translator to help make the arrangements with the hotel. When we arrived at the hotel some policemen met us and informed us that this hotel was not allowed to house foreign guests. Knowing what the situation was, I asked my wife and Aunt to go upstairs and go to bed while I talked to the police. They went upstairs to bed at that time.

People's Hotel, Chongqing, China
Ordered to Leave at Once
The policeman said we must leave at once. I told him it was dark and raining and there was no taxis at that time. Where were we to go? And how would we get there. My Aunt was 83 and could not walk far and we didn't know how to get anywhere and didn't know where to head. I said that most likely my Aunt would die of exposure and it would be his responsibility. He decided he must go back to the station to consult what to do. In about an hour he returned and said we must leave. I asked him to go tell my wife and Aunt that they must go out into the rain and cold. I added that I hoped when he woke her she didn't have a heart attack from fright. I also asked if he could send a police car to take us where he wanted us to go. I also said that a siren might enhance the situation. This prompted another trip to the station.

We get Fingerprinted
An hour later he returned and said that the police authorities said we could stay the night but on several conditions. First, the hotel staff must stay awake all night to guard us. I asked if they were protecting us against the Chinese of the Chinese against us. Second, two policemen would be stationed at the hotel for the night. Third, we would have to report to the police station in the morning. I agreed and it was over. It was also 3:30 in the morning. We went to the police station in the morning and had our fingerprints taken and released. I thought the whole proceedings to be amusing.