A little business has sprung up around America's random bombing of embassies. It seems fear, race hatred, and violence are good news for the textile trade. In the wake of the deaths in Belgrade, Westerners in the mainland are being harassed by locals for representing the bungling dolts who killed their countrymen. Some non-American tourists have been holding their tormenters at bay by brandishing their non-American passports. But others have found a simpler solution. They declare their nationality on their clothing in Chinese characters. A tourist in an 'I am Danish' T-shirt was photographed by Apple Daily. Apparently, his clothing has averted all manner of trouble. Of course, American secret agents could always emulate the approach to avoid detection in the mainland. However, we reckon they'd be fairly easy to pick out. Knowing CIA reference maps, they'll be the ones in the 'I'm from the Soviet Union'. There have been many harrowing tales flowing out of Belgrade and Beijing these past few days. But one of them stands out. It came to us via the Cox news wire service and is headlined: 'Florida Woman Almost Caught in Student Protests in China'. Tanya Brooks (the heroine of the piece) had been shopping at Beijing market when she noticed a bunch of students arriving at the US Embassy across the street. 'Brooks was alone,' the story said ominously. The package tourist ignored the students, wandered back to her luxury hotel room and caught up on some television news. One report alerted her to the anti-American protests that had started up near the spot where she'd been buying things earlier on. 'If I had known, I would have been nervous' she admits. But Brooks' ordeal was not over yet. When her package tour concluded the next day, traffic on the way to the airport was terrible and the plane left a full hour behind schedule. Worse yet, the bus-load of Americans in her group had had to miss the opera on their last night in the mainland because they didn't want to leave the hotel. The Florida woman said she had been willing to sacrifice what promised to be a highly entertaining show (even though it was already paid for) in the interests of world peace. 'I wasn't as worried about my own safety as I was about the possibility that I could start a serious incident for the American Government if something happened to me,' she said. Lai See salutes the spirit of this brave woman and her triumph over adversity. In these dark times, we'd like to think there's a little Tanya Brooks in us all. And 'I'm Czechoslovakian' T-shirts. The policy makers at the pinnacle of the Securities and Futures Commission have faced some difficult challenges. But they've stood up for what they believe in. Undaunted by their critics. Unflinching in the spotlight's glare. Unless, of course, they're not feeling pretty. Director of Supervision of Markets Stella K.M. Leung yesterday discovered that her features were not producing the desired effect on her mirror. She had agreed to speak to a reporter about the regulatory implications of on-line trading. It had also been arranged that a photographer would come along later. After the interview, Ms Leung's assistant called the female journalist and retracted permission for the picture. The SFC heavyweight was apparently having a bad hair day and didn't wish to be seen. 'It's a female thing,' the assistant explained. But the male photographer failed to grasp why his assignment had been cancelled because a stock market regulator was having a fit of the uglies. So he went along anyway. And was politely, but firmly, rebuffed. 'It's a good thing we're all women,' the assistant said to the reporter later. 'I'm sure you understand.' Apparently it's the looking glass, not the glass ceiling, that can be blamed for keeping some women out of the business spotlight. The Home Affairs Bureau is holding a luncheon seminar today, with Secretary for Home Affairs David Lan in attendance. It's to do with public opinion surveys and is entitled 'Tapping the Pulse of the Community'. Lai See isn't sure exactly what 'pulse tapping' entails. But we hope there'll be a doctor on hand if they're planning to try any.