Thursday, July 31, 2008


Nope, not the airport that serves the nations capitol - I'm referring to my last post. I have a vague recollection of tapping out that message during one of my trips to the bathroom while trying to escape the insanity that is Chinese business table culture.

I have a mobile phone with email capability and I routinely email in my blog to an address I set up that automtically posts the message. In this instance this convienent feature could have gone horribly awry. I'm really glad I didn't say something really bad.

Needless to say, the mayor of Xiaolin town was determined to have me drink more than my fill. She apologized then next evening as she was trying to get me to drink this paint thinner called Moutai - Baiju. Baijiu can be described as rubbing alcohol or diesel fuel. Tim Clissold author of Mr. China wites:

“I’ve never met anybody, even at the heights of alcoholic derangement, prepared to admit that they actually liked the taste,” Mr. Clissold wrote of baijiu. “After drinking it, most people screw up their faces in an involuntary expression of pain and some even yell out.”

This is probably what I hate most about doing business in China. There is way too much drinking.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Waste of time

Today is a very busy day.

I was picked up from the hotel at 8am. We immediately traveled 2 hrs to Ningbo. We need to pick up the ASME auditor at the airport. On the way we needed to deliver grapes to someone's mom, drop off customs forms and arrive at the airport one and a half hours early.

I have so much to do and this is not helping. My sales guy quit a month ago - HR is moving at a snails pace. Customers are impatient and I'm sitting at the Ningbo airport with only my phone to tap out emails to customers who left work hours ago and will read them when I'm a sleep.

Oh and it won't stop there. I'm told the plan is to drive the 2hrs back to Cixi - check the auditor into the hotel, give him some time to rest and then it is off to the full state dinner involving lots of wine and tons of food (or is that lots of food and tons of wine). Following dinner its KTV time... So in short the plan is keep the auditor out late and get him drunk so he will not be sharp tomorrow.

These guys kill me...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Off again!

I'm off to China again... This time I'm flying into the remnants of a typhoon that hit China last night - Fung-Wong...

If you're ever flying through Incheon airport in Korea, beware your wallet. You'd think you were on 5th avenue with the shops: Burberry, Dior, Hermmes, Gucci, Rolex.. You could spend a fortune here on a four hour layover.

I got here at 0445 in the morning. Me and the cleaning crew.

One word of caution... Do not eat Korean Dunkin Donuts - the texture is soggy/squishy but yet satisfying taste... Latte was good though.

For a real hearty breakfast I ordered that Jangter Noodle bowl. My order number, you ask?

Why lucky number 13... Here's to heading into that Typhoon...