Saturday, July 30, 2005

A few emails of concern

I wanted to share a few emails that I have received from some colleagues of mine that have caused me a good deal of anxiety.

The first is an email from a Chinese co-worker:

"Very happy to hear that you guy are full of Zeus support China Fluidcare business! We will do the best!"

Ok, while this level of grammar is something I would expect from a typical Chinese associate, I would like to point out that this guy is being assigned to me as my translator! What does full of Zeus mean? The thing that is really confusing though is the fact that this guy's other emails are basically flawless. Perhaps it is a Chinese saying that just doesn't translate well.

The next email is from my American boss who will be moving over to China also:

"I cannot remember if you read the draft of my last trip report. But do what I am about to tell you: Get 2 courses of Cipro to bring with you. 500mg 2 per day for 3 days. One for Shanghai and one for Yantai (in case). I forgot mine and am paying the price. I am going to the clinic to get some here in China. As the Jerky Boys once said 'My ass is killin me'."

This one is self explanitory. I am hoping that I am one of the few people whom traveler's sickness does not affect. Too much to hope for?

Also, I was informed today by my Dad that my 1-year, multiple entry visa was approved, however they listed 30 days as my max duration length... this means that unless we can get this changed, I will have to leave the country once a month and re-enter... looks like I'll be visiting South Korea, Mongolia, or Hong Kong. Well, the VP of Houghton China has assured me that once I get my residency card and work permit we will be able to get the duration adjusted to 180 days. Perhaps I'll be able to come home for Christmas!

Moving to China, baby!

So, if you are reading this, you must be a family member, close friend, or a random blogsphere wanderer who stumbled across Ninja Monkey Nation. If you are a NMN fan, I apologize profusely for not posting anything in a while... you'd be amazed at how much stuff I've had to do in the past month to prepare for my emigration to the People's Republic of China.

The purpose of this blog will be to provide means for my friends and family to keep track of my adventures living in a communist country. Because of the twelve-hour time difference and a little thing called "government censorship", I don't know how often I'll be able to individually contact everyone. I figured the best way to keep everyone abreast of whats going on would be a blog. I would have used Ninja Monkey Nation, but lets just say that Pastey White Guy will be kept a little more "family friendly". Mum and Dad, please disregard that last sentence.

Sunday, August 31st will be my last day working at the SKF factory in Hanover, PA. I hate to say it, but I will actually miss that factory. In retrospect it was the perfect sized factory to start as a Site Manager. While there was a little "snafu" with the methanol that proved to be costly, overall everything went very smoothly there and I will miss the work environment quite a bit.

Monday morning my Dad will be showing up to help me pack up the U-Haul truck. We'll drive my stuff to a storage location near Philly, load it up, and store my car. I'll then have all of Tuesday to finish packing and last minute shopping (I need to buy some gifts to give my Chinese co-workers... it is considered rude not to) before I hop on an airplane Wednesday morning. It is a 1.5 hour flight to Chicago, a 3 hour layover, and then a 15 hour flight to Shanghai, PRC.

Now, you might think that this harrowing flight sounds tortuous enough, but once I get there I have to spend an hour under observation in quarantine before I tackle the red-tape monster that is Chinese Immigration. All in all I estimate 26 hours from the moment I leave my parent's house in Berwyn, PA to the moment I get to my hotel in Shanghai. I hope my Chinese collegues will understand if I don't go to work the next day.

I'll be spending roughly one week in Shanghai taking tours of the new Houghton factory there, meeting the Chinese higher-ups, and generally getting over the most extreme jetlag I've ever had. My American boss, Aaron Sepanski, and I will then fly to Yantai, in the Shangdong province where I will be residing. I have yet to hear whether Houghton has purchased my apartment yet... I sure hope so because I'll be sick of living out of my suitcase by then.

Well, it is Friday evening and I haven't even begun to pack. That's right, Mum... I am moving to another country in five days and I haven't even begun. What else did you expect? Anyhow, I had better go and tackle the behemouth that is packing. I'll try and keep this blog as up-to-date as I possibly can. I've been told that blogger is un-blocked 90% of the time. The other 10% I'll have to email my posts to a trusted friend and have them post it. I'll also start a webshots album that everyone will be able to check out to see the photos taken on my spiffy new camera.

Well, so long for now!