Monday, June 26, 2006

You've got to love the Chinese

You've got to love the Chinese. What other culture in the world openly encourages a case race at lunchtime? For lunch today when I walked into our cafeteria, I was seated at a table with some customers of ours. In friendly Chinese manner, they invited us to eat with them, and before you knew it, they had divided the table into two drinking teams and challenged each other to finish 12 bottles of Yantai Pijiu (3 1.5L bottles each). Alas, now it is 2pm and I am drunk (well, tipsy anyway) at work! I'd like to joke that working in China is fueling my alcoholism, but I can honestly say I really really don't want to drink at work dinners or lunches. In China you can say no, you can yell no, you can plead not to fill your glass and they will anyway, laughing the whole while. And if you make a bargain with them... that you are only going to have one... hahaha. Yeah, right. One, my butt. Its ALWAYS more than one. During the slightest of distractions (look over there), they will fill your glass before you can say, "Dionysus". I DON'T like to drink, people! I know... I know, what you are all thinking... between bouts of booming laughter, you are reminding me of my college days... and a year or so after college... and falling out of a windwo... but what you are not understanding, is that in a WORK environment, I absolutely DO NOT WANT ANYTHING to drink! How the hell am I supposed to impress the socks of my boss and eventually become CEO of a major multinational corporation that I have helped build from scratch (ok, so I'm fantasizing), if I show up to work the next day hungover from Baiju? Huh?

Anyway, I know I haven't been posting much lately and I have a lot to fill you in on I suppose. My friends left China two weeks ago. Overall I think their experience was good, although I think Fargus enjoyed it the most. I am working on him to come here to teach English for a semester after his army thingy. That would rule! How about it, Tim? eh? Eh? EH?

My parents have been in Beijing for about a week now. They said that despite the crazy heat this week, they are enjoying themselves. I would too in a 5-star hotel. They will arrive in Yantai today. Louis, the Chinese president of the company came to me and offered to put my parents up in the only 5-star hotel in Yantai for free AND give them use of my personal driver. Lucky them, although they don't know any of this yet. My father and I will take two days to meet with some stone manufacturers in Yantai to see about the possibility of importing granite to the US. Should be interesting! After about five days in Yantai I will be travelling with my parents to Xi'an to see the Terra Cota Army. After a few days, they will continue along to Guilin and Yangshou for a week before going home.

Some setbacks at work lately. The JVC that I was helping setup with a Hungarian company seems to have fallen through. We were going to build another factory here that I would be in charge of, but now it is not looking likely. Oh well... no more trips to Budapest I guess.

Working now on some other similar projects though with other companies, so I will still have a factory of my own soon.

World domination will have to come later.