Monday, June 21

A whole old world

Possibly it's because our host in Singapore had Disney tunes blasting on his car stereo, but when I tried to come up with a title for this post, all I could think of was the Little Mermaid song "A Whole New World", but that isn't a very apt description, so... this is what you get.
Yesterday I went into China. Eventually. I actually got through the boarder crossing, no problem. My ride, however, did not. Which I had no real way of knowing, because I go through on foot alone, and come out the other side, where I'm supposed to meet up with her. And then she didn't come. And didn't come. And actually, never came. Their computer systems were down and she wasn't the registered driver on paper record for the car and I don't even know what all else, but she ended up calling the van of employees that was already half-way to the factory to have them turn around to come get me. At this point, I've been standing outside for probably 45 minutes, freaking out, without my bag (which was in the car), holding only my passport and plane tickets. No money. No smokes. No phone. No idea that anyone was coming for me (though of course my hosts wouldn't just strand me at the border, but...) And it was HOT. So... eventually I got picked up. My buddy bought me a nice refreshing beverage. (Sunkist orange soda..mmmm...) and I got on a van. With one person who speaks lots of English, one who speaks a moderate amount, and 4 Mandarin-only guys. It was something. We got to the factory, my host and bag show up almost immediately (and she had had to go back to Hong Kong for the paperwork... I may have been waiting longer than I want to realize), and we go to lunch. Italian food at the Sheraton. It was really pretty good. Then back to work, a factory tour (it was roasting.. I was sweating like the American pig I am) and then back towards Hong Kong for shopping. We stopped before the boarder and shopped in China (sorry Shaft... no Rolexs, but I would have had my pick of about a million other brands). I'll tell you all more about that experience when I get home. It was INSANE. I think I was offered manicures from about 100 different Chinese girls, following me around this very strange, very cramped mall of rip-off goods. Craziness. "Watches... handbags..." was shouted at me at all times from all directions. Ate dinner, crossed the boarder, took first a train and then a taxi to the hotel and crashed hard. It was almost midnight. And now I'm up and have a meeting in an hour, so I better get myself ready. I'm praying for the chance to take a nap this afternoon. Oh, also there's the fruit - remind me to tell you all about the fruit!


Blogger Nickie said...

Hi oh sorry to hear about your bad luck...just so you know we've got thunderstorm warnings (again) back here and the weather where you are is probably a lot better ;) Good luck on your journey :)

5:55 PM  

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