Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chengdu - Day 3

Bret (my former manager) just called me to discuss some staffing issues on where to put new incoming MBA hires. He didn't know I was out here in Chengdu so he woke me up at 5:00am local time. I think I'm not adjusting to the time change so it's hard to stay asleep through the night anyhow. Meanwhile, I was having problems staying awake during all the meetings yesterday.

My first full day in Chengdu was pretty much following Leon around on his business meetings. It's interesting watching Leon speak Chinese, especially discussing chemical compounds and technical stuff. Even though Mandarin was my first language, I found it difficult to understand what people were saying. It was even worse when they switched to the local dialect.

Some random intersection in Chengdu

The traffic is crazy, even more than Taipei or Bangkok. People on scooters don't follow traffic lights so you may get run over even crossing on a green light. The taxi drivers are very aggressive and weave in and out of traffic all the time. There were not as many bicycles as I saw in Beijing 10 years ago but definitely a lot more scooters. Cars are still a luxury item but I guess more people are able to afford scooters now.

The perpetual haze never burned off so it was overcast the entire day. Nevertheless, it was still too hot for me. I was also wearing work clothes so it was even worse. It got to about 30 degrees Celsius but it was also pretty humid. All the local people thought it was a nice cool day though.

ZnS-SiO2 targets

In the afternoon, we went to Leon's office/factory. It was a pretty long ride and the road leading the the building was unpaved but our driver was tearing through the potholes in a crappy little minivan.

PMI's high tech manufacturing facilities

We had dinner at a pretty nice Chinese restaurant inside the Holiday Inn. I had to order the kung-pao chicken to taste the "original" version. Dishes started at only $3 and the service was really good; there were 3-4 servers at our table.

Outside the hotel there was some kind of cosmetics brand launch. There was music, drinks, snacks, and three girls playing violin, Vanessa Mae style.

No comments: