After a 12 hour hanging out period at the Hong Kong airport, I got my visa and now I am in Guangzhou ready for a crazy week of meetings. I’ve always been blessed in the fact that I’ve not had issues or problem with things like visas until last month, remember? So it was uncomforting to hear from the visa service at the airport that my visa application was rejected. Huh? Rejected? What the…?
It was explained to me that an old visa stamp was missing from my passport. These visas are glued onto the pages. Older passports like mine that have been handled many times and subjected to various climates changes tend to lose glued on visas. The glue ends up failing. According to the visa service, which, by the way, I never use, I go directly to the consulate, said that because of this my app was rejected. Hmmmm. No way! They told me to come back in a half hour to pick up my passport and to leave the airport! Sounds fishy…
Half hour passes and I approach the visa counter. “oh, Hi, Thomas! We have your approved visa! My manager felt pity on you.” HUH!? You either have your visa or not…they were fishing for extra money…Seriously, in Hong Kong?
After a nice relaxing van ride to Shenzhen and a train ride to GZ, I am here…relaxing and preparing for work.
When I flew into Hong Kong yesterday morning, we were entering a pretty strong storm. Hong Kong has typhoon warnings and it felt like it. The rain was exceptionally heavy and the winds against the plane were quite strong.
In Guangzhou, its cloudy but walkable weather. I hot-footed to the showrooms in central GZ to get an idea of what I need to offer my customers in terms of add-on product. Lots to see…!
The express train from Guangzhou to Shenzhen and back has always been reliable. I’ve used this very comfortable mode of transportation for years. This morning I woke up late and rushed to Guangzhou East station for my 90 minute ride. I was looking forward to first class with coffee, little snacks, and a nice view out the window. I was to be denied this custom of mine…
Due to electrical problems, so they say, the entire line was shut down! As this is a major transportation line to the two cities, you can just imagine the chaos! There is a bus line, however, 1. I would be at least 3 hours late and 2. the lines of people queuing up were formidable. So… I went to a local noodle shop and texted everyone that I would have to postpone my meetings for the next day. I guess back to the Guangzhou showrooms for another day of product searching. During my walk back, I got lost in some alley ways. This was kind of cool, as I was able to take some photos of an alley way filled with sidewalk shops selling live fish, chickens and ducks, noodles, plastic kitchen items and bamboo-looking products. The good thing about getting lost is the opportunity always presents great photo shoots. The best photo subjects have been off the beaten path. For me, adventure is always around the corner, which is how I love to live my life.
I always carry my Fujifilm X10 camera. I like the size, the photo quality and the controls. For years I used Fuji film in my Leica cameras. This camera has the ability to mimic different types of Fuji film emulsions. And the retro look of the camera is really cool. My HTC OneX phone has an adequate camera for very fast photos. I hope the new version of the phone has better quality of photos.
By the way, I am not plugging any gear; just clarifying on what I like to use.
June 29- Hong Kong airport, again
On my way back to Manila…yeaaa! Long and busy week. Lots of business done and met some new people. That’s what I love about international business; meeting people and creating new friends. It’s a definite bonus, and worth the hassle of traveling.
I’ve got new factories working with me in south China. I’ve got a couple good clients and some ideas for new product. Over-all, life could be worse!
There were, of course, a couple of tense moments. On the Guangzhou metro, a young kid tried to pick pocket my backpack. It was in front of me and I had a close eye on the zippers. However, these metro trains are usually packed tight with people and he was pressed up against me and my pack. His hand was slowly trying to open my front zipper pocket. As traditional with me I put nothing in the outside pockets as I have been picked before, in China. I waited until I knew his intentions, then I grabbed his arm and twisted hard. The shocked kid jumps and pushed his way through the crowd to the door. At our next station he was gone. Punk…
The other had to do with a cock roach in my noodles. I only ordered the beef noodles, I got a little extra protein.
By the way, the two ugliest roaches in my humble opinion? The Philippines has this large brown aggressive roach. The other is Madagascar. This baby is large and noisy…happy dreams!
See you around…