Wednesday, June 23, 2010

ITMA Asia Shanghai

Folks - this week am at ITMA (International Textile Manufacturers Association) tradeshow in Shanghai.
Vendors from around the world are here , hoping to sell the next million dollar line of machinery or a $50 gasket from a local shop.   So very brief little update. The show is being held at the Shanghai Exposition Centre on the north east side of Shanghai.

To put things in perspective I took a shot of the hall we are located in - there are 12 of these halls in an arc pattern on the property.

thru the haze you can see the otherside of the complex and the 6 halls on that side , across the centre courtyard
the size of equiopment that has been brought in and installed is awesome

ok time to hit the subway back to the show - bye for now !

Sunday, June 20, 2010

First Road Trip - Follow the Huhang Expressway - we are not in Kansas any more

So we travelled about 250km down the Huhang Expressway - Toll Road. towards Shaoxing (see last post for local pics).
Stayed at the Kaiyue Hotel in Shaoxing - quite the hotel ! Techs liked it cause they didn't have to stay in some dive, on the side of the road. The basic price of a single is about 498yuan ($72ca) the double was much more. The room came with robes, slippers, haridryer, alarm clock, etc. For sale in the room were , toothbrush, razor, various creams, potions, condoms (no I didn't try for size lol) fully stocked bar, and snacks - prices were quite high.
Shot of the room and bathroom - one thing I have found - the beds are pretty hard here in China - there is little or no padding on anything I have slept on yet.  The best part about this hotel is that they had coffee at breakfast , ok it was bad Coffee Time kinda coffee but it was coffee lol.

And the best aprt was that everything in the room and i mean everything was for sale !!

Second night out (we stayed here for two nights) was in a smaller town, alot cheaper , not as nice but stlil passable, call it Super 8 on the highway version.  the coolest part was the restaurant there, they had live tanks for fish, eel, crab, shrimp and for the discriminating taste; turtle (two types even). The menu was all laid out with pictures of the dishes and bellow it plates with the ingredients , wrapped with celophane tent - wackiness yes.  It was probaly the best place in town.

And what trip is complete without a great pic of a toilet in another country LMAO.
This was in one of the factories we visited, it was clean ??? though trust me , there was no way i was taking a squat,. I dont think i can get that far down and no way was i removing my pants. LOL We hold out for a hotel room or better yet The Shanghai Ranch (home).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday and I'm Tired

spent 4 nights away this week.
Thankfully our visit Saturday morning was short lived, so were back at the Shanghai Ranch by 12pm

so quick update as am not in the mood for fiddly computer photo editing etc right now.

Kevin asked for proof of life in China.
Took this Friday morning on the way out of the hotel.  As you can see am good enough with chopsticks that i am not starving !! actually have lost a few pounds.

and for those that were wondering , this is what a rubber  belt looks like. This is the old one being weilded around by these guys playing the unsafe workplace game. no safety shoes and after tipping the lift they just added more guys for ballast lol. The belt new is 3" thick and 13ft long and 1800cm wide - packed in the shipping case it runs close to 1000kgs.

the small town we were in celebrated Dragon Boat festical like every where else in China on June 16th. Caught this pic as we went out to find some water from local store.

more substantial update coming on Sunday - till then have fun keep smiling !!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday and am in Shaoxing of Zhejiang Province

Today is customer visit day in Shaoxing, located in Zhejiang province.
Visited 3 customers today, basically western face of the product.

passed this guy on the way in with some ducks on the back of his motorcycle- you see lots of stuff being carried on bikes here. its fast and cheap

We are staying at the Kaiyue Hotel in Shaoxing - quite nice ! pics tomorrow.
Shaoxing is a city thats about 2400 yrs old and a population of aprox 3 million.. The local Salesperson took us out for diner and a little tour.

Diner consisted of , Tofu with Shrimp/Mushrooms, Greenbeans and something (they couldnt translate) potatoe done in thi strips, some type of roasted nut, spicy chicken, spring roll and a fish stew.
The fish stew was awesome !! and spicy - they use lots of red peppers here. we had yellow wine liquer and a Budwesier with diner - the BUds are brewed in China and taste like chinese beer. of course tea with every meal.
Then we headed for alittle walk close by, to see an old style street in Shaoxing. The street , aside from the shops and services being updated, is how its been for 100's of years. The paving stones are stones and origional to the street.

Nearby was a canal and they give boat rides for tourists and locals. These baots are particular to this city and region and am sure we have all seen in movies.

Interesing is this blend of old and new that seems to find its way into life here. On one side of the street we have a ancient tower located in the middle of a park and then on that same park the Shaoxing Grand Theatre building - glass and steel

or this one of a 3 wheeled bike (rickshaw for lack of better term) and an Audi TT

ok , Andrea asked what traffic looks like here in Shanghai. This shot is the main street next to the office on the way home at the end of the day. main roads here have 4 4 to 6 lanes - 2 outside lanes are seperated and mainly bikes and scooters, inside lanes are cars and trucks

anyways thats it for today, am trying to schedule a trip to downtown Shanghai this next weekend, will depend on peoples availability as our Tradeshow starts on the 24th , so its all hands on deck.
am here in Zhejiang province for a few days as we have more customers visits to schedule and actual work to be done by the techs (and training for me)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday - its been a week

K have been here a week now, feels like forever.
Getting a little more comfortable and finding some kind of routine.

My roommate Alex went back to the other side of Shanghai to spend the weekend with his girlfriend. About an hour by bus. So am flying solo this weekend.

Decided to hit the Expo, since I got lots of spare time on my hands.
its 160rmb to get in and they take VISA. That's about $23ca, which is pretty good. its about 25km from the apt so decided to take a taxi, bus would have been forever and I wouldn't know which one to take. So that was 58rmb or about $8ca to get into the heart of the city. when you first arrive to the side I came in on , its more of China and Shanghai's buildings etc, development and technology centres - more geared to people coming in the country to setup shop etc. so then you cross the Huanpu River via expo Ferry (free) and enter the actual expo site. was a cloudy hazy day so pics are brutal - light is coming from everywhere and makes colors and shapes all messed up.

View of China pavilion from across the river - see how that haze kills sharpness and color

Once you get on site its is massive beyond belief.
I was there from just after 2pm and left around 19:30 and wont say i went past every pavilion. So a return trip is required. As time went by the light started to change and really helped getting some OK pics. For you camera nuts - The Sigma 10-20mm lens paid off big time here in Av mode and also tried A-Dep on the Canon T1i. Even with the 18-50mm was having a hard time getting things in frame.

So we start with Canada. This was the back of the building as seen from the over head walkway that runs the length if the park.

Around the corner was Colombia

And Brazil right next door

The Korean pavilion was pretty cool

and the Chinese pavilion with some color now - I watched a photographer with some major hardware wait about 30 minutes - he was watching the light on the building to change

had Brazilian Steak sandwich for a snack - actually was really freaking good and was 48rmb ($6) usual pricey food inside events and places (considering what you can buy here on the street).

So now that I have been (and will go again) will push for later in the afternoon, when the sun is going down - the pics were clearer. the of course the lights came on all over the place - spectacular !!

got home after some grocery shopping - gotta have fixings for coffee in the morning of course - knowing there was a cold one in the fridge. OK 600ml of cold draft style Chinese beer waiting in the ice box, ready for it…. 5.90rmb or 85cents ca (yes cents Canadian). You could develop a serious problem here if your not careful.
OK time to hit the showers and head to the office. This week we are preparing for the ITMA-Shanghai Trade show - International Textile Manufacturers Association. This is the Asian version of the show and is quite large - producers, manufacturers, vendors and purchasers will arrive from most of this continent. We are expecting a large number of India based companies.  There is a world show happening in Barcelona, Spain next year - Oh Ya !!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More Pictures and view of work and home

Click the pics to make them bigger

Though a post with some pics to give you an idea of where I am living etc was called for.

The apartment I am styaing in is at the corner of Chunshen and Lianhua South Rd , Shanghai.
Kind of the South side of the city on the edge of industrial section of town.
Am about 10 minute walk from our office located at Silver City Rd and Lianhua South Rd, so easy enough to get too. Will venture farther north this weekend, and get closer to the city centre.

Outside of my office window is this view (taken with wide angle lens - really wide Sigma 10-20mm)
The complex is called Mega Mall - mostly office space on the top floors with retail and restaurants on the bottom floors. Theres a Nike store, a sports store selling running shoes and gear - name brand stuff. a few bars, Pizza Hut and Starbucks. Around the corner are smaller private restaurants that we eat lunch at (pics to come). all in all pretty modern and not much different than any other city we know, except that the average Shanghai citizen cant really afford to shop at these places. Mainly young people (most likely living at home) with disposable income)

Now for some Apartment pics - just your average 2 bedroom apartment , that honestly I would gladly live in if available at home. The hardwood floor runs right thru the living room, dining room and bedrooms. The Kitchen and Bathroom have tile floor and walls ! The company is renting this apartment from someone who moved for whatever reason. Has gas 2 burner stove - no oven. That thing under the stove i think is some kind of plate/utensil dryer/sterilizer ??? Moen fixtures in Kitchen and Bathroom , with a Bosch instant hotwater machine around the corner of the kitchen wall. The apartments actually go from front to back with windows on each end. So from the living room you see the courtyard between the buildings (previous post) and from the Kitchen I can see RTMart.

The front door key is kinda neat , and not something we are used to seeing . That black cover actually moves down to protect the key and locks with the silver wire. 

From the kitchen - RT Mart back corner - those yellow buses are owned and operated by RT Mart - they shuttle customers to and from neighborhoods in the area and are free of charge !! beat that one WalMart.

ok off to diner somewhere - will be cheap and taste good - will take pictures this time

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

ok back in the saddle

Unfortunately my blog got blocked after a few days here in China.
Have found a work around and hopefully can now keep updates coming here regularly.
also have managed to turn on the email updater so will test that out.

So some quick updates and things of note:
Starbucks is just as expensive here as it is in Canada - about $5 something for a Venti Tea Latte or 31rmb (chinese dollars) - thats big money for a regular person here in China.
You can buy lunch for two people at a small restaurant for 20rmb or $3 Canadian, yes diner for two for 3 bucks - and the food is excellent - the place is a dive and the woman running the place is about 4ft tall and I am afraid of her.

Went for my first drive outside of Shanghai yesterday (Tuesday) the city goes forever. once your on the highway its not much different than anywhere else, everyones flying along at 120km/hr.

on the highway spotted this scaffolding being setup - thats bamboo scaffolding - larger buildings use steel poles though you see bamboo being used on smaller buildings.

Hit one of the grocery stores on the way home tonight to pickup some essentials - spotted these boxes selling rice in bulk.

BIG Thnx out to Gianella for her contribution to the Shanghai World Tour 2010. First few days this came in handy and kept me sane while i adjusted. Cant afford to be hitting Starbucks every day here. Juan Valdez would be proud !!  Viva Columbia !!

Was told today that the Big Guy is looking for a woman to come clean the place for myself and Alex. Also the thought is to use her to cook Lunch for everyone in the office from our Kitchen. Chances she woudl cook here and then bike or scooter over with everything.

ok more to come now that i have a connection to the world !!

Good night from Shanghai Ranch

Friday, June 4, 2010

Its Saturday in Sunny Shanghai !

Good morning !!

gotta keep it short no internet where i am, this is courtesy of Rogers using Blackberry Desktop Manager to connect to the internet through the cellphone (by the way Bell Mobility is useless here). Am sure the bill will be exciting.

Got here in one piece.
Had a great meal close to the apartment - the two guys that picked me up (Alex and Rick) took me out.
great food !!!
Then did some shopping at a Walmart equivalent place - recognised alot of things that we see in Canada - more about spotting logos versus whats written on the package.
So managed to find some Quaker Oatmeal - I spotted the logo lol.

Am winging it today as everyone is busy, so will campout, relax, go for a walk.

A few pics of the view from the place am on 2nd floor of a building same as what you see.

will give an update later - hopefully can find a hotspot close by for a real internet connection.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Its morning, its sunny outside

And I am getting to get locked up in an aluminum can for 15 hrs headed to Honk Kong.

OK so do the math on this one - couple thousand clicks over open ocean and two engines ??
one of these on each side of the aircraft. Wondering how far we can glide ?

the relief was finding Crown Royal at the Duty Free - just too bad cant buy - was advised by staff that it could get confiscated either in Hong Kong or Shanghai, when boarding Dragon Air.

Looks like the sun is getting ready to blast Toronto, as I sit waiting for my flight to board.

Will be bunking up with a co-worker in Shanghai, much better than a hotel , and gives me a translator and tour guide close by. But if somebody is washing my back and i didnt invite them in, then am out of there lol.
And yes I checked to see if he has a girlfriend. Not that am phobic , but dont need any international incidences lol.

ok boarding time any minute now !!