Sunday, May 31, 2009

China: May 28-29

The hotel we stayed at last night in Yidu was pretty nice. It was still definitely a hotel that is meant for Chinese people though. There were no English channels on the TV, and the bed was as hard as a rock. But it was very nicely decorated and the outside of it was decorated in the classical Chinese look. I was able to take a few pictures. I will try to add them to the blog once I have returned to the US. I don’t have the cable for the camera, so I can’t download them and send them now. If you take a look in a little over a week you should be able to see some pictures that show you some of what I’ve seen.

Unfortunately, this is a business trip, so there isn’t much time to do any real site seeing. But then again, if we were over here and were spending multiple days not doing anything, I would wonder why we were even here. So it’s a bit of give and take.

The people at Yidu were also kind enough to give me a gift. It is a book containing every denomination of Chinese currency in its latest revision. It starts at 100 RMB (just under $15) and works its way down. Very nice.

On the 28th I performed another audit and went on another tour, I could bore the crap out of you with this minutia, but I won’t. We had a couple hours long trip to Yantai to visit a few more of the vendors. I am constantly amazed by the amount of landscaping they do here in China. Every inch of the freeways here are covered in them. I have seen whole forests of planted trees. What I have not seen is any natural forest. There are trees growing on the mountains, of course. But we haven’t driven through even one natural forest.

The hotel we stayed at on the night of the 28th was by far the worst one yet. It wasn’t bad enough that I felt I needed to sleep in my clothes above the covers, but it was bad enough that I didn’t even think of taking a shower. There were rusted spots on the shower floor, and I can’t remember when my last tetanus shot was so I thought better not chance it. Also, the bug repellent in the counter was a nice touch. But with those types of places, you just go there, sleep, and leave.

On the 29th, we performed 2 audits. We then drove another hour or so to a hotel that was closer to a third vendor that was in the city of Yantai. We checked in to the Marriot in Shanghai. It was a little different than the hotel the night before, I’ll tell you that much. It is easily the best hotel we have stayed at so far. It is beautiful. I have taken a few pictures of the foyer, and I took a little video of my hotel room. It just opened in May. Wow. Like everything in China, it is huge. I was on the 34th floor, and there were many more. Do you know what else it was? Almost empty. And this was on a holiday weekend here in China. We went to supper in the hotel and we were the only 3 people there. There were probably only a hundred people there, total. Can you imagine the amount of money it must cost to run a building like that, and then only have 100 people there? Ouch.

But they did have a grill at the hotel so I was able to have an honest to goodness steak that night. Hot damn. I like the food here quite a bit, but it is nice to have a little bit of the food from back home every once in a while.

Tomorrow will be another audit and then we’ll be driving back down to Quindao.

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