Friday, June 5, 2009

China: June 4-5

Nothing all that thrilling to talk about on the 4th. We spent the whole day at Milwaukee Tonglu Valve (MTV). Last time I mentioned that they are adding on a new section. They were pouring concrete for the floor for most of the day. Always interesting. But not exactly interesting enough to write about.

I did some paperwork that needed to get done and then we went to supper at a local restaurant with a few of the guys from work. Overall, it was a pretty relaxing day.

Finally, we are on the home stretch. On the 5th we decided to wake up early and go to the foundry in town to see them pour metal. Because the molten metal adds so much heat, they pour the castings between 2 and 7 in the morning. We really wanted to get a good look at this process so we got to the foundry around 6. They had just finished getting the pot ready to pour and filled each mold individually with ladles of molten bronze. There were 2 men who walked back and forth between the pot and the molds. Bronze melts at around 2100®F. They were just carrying it back and forth as if it was no big deal. Yet another example of a job that I am glad I do not have. They looked like they had everything under control. They did the things they needed to do, and our foundry expert seemed reasonable pleased with the process, so who am I to argue.

After the visit we went back to MTV and wrapped things up. We said our goodbye’s and left for Shanghai. It was a 4 hours drive. We got to town and have checked in to the hotel. It is the Renaissance, and is very nice. It is the same hotel we stayed at the first night we came here.
Once we finished checking in and bringing our bags up to the room, we went out and visited the market. More correctly, it is the black market (not that kind of black market, I didn’t see any rhino horns or gorilla hands if you know what I mean). They have all the knock-off purses and watches you can think of. I took a nice look around and got something for my darling wife who had two hard weeks without me. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time there. There was a pretty big storm moving in and we didn’t want to get soaked.

We had dinner at a Japanese grill similar to Benny Hana’s, or Ginza of Tokyo in Madison. It was very good. We had grilled meats and sushi.

Tomorrow, we will get an early lunch and then we will head over to the airport. Just another 14 hour flight and we are home. I am ready to get there. Traveling this much is getting to me. It was been an unbelievable trip and I am very glad that I have had the chance to do it, but now it’s time to get back home. I miss my wife and son. The thing I have noticed is that no matter how relaxed your trip is (we really weren’t rushed too much on the trip) you never are really relaxed like you are at home, even with a 18 month old.

The next time I write I’ll be home, safe and sound.

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