Showing posts from March, 2018

"Come on up"

Many years ago I was stationed at a factory in Shenzhen.   I was sent there to basically be a project manager for various aftermarket products my American company was building.    That is, instead of buying the original parts from a Korean or American company(usually Korean),   I was sent overseas to find a factory that could take samples of these original parts and reverse engineer them to an “aftermarket” or “copy” spec. This was legal as long as we did not put any OE logos on them.   For example, “Samsung” or “LG”.    Further, the aftermarket spec was only 80-90% accurate.   But the dimensions were so small it still worked. Alas, I was quite busy.   I worked 6 days a week, quite often late into Saturday night, knee deep in grease.   I disdained my American counterparts back home immensely,     as they would go home promptly at 5pm, and never worked weekends.   Upon getting back to my apartment on weekends, I would shower and change out of my factory clothes.    I threw

Update on the Inlaws and their apparently overpriced retirement accommodations....update 3

Here is yet another update on the continuing saga of Chinese inlaws living in subsidized government  housing that I'm sure was originally meant for Americans. The inlaws are back in China.   Their apartment is empty but my wife continues paying their $50 a month rent. Well it turns out another local Chinese resident has asked China Wife for help.  It seems that this lady, a kind, educated person all alone receives some type of government financial aid. Not much.  Around $750 a month.  It does into an account.  And the Chinese resident has figured out she must spend this money!  Otherwise, Uncle Sam will ask her why she is not doing so? If you will recall(I'm sure it's somewhere down below), this elderly Chinese lady had a wealthy son, who himself owns many properties.   And yet his mom lives in a government subsidized apartment, which pisses me off.   I wonder why her Son simply won't let his own mom live rent free in one of his properties...oh wait, that would m

Another boring kinda sorta doing business in China post....

American companies buy lots of things from overseas.    Wine, dogfood, your girlfriends’ underwear, etc.   And a lot of that stuff comes from places most of us will never visit.    Places like Bangladesh, India, and of course China. As these global supply chains become longer and longer, accidents occur.    People die.   Companies, in particular American companies, receive lots of bad press.   They look bad.   Very bad.   And as such the “Compliance Industry” has taken off.     Nearly every big American company has a group of people dedicated to this dark art.    One would think they are the modern day Masters of the Universe.    They have the tough job of insuring a supplier or group of suppliers are adhering to the self imposed standards of the company buying all that product from overseas. I deal with these folks everyday.     And it’s briefly what I want to talk about. Every firm is different.   Every one.    They all have a different focus. Some want to know

"Only two of my friends know about you."

A few years ago our family drove up North a few hundred miles, which in America, with the speeds of our interstates, just isn’t a big deal.   (Yes, I’ve heard of the Autobahn, and no, I will never drive on the Autobahn)   We were going to see an old friend of my wife.   This friend claimed to know me.   I could not recall.  But I remembered, if somewhat vaguely, the dude she was apparently engaged to.   That would be because in Hangzhou 1991, only a few laowai existed, and we knew each other.   I would say there were probably less than 15 laowai men in Hangzhou during this time, and most of us were students.   Anyway, she claimed to know me, I didn’t recall her, but I knew her “boyfriend”, and that was that.    Why was this so important at the time, as we drove up the Mid Atlantic seaboard?    Because this woman I had no recollection of whatsoever wanted to keep secret to her husband that she had a previous laowai boyfriend.   Much less the fact they were supposedly engag