Daily Life

Can I get a snapshot idea of what your daily life has been like in China? I'm looking to have a totally new experience in the most intense way possible. What have you experienced daily that you either loved or hated?

My daily life? 

My dear friend, everyone's life is different. Were I to give you a picture of my life, you might be shocked. It would be very unlikely that you would have a similar life to what I have.

OK.  You asked for it.  This is what I will do tomorrow...

I will wake up at 5am.  While I am taking a shower, my wife will set the table with my breakfast and coffee.  She will also lay out the clothes that I will wear for the day.

I will eat breakfast, and then quickly go through my work emails.

Then I will leave.  A car will be waiting for me at 7.  The driver will probably be smoking a cigarette and will offer me one, and I may or may not accept it.  He will then open the door for me, and once I am comfortable in the back, he will close it and drive me to pick up my Project Engineer, and a sourcing engineer.

We will drive for 3 to 4 hours depending on the traffic to Foshan. I have a meeting with a factory boss.  When we arrive, I will go up to the factory boss and owner and have cigarettes and tea while discussing the project at hand.  Meanwhile my engineers will be handling issues on the shop floor.

We will have lunch with the factory boss and he will provide hospitality.  We will probably eat in a private room around a large circular table.  Typically I am offered red wine or beer with my lunch. I will be asked to select the food for lunch.  In general, I will order one fish, one bird, and one animal that walks. I will order one dish more than the number of people in the room. The boss will pay for the meal, but  might offer to pay.  If that is the case, my project engineer will handle it.

We will then retire and take a rest until two.   I will be led to the bosses office and may or may not lay down on the sofa.

At two, we will continue.  I have some issues that need to be resolve, and that might result in some exchanges of face.  The activity will continue all afternoon, though the boss or supervisory staff might want me to play a game of billiards with them in the rec area.

We will wrap up around 6:00.  We will be taken out to dinner.  Again it will be another private room in a business hotel / restaurant.  We will eat some delicious food, and I will (to honor our hosts) let them pick the food.  I will eat everything that they suggest, no matter how unusual to my preferences. We will also be drinking white wine, (though I typically request VSOP, or Red Wine) instead.  Typically,  am provided with a cigar, and 555 cigarettes to suit.

We will then go to the KTV.  Companions will be selected from the lineup and they will play games with us and sing with us. We will dance, play games with dice in cups, and sing duos. As the foreign face,  I will be expected to sing Michael Jackson "Beat It" (sigh). That will continue until late.  Depending on the company, we can retire as early as 11pm and as late as 3:30. The hotel and entertainment will be provided by the factory boss.  I will be escorted to my room, and I will hand my gear over to my project engineer to keep an eye on them.  Then I will turn in.

In the morning the next day, I will check in with my wife using wechat, and meet the factory boss who will share a breakfast with us.  Then  the car will swing over and I can start my new day.

I know that this is not the kind of life that you expected to hear about, but it is my life and it is the truth. It is not this way every day.  Maybe about two times a week to three times a week it is like this.  The rest of the time, I live a very boring life in my work office. At work it is a story of answering emails and dealing with work issues. Then off to home.

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