Another Post From Airport Lounge

I am writing another post from the China Airlines lounge at CKS airport in Taipei.

I am going to the US again. This time it’s to Kingsport, TN. It’s gonna take 3 flights to get there.

I sooooooooo don’t want to go….

Come to think of it, I didn’t want to go to San Antonio earlier this year either.

Me in China

What a week it had been. I am now on the second week of my trip here. Chang Shou is actually not as bad as I had previously thought. It’s not a desert. The town is almost as busy as some of the most busy cities in Taiwan. The streets are clean (not because the Chinese here have better habits, but because they have more paid street cleaners).

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A rather interesting thing I noticed here on the streets is electric bikes. They run on electricity, and cruise in almost complete silence. I think they are much cooler than the traditional bikes, but they have a limitation on distance (30-40km) and speed (40-50kph). Watching them moving about, it’s almost like they are drifting.

Hong Kong Airport

I am on the way to China, again!!! I am now at HK airport, on my way to Shanghai, and then on to Chang Shou, where one of our factories is based.

Me at HK

This time, I am slightly less bored than previous trips, due to the nature of the journey. I am here to investigate whether the operation is going smoothly… I am almost becoming a company investigator, digging out problems all over the place. I wish I could also implement solutions to try to fix them though.

Sigh… The biggest issue now in Taipei is the loss of talented staff due to the incompetency of our management. I wish something could be done about this, through more HR interventions or through better review processes for staff and their superiors. I don’t think the company realizes, but I feel this is a major issue that is slowly undermining the company’s competitiveness.

Indonesia

I had just returned from a trip to Indonesia. This was meant to be a business trip visiting one of our factories. I had the opportunity to witness the chaos of Jakarta. Indonesia had suffered tremendously from the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which sent its currency to plunge in value 5 fold. From the people that I had spoken to, the past few years saw many companies going bankrupt, and had put my company’s local factory in much hardship also.

Traffic

My impression of Jakarta is an endless traffic jam. From the number of new motor bikes on the streets, I think this country is in recovery. However, its lack of infrastructure, such as roads, is limiting its development (and this is pretty much the same scenario with other SE Asian countries like Phillipines). I hear that corruption in governmental posts used to be rampant, is reducing, but is still not good enough. To make things worse, the somewhat xenophobic and anti-Chinese sentiment in this country is scaring potential investors away. So, it’s stuck in a slow pace of advance, which the rest of Asia (especially China, India, and now Vietnam) marches on.

Kuta

I took the weekend off to go to Bali. Its serenity is in stark contrast to Jakarta’s chaos. The beaches are one of the best that I had set foot on. In my opinion, the waves are just perfect to surf in; not too big, not too small. The rainforests are natural, and the people are friendly. However, Kuta, where I stayed in, was way too commercialised. Surf clothing stores lined the streets. Australians with very little clothing on walk around drunk, with a beer bottle in their hand, singing rugby war cries. I hope tourism, the hand that feeds this place, doesn’t slowly exploit its beauty to death.

Kecak dance

I hate to say this, but I hope the bombing was a wake up call to the foreigners to be more sensitive to local cultures.

My gallery is here:

Blogging from Guang Dong

I am now in China. I am here for a business meeting.

Chinese Suburbia

I caught an afternoon flight from Taiwan to Hong Kong, and then caught a boat from HK to China. The town I am in is called Hu Men or Tiger-gate (虎門), in Dong Guan, Guang Dong. It’s just like any other city in SE China. Busy, with no character. It’s raining outside, with lots of fog. There is a martial arts competition going on on TV, and they wear really bad costumes. It almost feels like I am in a bad film noir set in China.

I met a guy on the boat here, and we talked about his business. He runs a small clothing store, and he’s here picking up the latest fashion. This area in China is famous for its clothing manufacturing.

After the discussion, I had a new business idea.

The business idea involves a tailored-made clothing business (or maybe bespoke or custom-made fashion). I would set up a store and cute sales people to measure customers’ dimensions, send them to a design center with experienced tailors, and then the clothing specifications can be sent over the internet to factories based in China. A production line produces these tailored made items, before DHL’ing them to the customer.

Just another idea.

Blogging from the VIP lounge

I am blogging from the business class lounge of the CKS Airport. Man, I am bored already.

This place is actually bigger than the first-class lounge, but nothing else seems different. Food is the same, decor the same, toilet looks the same… guests look the same.

Bored.

On my way to the US, again

I am on my way to the US again. I don’t want to go.

I would sigh just thinking of the boredom to come.