Friday, February 1, 2008

Lessons from Shanghai


1. pack less.
2. chinese feels like talking with my tongue anesthetized
3. eat more.
4. it’s ok to be served a fork and spoon. but better to be complimented on your ambidextrous chopstick skills
5. beverages can be as interesting as the meals
6. many chinese women are strikingly beautiful
7. learning to negotiate on inexpensive things first is important
7a. once comfortable get used to ‘best price, best price’ and divide by 5
7b. shopping takes a long time 50% looking, 50% negotiating
7c. leave. leave if the price is wrong. leave if you think you got hosed. leave if you didn’t reduce the price dramatically. leave if they’re happy. leave to see if the price will drop as you walk. leave. it’s not Macy’s.
7d. don’t ever --EVER-- buy anything common without pricing it in several stores. Context is the only guide, as prices start all over .
8. at a party don’t drink unless your being toasted or you’re toasting
8a. cheers is western for wussy sips and kam pai is Japanese for man chug (at least in china...)
9. karaoke isn’t karaoke even though there’s a lot of singing
10. don’t tip. bribe.
11. if you’re with a young chinese girl people will think you’re paying her
12. and that’s ok
13. traffic is a problem
14. spitting small bones onto the plate without aid of hands is appropriate
15. there is no heat in offices or restaurants and people will wear heavy jackets and hats indoors
16. it’s more expensive than new york. it’s more expansive than LA
17. eating/writing with the left hand makes you ‘clever’. the devil is also considered ‘clever’.
18. fitting in is easy to a point, but seems impossible to do completely
19. offer business cards with two hands and bow, accept card with two hands and stare at it for a minute before pocketing
20. shanghai modern architecture is generally boring
23. a car company named Chery is the #1 car co. by volume.
24. the outlets will often accept western plugs without a converter
25. shanghai is a truly a terrific city
charlie merrow Merrow

Merrow has manufactured sewing machines since 1838 and remains one of the most interesting companies in the textile space

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