Saturday, November 8, 2008

On to Shanghai

We finished the show in Singapore and everything was good. There were seven of us heading to Shanghai, and we took a couple of cars to the airport in Singapore. Singapore Changi airport is probably the most beautiful airport in the world. The inside is nicer than the nicest high end shopping mall in North Jersey or anywhere you have been. Everything is clean and sparkly!
Here is a quick shot I took in the entrance.

Changi International Airport

This post is going to be a bit long, as I have been super busy with work and play and haven't had much time to keep up the posts.

We landed in Shanghai and took a bus to the hotel. By the time we checked in, it was probably around 11:30 pm so, the ride to the hotel, which was 60 minutes, was pretty bland, as it was dark and raining.
Once we checked in, we met on the 32nd floor of the hotel which is called "The VUE bar" and it was just an amazing place. I hope to get some photos of it tonight.

The next morning, we met for breakfast, and then worked on our clients computer till about 12:30 pm. This IBM Laptop would not print no matter what we did. GRRRRR! It was pretty frustrating since this was the only day we had to explore the city, and it was eating up tons of time.
Allen and I jumped in a cab and headed off to an electronics center to try and get a printer cable. When the cab driver grunted something in Chinese we figured that we were at the electronics center. Once we started wandering around looking for the place, we realized that the cabbie dropped us off a couple of blocks from the place. We finally found it with the help of some Chinese police officer, and stumbled into about 4 floors of computers, cameras, printers, and other electronics.
We bought a couple of cables after running around there, and got back to the hotel as quickly as we could.

The long version of the computer/printer battle involves a lot of words like VPN, TCPIP, about 5 reboots, 75 error messages and about 12 lock ups. After a while of trying to beat this computer into submission, we reluctantly backed away so, that the client could get to her email and work.
It was a small failure, and none of us liked walking away... but you have to decide when you are getting in the way of the client being productive, or just fixing a problem. It is easy to create a bigger problem and more frustration by working on a stupid issue so long that the client can't get to her email.

So, off we went. Sight seeing around Shanghai.
We arrived at the tailor that the concierge recommended to us and it was a really nice store. Too nice! We must have all been wearing our "Sucker Hats" because when we asked them what a two piece suit would cost, they told us that it would start at 3800 RMB That is almost 5 times what you should pay. So, we immediately walked out of that store and headed down to Tao Bao City which is a shopping area where you buy everything that you could ever want as a knock off.

I picked up an Oakley backpack that I have been wanting for a couple of years, but never wanted to spend $150 dollars on for about $21.00. A pretty cool little mini iPhone which may or may not ever really work, and a pair of Ecco sneakers that I would imagine run about $75, and I bought them for 20 bucks.

It was a lot of fun bargaining with the vendors. Most of them are really nice, and it is a fun little game you play when you bargain with them.

After a quick bit at the noodle shop, Rick, Rob and I jumped in a cab and headed to the fabric market and got fitted for some clothes.
I bought two 3 piece suits made of 150's silk, two pairs of dress pants, and a gorgeous cashmere over coat. They took all our measurements, and we picked the fabrics out from about 100 different bolts of fabric. It was really exciting!
Then we negotiated that they would bring the clothing to our hotel today at 4:00 pm and do the final fitting.
All the clothes I bought cost under $400.00 for the lot. I am pretty sure I got about $1500-$2000 worth of high end clothes made and all in less than 24 hours, and delivered!

Back to the hotel and off to my room to relax for a couple of hours before we started the 10:00 pm load in and setup.
There was a wedding in the room, so we had to wait till they were out before we could start.
Everything went pretty well. I took my USB drive that I had in Singapore and plugged it into the audio console, and about 1 minute later, all the settings and configuration that I had spent about 2 hours tweaking in Singapore, were right in front of me.
That was a huge success!
The crew worked hard and I finally got to bed around 2:00 am and wearily set my alarms for 5:30 am.
Here are a few photos of the room as we set it up, and then a couple I took just before I left my room to go to work, as the sun was rising over the Bund River and lighting up Shanghai.

Right after the wedding as we loaded in


About 12:30 pm


Finished product at about 4:00 am



These two from my hotel room this morning around 6:00 am

Good Morning Shanghai

Good Morning Shanghai2.jpg

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