Fishing Village Building
My Chinese teammates were incredibly kindhearted, gracious and generous. I enjoyed getting to know them and learning about their culture.
I was informed that I am a VIP and that it is my hosts job is to make me happy.
Wow. I am not really sure how to take this information. It made me very uncomfortable to think that someone’s duty is tied to my happiness. How can this be? My task on this trip is to gather information to bring back to the decision
makers; I guess that put me in a VIP category.
I discovered that the business community has no problem asking you in a very clear direct manner for whatever it is that they want. I found myself, quite by surprise, face to face with one business
man inviting me and the whole team to dinner. My teammates (all men) parted like the red sea pointing to me as the person in charge. He was searching through the crowd for the decision maker. I caught the surprise on his face when he realized that he
had to deal with a female” VIP”. Anyway…He was two feet from my face inviting (more like demanding) to take me and the team to a nearby restaurant where they had a reservation waiting and we needed to leave now. I was so taken
aback I did not know how to respond. I was standing there watching my male colleagues standing safely back in the crowd subtly shaking their head no, so I would not accept. I am not a person, who is easily coerced into doing something I don’t
want to do, but this conversation went on for about 5 minutes with increasing tension and my resolve was wavering. Finally, I stood firm, straightened my back and raised myself to full height.in my long black coat and I claimed what remained of my personal
space. I looked him square in the face and raised my hand in a stop gesture and thanked him for his kindness and said this is not the time. Wentao was at my side and stepped in to play the diplomat saying “next time” with her full
understanding of cultural and business knowledge and native language skills. She knew it was essential to give the man a graceful way out and to allow him to save face. Thank heaven for her. I immediately went over the senior male of the
group and thanked him for unwavering support as he stood outside and watched this whole thing transpire. He started laughing and said, “Hey this is your gig.” At this moment my Chinese host took my elbow and pointed to the car and in
a quite serious tone told me to get in the car immediately to signify we were leaving. I felt like I was caught in some kind of warp zone. What just transpired? In the car I was told the businessman was a government official and he
wanted time with my team to persuade us to choose his option. He also had ties to the host in my group and I had without knowing embarrassed my host by telling the official we had other plans for dinner that were already arranged. This was a huge lesson
in diplomacy and I apologized to my host later for putting him in such an awkward position.
During our tour, one manager asked me if I was ready to move to China? I would have “special privileges” and they would build me a
big house. When I realized he was dead serious I was flabbergasted. Business is so different if this part of the world. I laughed and said well I am pretty sure it would mean a divorce if I were to move this far away from home. I am continually
surprised at the commonality I find when I travel to other places. People always love where they live and want you to love it as well. It would be the ultimate compliment to move to where they live.
Wentao finally explained to me
what I was served on my first dinner. 1 The white gelatinous watery liquid substance was from the scrotum of a frog,. 2. The egg floating on the top of my soup was the cholesterol from crab eggs. Are they trying to kill me? My cholesterol
does not need any help with elevation. As the realization washed over me, confusion reigned…. Are they trying to play some kind of cross species procreation with my food, or is this some kind of biology test of my knowledge on animal sexuality.
I had a teleconference with my manger later that night and told her this story and she was laughing so hard I could feel the tears dripping through the phone. We laughed so hard my stomach ached. I had survived. The next day I would begin
a new adventure.
The fool continues on her journey.……..