We finally got to Guangzhou, our destination for the next few days. After missing our transfer in Beijing last night Air China put us up in a basic Airport spot, replete with one eye open kind of sleeping. They gave Anatoli and I a shared room for free, no voucher or anything, but we decided separate rooms would be a better and handed over $20 each for ¥150 rooms.
I did some email until 1:30am this morning. Best part was the bed – 1” of foam on a tatami mattress. Hard core traveling needs a hard core bed. So, chalk up one more and let’s get on with it. Skipped the custom coffee contraption I procured for this trip, as I dreaded missing the 6am bus. Breakfast on the plane was traditional congee with spicy pickled cabbage and a century egg – I got hung up on the idea of Air China loosing face so I did the right thing and cleaned my plate.
Edward from ABV is our lead on the logistics side, and he met us at the gate and handed us the petty cash and phones. I had a tingly feeling that this was about as close as I will come to a location shoot again. Cheap hotel, per deems, airport hassles and walkies – man I miss those days!
A bus whisked us off to the Hyatt where we’ll stay until Saturday. We met up with Jean Sum, the Program Manager from ABV. Jean is like the Ace producer or project manager you want to have, or if you are a PM, she’s the one you want to be. She got us settled and then we all went to lunch with Louise Davis, the IBM executive over all of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs in the Growth Markets Unit. She’s an inspiration and the consummate professional – some people make it look so easy!
After a quick coffee in my room, we all went out to get some dim-summy yummy stuff and shanghai dumplings, scallion pancakes and some killer tofu and peppers and more. A few dishes moved in the Schezuan direction for sure. The “core four” went from there to the Guandong Musueum. Wonderful place filled with ceramics curated to tell the story of the region – the few hours there re-infornced the importance of Ceramics in Guandong. It’s clear that the industry transformation that happens in this area of China will include Ceramics.
Back at the hotel, we regrouped for dinner and met Sid (Siddharth Purohit) who joins our team from Bangalore… and then there were five. Peter is arriving tonight as I write this, but meeting him in person will need to wait until breakfast.
We all went out for traditional Cantonese fare, served under the biggest flat screen you could ever imagine. They are taking TV Dinner to a whole new level. But the food was great; Peking duck, yummy veggies and fish. Smarter is as smarter does. I’m hitting the hay – tomorrow will be our first day to convene as a team in person -and I’m looking at putting the jet lag behind me.