Friday, September 03, 2004

China this, China that

Last couple of days I've felt pretty crappy. Probably because I still have very bad sleeping and eating habits. Played tennis with Jakob, Johanna's boyfriend, yesterday and today and he kicked my ass. Sucks. Couldn't concentrate at all. It made me feel better today though.

Today's little activity was another appointment. My fourth one now. This guy has been four years in China and been hiring people, setting up factories, and been meeting a lot of officials. It was pretty interesting to chat with him, but I have no idea what he wanted out of the whole thing. We sat there and chatted for a couple of hours about this and that. He never really asked me much about what I could do for him and I don't think he will be very interested. Think he was mostly interested in a way spending his time not working and just sitting around and chatting about good ol'times and drink coffee. I didn't mind either I guess. He gave me a little insight into how it had been working in a Chinese organization. Difficulties to think outside the box, heavy intriguing, and power struggles. Seems pretty hopeless to me for a laowai to get involved in that mess and he agreed on that. He said it was impossible to get project groups to work since that would involve people from different departments, and the manager for that department would feel that his power would be eroded and people would therefore start obstructing other people's work. I've heard about that stuff before from people in the MBA-courses at NTU. Still he was very impressed how well it had worked when people were just doing their thing. One interesting thing was that he besides not knowing any Chinese couldn't speak any good English either. That puts a little doubt on what he actually been doing. How the hell could he get anything done?! Think most of his interacting has been with people that has been trying to kiss-up to him. That shouldn't be too hard I guess. Afterwards we agreed that to understand all the nuances in the Chinese social game you have to be born Chinese.

Think this coming week I will be finish with this calling-around-meeting-middle-aged-guys thing and can take a flight out of here.

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