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mancat

anyone spent much time in China?

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Got a short notice work trip to near Ningbo, China next week. I'll probably be there 7-10 days. I don't know jack shit about the area so I'm going to read up a little bit on it. Anybody here spent any time in China - specifically if around Ningbo and that area, and have any recommendations? Any great bootlegged shit to look out for in the markets?

 

I generally don't enjoy working with the people of the Chinese marine industry so this should be exciting.

Edited by mancat

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Spent several years working in Asia. Best to stay away from any drinking games even if you "think" you can hold your liquor. While many asians (such as my wife) are alcohol intollerant, I have seen more than a few that can even give a Russian a run for their money (especially when drinking the local beer). Most of the bars will have hot girls that work for the bar that act as your hostess. Basically you buy them drinks (which are apprpriately watered down in most cases) and they sit an chat with you.

 

As for stuff to buy, just go to the local street "night market". They usually open around 8PM or so and go to about midnight. Lots of great food to eat and pretty much anything you want to buy will be available. There should also be a "technology center" somewhere in the area if you need computer parts, etc. However, much of this might end up being really bad counterfeit junk (something that looks like an Apple smartphone but is spelled "Appple" and no telling what the actual CPU or OS is) so usually pass unless you know exactly what you are getting.

 

If you dress nice and be polite the locals will absolutely go out of their way to help you. Just realize that there is no concept of "equals" in the Chinese culture. When they ask which University you went to, what is your job title, and how much money you make they are just trying to figure out if you are above them in status or below them. Just a cultural thing. The only two words you have to know are "nee how" which is a greeting meaning "how are you" and "shea shea" meaning "thank you". Have fun.  

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fortunately I have close to zero interest in the drinking games.. could be a problem as I'll be working with a bunch of engineers who I know tend to get into that sort of thing while there.

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Bring antiseptic wipes, neosporin, wet wipes, Immodium, anti-nausea medication, a pack of your own bandaids, and dust masks. Also bring power bars to snack on. Buy bottled water only from branded stores, not from street merchants. You can buy bleach and antibiotics from department stores without a prescription. You'll figure out why quickly. Japanese owned department stores sell western foods like bread, peanut butter, and jelly. Buy some and keep it in your room. Don't buy food from street merchants. Stay in a good western hotel with a western restaurant, and eat as many of your meals there as possible. If you go out to eat, pick good restaurants with a good reputations among expats there.  NEVER share food, Chinese style. If you do, expect to be ill anywhere from three days to a week. It is better to appear to be a bit rude than to be  puking your guts out between the hours spent on the can. If you can avoid it DON'T get sick in China. 

 

Hail cabs by sticking your arm out to the side and down with your palm turned out toward oncoming traffic. Before you leave your hotel, have the concierge or someone else who is bi-lingual write down the name and address of your destination in Chinese. Keep the name  and telephone number of your hotel (in Chinese) in your pocket. Always have a pocket full of 'Kwai' for paying cab drivers. 

 

By virtue of being a western man, you are automatically a chick magnet in China. Be careful. AIDS is rampant. Karaoke bars are brothels. Night clubs are brothels. That high end gym with massage rooms in the basement of your hotel... that's a brothel too. Chinese women may seek to attach themselves to you. If one really takes a liking to you, and you think its just casual fun, to her it isn't. You may return to your hotel room to find her sleeping in the doorway.

 

Have a great time, and be careful!

 

Mike

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Avoid the elevators and escalators.

 

 

Just lost my shit

Funny. I attended a safety seminar awhile back ( I work on elevators and escalators)

 

Supposedly Beijing (? Can't remember which city) was installing urine detection systems in there elevators. Evidently the Chinese treat the elevator as a pisser. ( I'd say bathroom, but I guess number 2 isn't found as much. )

 

There was a safety brief of someone who fell through an elevator platform that was so eroded by pee it gave way under their weight. ( don't think falling down into a chasm with an echo and dying, think falling halfway in and breaking an ankle)

 

Anyways, mancat, have a little fun. Don't really have any advice to give you. On mikes post I have to say I suffered a bad breakup about 10 years ago. All those things mike mentioned sounded interesting. I almost booked a ticket until the fear of waking up in a bathtub full of ice and my kidneys gone spooked me out if it.

 

Side topic- mike. Need some help on info on visiting china. Pm sent.

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Here is some advice. Mike Rogers covered much of it but be advised if you have not interacted with Chinese custom and I am not talking US Chinese, know this;

Be very polite as the Chinese feel losing face is the worst situation possible. Always act humble and very appreciative. This will gain you points. You as a round eye, will stick out like a sore thumb. Do not eat foods off the street as you will see things available to eat that you have no idea what it is or even existed outside of a sci-fi movie. "Sanitary" is not a word in the Chinese vocabulary and keep in mind it is a communist country. The govt. is god. Go astray of that and you will have an unpleasant experience. Rights, Constitution all the liberal PC shit here is totally non existent there. They have ZERO compunction about beating your ass senseless if you press them, or give them cause, believe me. I lived in Taiwan which is China lite (not communist) but China none the less. They used to have these guys in full BDUs that wore chrome helmets and patrolled the city. These were some dudes NOT to be facked with. They were stone face, hard core, serious customers. I loved it there but you could go ten minutes out of the city and instantly be in the Middle Ages. Oh, and the Chinese LOVE cigarettes. I cannot comment on the nightlife/ bar scene.

 

Never the less go and have a good time. Check out the sights and local industry/ historical things. If you are interested in that sort of thing. It's very different and remember, there are seven Chinese for every other single person on the planet.

Edited by JAG
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I'm married and not a huge fan of asian women so I guess I can skip out on the AIDS

 

the trip has quickly become fucked up though, as I learned that it can take up to 14 days to get a Chinese VISA through normal channels.. So now they want to fly me to San Francisco so I can go into the PRC consulate and do it in person, then fly from SFO to China.

 

never wanted to go on this trip, and NOT happy with the circumstances. I loved to travel until I had to worry about leaving a 1 1/2 year old son at home.

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I loved to travel until I had to worry about leaving a 1 1/2 year old son at home.

I saw my son 22 days out of his first year. Traveling came to a halt at the end of his 2nd year. I hope you can find something stationary

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Wife just got back from a business trip to Shanghai.

She works for Hewitt Packard on their World Wide team. She enjoyed it, but had a driver and coworkers to help her out. Said it was crowded as hell. She.loved the bullet train. 155 miles in 40 minutes.

17 hour flight each way sucked though.

Edited by Jet
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I'm married and not a huge fan of asian women so I guess I can skip out on the AIDS

 

the trip has quickly become fucked up though, as I learned that it can take up to 14 days to get a Chinese VISA through normal channels.. So now they want to fly me to San Francisco so I can go into the PRC consulate and do it in person, then fly from SFO to China.

 

never wanted to go on this trip, and NOT happy with the circumstances. I loved to travel until I had to worry about leaving a 1 1/2 year old son at home.

Hang in there Mancat. I feel the same way when I travel. Judging from your posts you want to get there, get it done, and return home. I can respect that. Honoring your wife and family is to be respected my friend. With that said, enjoy yourself, it is something that many will never have a chance in life to experience.

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You never mentioned what you do, for work.

 

I would probably try to find a few IPhone knock-offs. Some Chinese goods rival the best stuff on the market.

 

I hope you have a safe trip!

Edited by Sim_Player

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You never mentioned what you do, for work.

 

I would probably try to find a few IPhone knock-offs. Some Chinese goods rival the best stuff on the market.

 

I hope you have a safe trip!

 

I basically do what used to be the job of a marine radio/electronics officer, before a lot of that work was (unsuccessfully) automated. Most of the time I just go out the ships as needed, or on a maintenance basis, and maintain ship computers, servers, satellite/radio communications equipment, GPS, radar and electronic charts (most large ships run on autopilot via "ECDIS" electronic chart/route plotting systems) and some of the interface electronics between navigation equipment, engineering automation systems, misc sensors and other custom electronics systems (e.g. refrigerated container monitoring), etc.

 

In this case the ship was tie up over a year ago and they have no idea if anything still works, somebody suspects some stuff may have been stolen or left inoperable. Captain, mates, and engineers are already on their way to crew it up, so off I go with very little warning.

 

In the Navy my rate would be an ET. But I was never in the Navy. Most people generally assume I was, as most people in this field are retired Navy/Air Force and a few Army.

Edited by mancat
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Here is some advice. Mike Rogers covered much of it but be advised if you have not interacted with Chinese custom and I am not talking US Chinese, know this;

Be very polite as the Chinese feel losing face is the worst situation possible. Always act humble and very appreciative. This will gain you points. You as a round eye, will stick out like a sore thumb. Do not eat foods off the street as you will see things available to eat that you have no idea what it is or even existed outside of a sci-fi movie. "Sanitary" is not a word in the Chinese vocabulary and keep in mind it is a communist country. The govt. is god. Go astray of that and you will have an unpleasant experience. Rights, Constitution all the liberal PC shit here is totally non existent there. They have ZERO compunction about beating your ass senseless if you press them, or give them cause, believe me. I lived in Taiwan which is China lite (not communist) but China none the less. They used to have these guys in full BDUs that wore chrome helmets and patrolled the city. These were some dudes NOT to be facked with. They were stone face, hard core, serious customers. I loved it there but you could go ten minutes out of the city and instantly be in the Middle Ages. Oh, and the Chinese LOVE cigarettes. I cannot comment on the nightlife/ bar scene.

 

Never the less go and have a good time. Check out the sights and local industry/ historical things. If you are interested in that sort of thing. It's very different and remember, there are seven Chinese for every other single person on the planet.

Ah, memories. I came across several of these guys that were holding their M-16's with their fingers inside the trigger guards. Yeah, I put the camera down and put a masonry wall between me and them ASAP. IIRC, over there, barber poles don't mean what they do over there. In Taipei, try to make it to Snake Alley!

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Here is some advice. Mike Rogers covered much of it but be advised if you have not interacted with Chinese custom and I am not talking US Chinese, know this;

Be very polite as the Chinese feel losing face is the worst situation possible. Always act humble and very appreciative. This will gain you points. You as a round eye, will stick out like a sore thumb. Do not eat foods off the street as you will see things available to eat that you have no idea what it is or even existed outside of a sci-fi movie. "Sanitary" is not a word in the Chinese vocabulary and keep in mind it is a communist country. The govt. is god. Go astray of that and you will have an unpleasant experience. Rights, Constitution all the liberal PC shit here is totally non existent there. They have ZERO compunction about beating your ass senseless if you press them, or give them cause, believe me. I lived in Taiwan which is China lite (not communist) but China none the less. They used to have these guys in full BDUs that wore chrome helmets and patrolled the city. These were some dudes NOT to be facked with. They were stone face, hard core, serious customers. I loved it there but you could go ten minutes out of the city and instantly be in the Middle Ages. Oh, and the Chinese LOVE cigarettes. I cannot comment on the nightlife/ bar scene.

Never the less go and have a good time. Check out the sights and local industry/ historical things. If you are interested in that sort of thing. It's very different and remember, there are seven Chinese for every other single person on the planet.

 

Ah, memories. I came across several of these guys that were holding their M-16's with their fingers inside the trigger guards. Yeah, I put the camera down and put a masonry wall between me and them ASAP. IIRC, over there, barber poles don't mean what they do over there. In Taipei, try to make it to Snake Alley!
I lived in Tianmu which is just outside of Taipei. Went to Dominican which is now the Dominican international school. My dad was embedded in MAAG (military assistance advisory group) and we were there under diplomatic status. It was an awesome experience and I really liked living there. I want to go back and visit. Edited by JAG

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My old guitar player from my band days was there training them to eventually do his outsourced job (pretty messed up). He said the locals are unbelievably lazy. They have nap times at work, and like water or electricity, they always follow the path of least resistance. Choosing food and drink must be carefully considered, sanitation is always an issue to consider. Depending where you're at, you may not get a single breath of fresh air or beam of sunlight. He enjoyed the experience over all, but it's a tricky trip.

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Visit the Dr before you go. He may have some shots for you.

^^^+1^^^ Hep. B series

 

Also get a prescription for amebic disentary pills to take with. Standard practice for me when traveling the third world.

 

I haven't been to China but South America several times. Health concerns are somewhat similar due to sanitary differences compared to here.

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Thanks for the tips. Leaving for SF tomorrow so that I can go to the PRC consulate first thing Tues morning and submit the visa app in person.

 

Fortunately I found out that an agent will be picking me up in Shanghai and taking me the rest of the way there, so shouldn't be too much of a hassle. Flight to China is supposed to be first class. The engineer I'll be working with is around my age and is also a gun guy.

 

I probably won't have any time to do much sight seeing, 14+ hour days are common in a drydocking op, and all sorts of surprised may await me.. But we'll see.

Edited by mancat

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?.......Flight to China is supposed to be first class. .

Count your blessings that it is. It's a long flight and 1st class will mos def make it tolerable. That long of a flight in a shitty cramped seat with yelling rugrats and GreyHound passengers will be miserable. Last thing, change your sleep schedule NOW and adjust your circadian rhythm, unless you don't have issues or can handle jet lag. By readjusting now you'll be more on your game when you get there.

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I have done the Europe trip a few times, jet lag not an issue. I stay awake or sleep as long as needed and then start a new schedule.

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having a good time here so far but 12ish hour days in a Chinese shipyard are tough. I also have to set up a VPN to get around the ridiculous firewall. the food is great. my hotel is super fancy with a great buffet. on the ship a guy shows up in a little ox cart with bins of delicious mystery food. I'll have to try the squid soup at the buffet tomorrow. some of the guys won't touch most of it.

 

also as far as I can tell there are zero rules on Chinese roads and highways, worst drivers in the world.

 

nobody has stared at me for too long yet, but I always nod and try to be polite

Edited by mancat
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