5 April 2012
Wednesday was actually Qing Ming Festival which I had thought was Monday. Nonetheless, Ren was meeting friends and taking me out to the City God Temple. This was in an area called Old Shanghai which I had stopped the day before and had a quick walk around. It was nice to go with negotiators this time as it is barganing central and souvenier haven. I was told if they tell me something is 500Yuan tell them you buy at 100Yuan and start negotiating a price. In the end though, I did not buy much more than 2 rings and a few nail polish.
With ample time, I went into the YuYuan Garden to explore. It is an ancient garden in the center of Shanghai that was built for the Ming Dynasty emporer. The garden showcases typical Chinese gardening techinques and landscapes. It was very serene and beautiful despite the crowds of tourists. Check out the YuYuan pictures in my gallery.
Next stop was XinTianDi with nearby Huaihai Rd. which is where one finds high end international brands and happening nightlife. The XinTianDi area was charming and very nice with international catering restaurants and cafes. A definite spot to see and I will return for some drinks and eats another night.
Well, my free days have come to a close and I got a pretty good welcome to Shanghai. I saw most of the tourist hotspots, had some good and some very interesting Chinese food.
My first day of work, Thursday 5 April. My manager Mr. Liu who had picked me up from the airport met me at a bus stop in the morning to go to the office. Bear in mind again, Mr. Liu does not speak English. When we arrived at the small office he cleaned a desk off for me and I sat quietly not knowing what was next. The other associates arrived and took to their desks with little else than a glance my way. Hercules Trade Co. is on the 17th floor in the New Pudong Area. It has only 10 desk cubicles and a seperate office for the boss Wang MingFeng(Andy). About a half hour after arriving I was ushered into Mr. Wangs office. Thankfully, he spoke English. We had brief small talk on why I wanted to work in China and then what he and Mr. Liu considered for my first project. This project is to seek out U.S. importers or buyers and make a leading connection to gain interest in buying Hercules clothing. The U.S. is not a current trading market for Hercules; mostly Japan, Paris, and Europe. So without further adieu I am sent to make a list of potential importers that I will contact. But I need my own computer as they did not want me to change the office computer to English. So no more than an hour I headed home to research on my own and bring my computer with me tomorrow.
I don't believe anyone else speaks any English in the office besides Mr. Wang so it should be an interesting and lonely 3 months. My language lessons start tonight! Now I look forward to Monday-Friday days 9-5:30 work and 6:30-8:30 language lessons.