China Diary:
Computer Crash


[Leaving Home] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Settling in Shanghai] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Getting to Work] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Becoming Routine] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Western Contacts] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) ["National Day" Trip] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Meeting Folks] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Plenty to Eat] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Downtown] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [South by Southwest] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Socializing] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Dance Fever] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Exchanges] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Business Week] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [North by Northeast] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Computer Crash] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [The Good and the Bad] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Wrapping Up]


Dec. 7: Pearl Harbor Day – I begin today with a typical Chinese breakfast in the Dongbei ("Northeast") University of Finance & Economics campus hotel. Teresa picks me up, and we walk to Sun Asia Ocean World, a joint venture with Hong Kong and New Zealand which boasts to being the main attraction. It is icy outside with some snow flurries, and we brave the wind to go to the aquarium. After, we eat lunch in the campus hotel joined by the director of the Waiban office. After lunch, I address a group of MBAs on "Strategic Information Systems." We have dinner in the campus hotel, after which I address a group of MBAs on "Management Education in China." This topic gives me a chance to vent my frustrations. Then I take a taxi downtown and wander in the cold dark, stopping in an occasional pub. When I return to the campus hotel at midnight, the doors are locked and I have to patiently tap on the glass until a disgruntled worker comes to let me in. I wonder what would happen in case of a fire at night. Any way, it is nice to spend a full day engaging in fair transactions. Compared to the past weekend, I knew I wasn’t getting ripped off by everyone. In fact, in spite of the sleepy hotel nightwatchman, many people were quite civil.

Dec. 8: "Twelve Angry Men" – It’s another early rise again to catch my flight back to Shanghai. As luck would have it, the University car keeps stalling so we rush to get a cab. As I enter my apartment at 11:30, the phone rings and I am invited to a luncheon banquet hosted by the Director of the International MBA Program which coordinates joint programs with MIT, the Norwegian School of Management, and Hong Kong. The corporate sponsors of the Hong Kong program are in town to recruit at several universities, and they invite me to teach "Business Ethics" in the joint MIT program next semester. Later that evening, I show the B&W classic "Twelve Angry Men" to my MBA strategy class. The topic is leadership and I think there are many pertinent lessons to this culture on decision making, group dynamics, taking responsibility, initiative, and willingness to take risk. To practice what we preach, several of us head for Mr. Pizza after the movie.

Dec. 11: Double Play – During my morning seminar I notice a student eavesdropping in the hallway. I call out, "Ni yao shenme" ("What do you want?"). He asks to sit in on the rest of the class, and I agree. Later in the afternoon, Maurice and I go to the courts for some of the most physical three-on-three play we’ve had yet, but when the dust settles about an hour later we lose only one game. Maurice winds up breaking someone’s eyeglasses, which we offer to pay for. We both take a few tumbles, and I wind up re-injuring my left pinky and again opening a good cut on my right knee. After nursing our wounds, we go to dinner and then pick up some bottles of beer. Our guitar quartet jams again at night, and we play long and loud. I wonder who we’re keeping awake?

Dec. 10: Business Banquet – Tom calls in the morning. He is Chinese but has lived in Albany the last ten years. His wife was teaching economics at Fudan, then received masters degrees at my home institution in both economics and accounting. She currently works for the State of New York. Tom spends about half the year in Shanghai giving investment advice. He invites me to dinner that evening to help him. There are about a dozen people around a round table with a large lazy Susan in the middle. We toast unknown numbers of maotais and the dishes keep coming. About mid-way through I begin to feel it, but this is business. Just when I thought it was over, several of us retire to karaoke. By the time I get home I must hop the fence again.

Dec. 11-12: Weekend – Friday evening I meet Akif from the Turkish Counselate for happy hour in the Long Bar by the Portman Hotel. After, we head to the Marine House to watch the movie "X-Files." Saturday night we meet again, this time at a continental restaurant downtown with a group of expats. We then walk to the Cotton Club for some jazz and brew. Next day I am trying to catch up on my e-mail and other work using my laptop when tragedy strikes: I get up with some wires aound my ankle, pulling the laptop enough to fall off the coffee table. Disaster. It goes blank. I light my red Buddhist temple candle for Hanukkah Sunday at sunset. Still bummed out, I go to Shigeo, the Matsushita general manager, who is hosting a Sukiyaki party. I momentarily forget about my computer woes. Nonetheless, I will remember this as the week my computer died.


[Leaving Home] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Settling in Shanghai] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Getting to Work] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Becoming Routine] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Western Contacts] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) ["National Day" Trip] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Meeting Folks] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Plenty to Eat] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Downtown] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [South by Southwest] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Socializing] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Dance Fever] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Exchanges] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Business Week] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [North by Northeast] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Computer Crash] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [The Good and the Bad] arrow.jpg (877 bytes) [Wrapping Up]

Rainbow

Copyright 1998 Paul Miesing. All rights reserved. Please do not use without permission unless in the People’s Republic of China which does not enforce intellectual property rights. Revised on January 17, 2001.