China Diary:
From Albany to Zurich

[Returning to Shanghai] [Spring Festival] [Chinese New Year] [Fulbright Mid-Year Conference] [Back to School] [Back Online] [Into the Heartland] [Ancient Capitals] [Judeo-Christian Holidays] [From Albany to Zurich] [Yellow Mountain] [Loose Ends] [Hello, Debbie ... Goodbye, Debbie] [Southern Capital] [Tropical Tour] [Unwinding] [Farewell Banquets] [Winding Down] [Good Bye, Shanghai]

Apr. 5: Chinese Ecology – My computer woes continue, and now the e-mail is a problem because the university changed to a new server (without informing us users). It is much quicker but not as reliable. In any event, the transition has lost many of my messages. One of the staffers comes over to help, but after a time we wind up where we started. In the evening, Debbie substitutes for an English Class at Tongji University. So, I go to dinner on my own to the Shack where I bump into Fred, who I met there early last Fall. He is the general manager of a local startup that designs and installs environmental control equipment. We chat a bit about the China pollution situation. With new regulations and greater social consciousness, he expects his business to be very lucrative in a few years. I hope he is correct. When I get home, I receive a call from an MBA student from last semester who works at Bao Steel, the largest in China and accused of being a notorious polluter. He invites me to give a lecture to some of the managers there.

Apr. 6: Invitation to Zurich – After my strategic management MBA class I receive an urgent e-mail from an MBA program in Zurich which has a joint program with my home institution and where I taught for two weeks last year. One of my colleagues scheduled to teach there in a few weeks cannot make it, so they ask me to fill in. I notify them I will have to get permission from several sources and re-schedule my Chinese classes, lectures, and visits. I receive a phone call from Zurich that evening and we discuss it further.

Apr. 7: Hanging out With Debbie – I teach my business ethics MBA class in the afternoon, and Debbie is again teaching a English class at Tongji University at night. When she gets home we decide to blow off the night. We first go to Super Disco, then DD’s, and finally MGM where Debbie meets some businessmen from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Back home, I receive another urgent e-mail and phone call from Zurich and we confirm my trip and the course in a couple of weeks.

Apr. 8: English Corner –After a few months away from this weekly crowd, I decide to go back to the graduate student dormitories where I can mix and mingle with the students. Most are from Fudan, but some work or come from other universities. The topics start out political, but eventually drift to lighter fare comparing our cultures, places we have traveled, and even views about personal relationships. At home, I again receive an e-mail and phone call from Zurich and we discuss my trip and the course some more.

Apr. 9: Zurich Runaround – I go to the Waiban office to arrange several pending air flights. Because I am in a rush I will have to go alone to get the re-entry visa permitting me to return to China. For lunch, I meet the two students working with me on a business strategy case. Then one of them accompanies me to the immigration office where I drop off my passport for the visa, then to the airline office to get my ticket. For dinner, a bunch of us go to Malone’s for happy hour, Western fare, and a couple of games of pool. From there we drift off to Real Love where we slowly begin to split up. Later back home I check my e-mail to find that my Department Chair and School of Business Dean don’t want me to teach in the Zurich program because my two-week absence might jeopardize our China programs. After being here for over seven months I have no idea what joint programs they are referring to. Moreover, they prefer to pull someone from my home institution out of the classroom for two weeks rather than send me who is on leave for the year. Go figure, but I guess that’s why they’re administrators. Anyway, the smart folks at Zurich decided we were too far along to let the clever administrators back home make the decision.

Apr. 11: Home-Cooked Meal – I take Pat to the airport in the morning, then spend the afternoon finalizing my Zurich syllabus and materials. Tom, the Chinese Entrepreneur from Albany, and his niece and business associate Jenny bring over duckling, snails, tofu soup, and other local delights. Tom and I talk shop and reminisce about our adopted home town while Jenny cooks dinner. Maurice joins us, but Debbie is a bit ill so she just naps through it all. Anyway, it is an early night for us all.

[Returning to Shanghai] [Spring Festival] [Chinese New Year] [Fulbright Mid-Year Conference] [Back to School] [Back Online] [Into the Heartland] [Ancient Capitals] [Judeo-Christian Holidays] [From Albany to Zurich] [Yellow Mountain] [Loose Ends] [Hello, Debbie ... Goodbye, Debbie] [Southern Capital] [Tropical Tour] [Unwinding] [Farewell Banquets] [Winding Down] [Good Bye, Shanghai]


Copyright 1999 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.