So that my hosts would know I can learn from my mistakes I dressed to fit in Tuesday.
Mr Fang picked me up from the hotel again and we had a chance to talk about many things on the ride to the office. Xiandai’s offices are in a commercial building about one half an hour from my hotel by car. The offices are not at the factory and once the discussion of the design is finished I will get to tour the factory which is maybe one hour by car from the offices. We passed new residential towers that he told me were selling for 30,000 Yuan per square meter. I worked this out to roughly $400.00 per square foot. Average people are being priced out of the market for apartments.
We started in again on the design and I was slowly coming to the conclusion that much like the traffic the unstructured approach works. Surprised again I gave into it completely throwing my inhibitions about the process to the wind and let it wash over me. We tackled the most difficult problems of the design and by late morning it became clear that there had not been a real understanding on their part of exactly what I was trying to accomplish. When they did grasp the basic concept right before lunch it seemed they were saying it could not be done. Needless to say I was a bit concerned but having given myself over to the process I decided to let it work itself out.
Pizza was ordered and at first I thought it was for everyone but it was just Alfred and I for lunch as everyone else seemed to have made other plans. I had a chance then to talk to Alfred one to one about many things not related to work including his family, life in the big city, and the history of Tianjin.
I was wise to not have worried about the problem with the design since it seemed to have worked itself out over lunch and all was well. We hammered out details until a bit after 5:00 PM but even though the number of items covered was low the quality of solutions was good.
Late in the day I asked if I could get a picture with our group but instead everyone from the office came in and an outside recruit was found to take the picture so what I got was a group picture with the whole office (below). Everyone greeted the opportunity for a group picture with enthusiasm with none of the foot-dragging and complaining that you might expect if this was a similar situation in the US. I later got my working group to sit still for the one which I posted yesterday.
On my right is Ann Lee and to my left is Mr.Zhou. In the back left to right is Chris Xiong, Alfred Gou, Guang Wei Lu, Miss Du and Mr. Fang.