I spent 7+ years in China.
Leaving China was not an easy choice. I went from trading to manufacturing and expanded into web site and software development. I expanded my business to Philippines and built a great team of designers and programmers.
I had established friends, relationships, learned to speak Mandarin language almost fluently, understood how to do business in China (the true Chinese way, not the American way) and most importantly, how to be successful doing / managing it all.
Was it all for nothing? No, definitely not for nothing.
My contacts, friends, and business relationships I have developed will remain and we will continue to support each other no matter where I am in the world.
Though the days were coming fast where I would be moving back to USA for a while.
I prepared and made a wooden crate (80 x 80 x 120 cm)
Cost of materials / labor was 210 RMB ($32 USD)
Cost to ship by Air Cargo of 180 KG (400+ pounds) was 6,000 RMB ($937 USD)
What did I put inside?
Literally everything I could.
My office chair (Herman Miller Embody)
Clothes, Area Rug, Paintings, Tools, Components, Hardware and more…
I won’t go into detail what or why. But yes, I got out of a bad relationship and lost money in making moulds this year but that was not the main reason leaving China.
Not that the moulds turned out bad, the mould sets were simply stolen by the mould factory. The factory owner hired local gangsters to infiltrate the factory at night time and put up a show for the video cameras. Next thing you know the gangsters steal ten customers worth of mould sets, including mine.
Something truly unheard of in China.
Goes to show you, sometimes choosing a cheaper alternative will bite you in the end. I should of just spent the $35k more with my usual mould guy who I have stronger business relationship with.
So why am I leaving? Quite simply, I was no longer satisfied with the direction I was heading. Sure, I lived in a decent sized Penthouse, had a really cool pool table (which also converted into ping pong table) in my living room, threw outrageous parties and lived like a king.
So why was I not contempt?
I suppose you can say I missed the American way of life.
I guess also getting mixed up with the wrong crowd (gangsters, corrupt police and gov officials).
Partying like there was no tomorrow and so on.
I was no longer really focusing on business but mostly coping with hangovers and trying to track down my stolen mould sets with the local gangsters.
These final days In China were not only intense, it was a bit emotional.
Know my feelings, you need to understand how I bought so many things as if I was permanently settled down in China. So making the move, selling my things, was not as easy as one thinks. But definitely a good lesson to take more consideration next time I want to buy extravagant stuff like appliances, furniture and more.
Some friends understood and supported my decision going back because they knew my past 7+ years doing business in China was a rough/tough journey. Though I like to call this rough/tough journey a boot camp to international business and becoming a globally round character.
While others think I am giving up on China because of the major business loss I had earlier this year. This is not the case. I am not giving up.
I am a trooper and have been through far worse in the past.
I was literally this close to being thrown into a Chinese Prison for smuggling goods back in 2008. If not for my girlfriend at the time and some relationships we’ve established, I’d probably be sitting in a prison cell or doing slave labor until 2016 give or take. Fortunately after finding the right people, spreading $30k+ of love, my name was free and clear from that little black book.
So making this move feels like a step back but really it will allow me to make bigger steps forward in the near/ later future. My choices and goals are aligned for long term development and growth.
Before leaving China, I hung out with some friends before departing.
The SZ gang, missing some as they traveled home earlier and another busy F-ing Russian chicks…yeah, you know who you are! Oh and Kris, cookie! (inside joke)
Crazy bastard Lucian, texting with some other girl while waiting for some other girl to arrive for a meet up all while trying to hide from his sugar mama girlfriend…I won’t even start into how we picked up two random girls outside a mall or how we contemplated going to Macau the night before I was to fly out of HK airport at 8am in the morning. Or how we ate the most delicious (and most expensive) Japanese food at Monster Sushi and then nearly froze our asses off at 4am while getting yelled at by shop owners to never come back…but hey, it was his birthday and we rocked hard that night! My guess is, we will be doing it again sometime in the future but my gut says, it will be more extreme next time around…
My Russian friend, Mike stabbing away at cock roaches. Yes, I said it correctly, COCK ROACHES (plural). The things we do to remain sane in China. Going to miss you, Simon and Ilena.
Making the local mob boss GAN BEI (bottoms up) an entire mug, lol
Per (Sweden Programmer) and local mob boss drinking it up at one of the seafood ~ BBQ joints
Game of pool, loser drinks a mug of beer…or shot of liquor!
Niu be? Or just another liu mang? (liu mang = gangster and niu be = wanna be)
Drinking with police and playing with their guns, the joys of China!
More joys in China!
Got to stop having nights like these. My buddy Shawn enacting to be drunk and passed out after drinking a ton of beer, haha.
Never show Chinese people a horror movie unless you want them making ^ such expressions…and let go of my pillow damn it…
Last thing you want to do is turn around to find your buddy is shirt-less cause its too hot. But worse, look whats on the sofa (me shakes head)…he went through my stash as if he was a freaking tornado! Fortunately his pants were still on, otherwise I’d be worried.
My Hungarian girl friend from Guangzhou visiting me along with a few more Hungarians. We have no shame to drink beer on camera, so cheers!
We Hungarians off to the beach kicking back, drinking beer and verbally abusing Chinese that walk in front of us. Oh the fun we had.
My good friend Cathy. We have been through a lot the 3+ years we have been together. Fortunately we were able to remain friends after everything. Great girl, honest, loyal but a little spicy (short tempered!)
Street BBQ after a night of partying…Michelini explains how beer is mans best friend, or so it looks like…
James Sung sourcing for new secretaries at whee hours of the night…
Mahjong – not for money, but for drinks! Rule is, you lose, you drink. Everyone was tipsy…
Every Chinese hates playing “Drinking Mahjong” with me as they eventually pass out from all the drinking! Its simple, either win, or drink!
My gym partner and friend. Later will post videos of him making a fool of himself while working out on soar arms!
Last but not least, Chris Gormley. I couldn’t find a decent picture of him so I put this one up. This was taken in Philippines after a night of partying. Getting all excited how we can’t buy booze after 10pm…
Photos concluded, for now.
Seeing my good friend Michael Michelini off in the end at the Shenzhen Bay border was a bit emotional. Little does he know how he helped me crawl out of a dark hole I was in earlier this year and opened my eyes to greater things in life (ie; expand my network and be more transparent with what you’re doing, with some limitations of course). I never spoke to him personally about it, but I suppose publicly thanking him has a bit more sensible touch as we’re both internet techie gurus.
So this is it for now China. I suppose one day I will be back, but in time, we will see. At the very least, I am hoping to visit 8-12 months later.