Sunday, October 26, 2003
From now on my blog, diary or whatever it is; will be found at See Lai.
Thanks to everyone who visited me here and... for the kind folks who have listed my blog on their wonderful sites, I am very grateful as I got a lot of referrals from you all.
Don't change the links at your site yet, or change it to http://seelai.com [will be functional by tomorrow].
I am going to leave this blog operating [though won't update it anymore] as memoirs of my adventures.
I hate to retype everything over here, over there. Besides the import/export does not seem to work with Blogger.
Anyway, hopefully, now I will have a regular blog, not a "Publish and Pray".
Thanks everyone and see you all over there
[Strangely, now all features over here work. Must be a conspiracy ;-)]
Friday, October 24, 2003
One of them comes over and pleads Can you give me fire?
Sugar Plum, now why would I want to do that? I ask... assuming she wants me to set her on fire in some act of mercy killing.
Give me fire please. She repeats. This time pointing at her cigarette. Oh... the dame just wants cigarette lighter!
Sure, I reply in Cantonese upon which she feels a bit embarrassed You Cantonese good, my English bad.
You panties good... I offer compensation. After a while, smoking our cigarettes, we become instant friends and merrily chat like rowdy teenagers.
Passers by throw odd glances as if I were a Russian pimp dishing out young whores in a park. Later have a drink with them at Dan Ryan's after which return home and have a relaxed evening.
1. You can watch the women by clicking this link. It is the dog swimming pool.
2. On the Compression Selection screen, select MPEG4 [already selected by default] and then click the "submit" button.
3. On the Select Internet screen [MSIE only], select either modem or DSL/CABLE/T-1 depending upon your internet connection and click the submit "button".
4. Click on the Play button in the center [MSIE only], and a login window appears. User Name [ID] is "Guest" and Password [PW] is "111111" (6 times 1).
5. Click the "OK" button [MSIE] or the "submit" button [Netscape] and enjoy... :-)
P.s.: Blogger ate up my last week's draft diary. So guess will have to do without it.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Having woken up early and with nothing special to do, I take our dogs to the Kennel [actually a sort of dog club].
It is a magnificent sight to watch love hungry women bathe, blow, dry, and powder their cuties. Mine aren't cuties, they are three huge dogs, which is why my wife cannot do this task.
And I don't complain as usually I am the only man with almost all other customers being women! Most of these women wear shorts or sexy skirts so their dress doesn't get wet in the dog swimming pool.
Want to join them? Follow the instructions below -
1. You can watch the women by clicking this link. It is the dog swimming pool
2. Click on the play button and a small window will appear. Ignore the garbage or question marks.
3. First field is Username which is "Guest" and the next field is Password which is "111111"
4. Finally, click the bottom left button on the window and enjoy...
Do not worry, my corporation supplied them the Surveillance System and it is perfectly OK for you to watch. The place is crowded on Saturday and Sunday afternoon [Hong Kong time], otherwise it tends to get quiet. Who knows, someday you might even catch me playing with these beauties ;-)
Few women are present today, but four are more than enough for me to entertain.
Waah, Gweilo sek kong guangdong wa meaning I can speak Cantonese, they always exclaim. And so starts our puppy love while the "puppies" just leave and do whatever stupid things they want to do when left alone.
Today, Amy needs help with her puppy that won't stand steady while being blow dried. I help Amy to hold the puppy and she meanwhile takes each and every opportunity to touch and brush against me. You can tell when a woman does that deliberately!
Must take her for some drinks and later throw her on bed. But, I control my urges and after the dogs and I have had enough, leave the place and return home.
Kids are back from school and wife is back as well. Settle down to some new video movies while kids do their homework and wife gossips with the neighboring Chan Tai [a bitchy bickering woman]. Chan Tai, wife of Mr. Chan our other neighbor is a peculiar character as well. But today, I manage to ignore and avoid her.
End the day by visiting my favorite blogs [left panel at the top].
While trying to sleep, brood over why so many women come into my life? Who was I in my past life? A hooker? Were these my customers? Is this some karmic trick where they have come back to serve me back? Only Buddha knows, I guess...
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Do what I hardly do... read the newspaper and immediately throw away the collection of essays written by Kindergarten 3 students and printed all over.
As it is, I already have enough entertainment and I am not begging for more from our magnanimous administrative clowns.
Wife gives me a kiss and leaves for her beauty therapy appointment. Moments later Phyllis, my voluptuous secretary, calls and starts sweet talking. Bless the lord for wonders of women. Must start worshipping Lucifer, I guess [Immaterial of what Christians tell you, Lucifer in its simple form means planet Venus].
How are we going to deliver the chips to China? asks a naughty Phyllis.
No "we". What are our options? I ask. What is the dimension and what is the weight?
93 cylindrical tubes containing 96 pieces each, 3 feet in length and overall weight less than 5 Kg came the prompt reply from Phyllis, whom I have trained for 3 years now.
I like people who have all their facts on hand before they call me or stop wasting my time and Phyllis was doing a fine job today!
I will hand carry it and clear the customs, we don't want to delay as our business depends on them getting this in time. Besides, Gweilo can easily clear customs in green channel compared to locals. I tell her.
Also book dinner in a nearby Chinese restaurant in Shenzhen where I will deliver it to them. I add. Disappointed that she would not be accompanying me, Phyllis hangs up with a sigh. And it is that easy to piss off a woman!
The always excited, over aggressive and puke vulnerable Mr. Choi [my Hong Kong business partner] volunteers to join me. I too decide to give him another chance to greet Mr. Wong properly and therefore agree to his proposal. Though with a strict warning that both of us cross the border separately. As the last thing I want is for him to screw up my customs clearance.
Get ready and put on my sharpest and leave for Sheung Shui where Mr. Choi and I park our cars. The delivery boy from the office is waiting for us at Sheung Shui station and hands me over a cheap canvas bag with the chips that looks strikingly odd with my appearance. Which prick thought of such a canvas bag? I must ask upon my return.
The journey from Sheung Shui to Lo Wu [Chinese border] is exciting and informative. Seems, lots of families have relocated across the border in these harsh economic times. You can tell by the countless children returning from school and crossing the border. Inclusive are Hong Kong husbands with their Mainland wives, old women, old men, and practically all who feel unwanted in the glorious administration of our Special Administrative Region!
I clear the customs by paying 17% Value Added Tax without an incident.
For those who have hardly frequented Shenzhen, it looks strikingly different; once you exit the Shenzhen border crossing. Even strikingly different from the rest of Guangdong or rather entire China!
Seems, all the poor populace in China has decided to hang around this vicinity of Lo Wu / Shenzhen border crossing.
Beggars encircle you, taxis that look like miniature toy cars with enough leg room for a 4 feet tall person try to sell a ride to you, shabbily dressed peasants jeeringly poke fun at you, hideous masseurs with their filthy on the spot massage parlors attempt to seduce you, and disease ridden eateries convince you that the Chinese must be kidding about putting a man into space.
This, however, is NOT the real China. Forget what you see here. Somehow the place has bad Feng Shui. Now it is more poverty flowing from Hong Kong than the other way round.
So you made it says Mr. Choi [my Hong Kong business partner] dancing towards me from another exit.
Did you expect them to put me behind bars for something legal and for what I paid Value Added Taxes? I sneer.
Another problem with local Hong Kong entrepreneurs is that they have got too accustomed to smuggling, without checking out that perfectly legal things can clear easily at borders if you fill in the right forms.
Perhaps, this stupid trend, has been brainwashed on the public who were exposed to too many Chow Yun Fat movies in the 80's and 90's. Besides that, the "Dai Fei" [hard to translate but sort of means a big boat that can literally fly over water - meaning fast] mentality is still stuck. Despite the fact that most "Dai Fei" have already been out of business for past two or three years as now customs clearance is a easy task and not as corruptive as it used to be in a distant past.
This is one of the reasons that I opted to clear the customs myself in a legal way rather than assign some born again Chow Yun Fat office boy to screw up my business plans.
Mr. Choi and I reach the Chinese restaurant in what seems to be a toy taxi, where Mr. Wong, Mr. Chen, and the temporary butterfly tattoo[ed] Ms. Yau the secretary of Mr. Chen are already seated in the VIP room.
I know this place well. In fact, this is the place where I had broken my wrist by slipping on the floors of this overly enthusiastic anti-SARS and cleanliness-before-customers restaurant just two months ago.
I smile at Ah Lai [P.R. of this place] a sexy but stern lady who comes over to me and hugs me affectionately.
How is your hand? she asks me genuinely.
Still working, I move the wrist for her to see and pat her on her cheeks.
Everyone in the room seems embarrassed by how women just crowd up to Gweilo. Mr. Choi [my Hong Kong business partner] makes a cheap remark about me being a womanizer. Ms. Yau comes to my rescue by saying Yen wai lang chai [meaning because I am good looking].
When will this moron, Mr. Choi, ever learn China trade or at least learn when to keep his trap shut?
Before anyone can further trap me, I immediately grab the menu and shoot out the order to Ah Lai who then dictates the same to a waitress. Hierarchic behavior, is the most important concept for the Chinese and one should learn their lessons well!
Dinner is on me, I announce, as I have no mood for anything that is unappealing.
Having received our payment in form of cash, with substantial profit [bless Phyllis for her instructions to the accounts department and NO, one doesn't become an executive secretary just by kissing the boss] we take the early train at 08:30 PM back to Hong Kong.
At the border, Mr. Choi needs to buy a winter jacket. He secures a fake Italian piece from the border DFS at HK$ 355. I would suggest, none of you ever buy anything there.
Perhaps, tomorrow, majority of Hong Kong population will dress up as if they were off to Antarctica expedition?
Monday, October 13, 2003
"We?" I ask sarcastically. I have every reason to be pissed due to his behavior in Mainland China.
Actually, he is not the solitary exception. Most local entrepreneurs look at their cousins in Mainland with nothing but suspicion.
Decades of elevated status under the British rule, has somehow created intense and deep rooted feelings of discrimination in majority of local Chinese against people from Mainland China.
Perhaps these people must come to grips with the reality that the days of glory and abundance for Hong Kong sailed away at 00:50 AM July 1, 1997. Now whatever Hong Kong wants to become, is up to the Hong Kong people.
And whether we are going to fare better in the coming year, mostly depends on us, rather than Tung Chee Hwa or the political clout , or any dozens of reasons or excuses one can think of.
"If you were Mr. Wong in China and if I behaved the way you did, would you like me?" I put a counter question to Mr. Choi.
What has that to do with whether we fare better or not? asked a suddenly defensive Mr. Choi.
Everything! I remark. In short, you did not give the man the "face" he deserved and he could see that. Avoiding his rat wine, horrible dishes, his loud music, etc. etc. and so the list goes on with the finale of not even wishing him good bye!
I don't want to be a Se Lai and point out each and every thing you did wrong. But hey... you are Chinese, Pal, not me!
Next time I will be careful said a thoughtful Mr. Choi.
"Good" and I cut the topic there and then.
Mr. Choi, is a typical Hong Kong entrepreneur who has not and can never become a tycoon. I offered him some shares in my local corporation because of his affiliation with Guangzhou University [something that will come handy for me couple of years down the road].
He is an OK man in most regards. In fact, I treat him as my elder brother and we have known each other since 15 years. However, his stubborn Pre-1997 Hong Kong mentality needs to be brainwashed. Not by the political monkey circus in Hong Kong... but by reality.
Having finished lunch, we both do what thrills us the most. We race our cars to Tai Mo Shan Peak [the highest mountain in Hong Kong] to see who gets there first :-)
Phyllis, my voluptuous secretary, calls me and informs that the chips will arrive tomorrow [Tuesday] afternoon. Great! I give her a kiss on the phone [somehow feeling odd about it, as it eerily reminds me of what teenagers in Hong Kong do]...
Return home, play with kids and after a pleasant dinner read "Asia Pacific - Its Role In The New World Disorder" for the 16th time.
Later convince wife to shower and scrub me while I close my eyes in reverie of Xiao Hung and Xiao Wai, and have a great night...
Sunday, October 12, 2003
Saturdays and Sundays are exactly that. When my kids get my full attention, my wife gets treated like a Goddess, my wife's parents and siblings [living in Canada now] as well as my parents [US] get to have Video Conference with us and everyone in the house enjoys the weekend like a regular festival. Even the maids whom we consider members of our family, join us, as they hardly mix with other Thai here, and relax and have fun.
And of course, I refelct and brood over the meaning of life and the purpose of existence in this vast realm we know as Universe.
In this aspect, one week into blogging, I find the blog - a very useful tool.
For starters, I have designed this blog as a mix of everything that goes around in my life. So it is in some ways more of a diary rather than focused topics.
I never maintained a diary in 40 years, and now when I read back my own blog from one week, I can see myself, my strengths, my weaknesses, my shortcomings and a lot more.
I have tried to maintain the blog in the exactness of events and conversations... Without trying to be politically correct, without trying to hide under guise of morality, ethics or whatever the current trend may be.
Not that I don't have decent rules. I do, but I try to keep them as flexible and adaptable to the circumstances or scenario I find myself in.
Life, from what I see, is a journey to nowhere, but we all end up somewhere. Whether one is successful or not, be it anything, including blogging, I believe, depends upon the inhibitions and its effects one has accumulated.
Therefore, Saturdays and Sundays are also time for my inner meditation [just plain observation by keeping quiet and thinking while gardening] where I try to shrug off inhibitions that might be detrimental to my growth in all aspects.
And since I don't have any personal deity or religion, this way, I get closer to the all existing supreme of which you and I are a part too.
In fact, it is as good as it gets!
[P.s.: Will try to finish up the backlog of one week before the memories fade]
Saturday, October 11, 2003
We urgently need a specifc Integrated Circuit chip before we can give you the final price. It is not available throughout Asia and the fastest we can get it; is after 4 weeks. Can you help? pleads Mr. Wong in my cellular.
Send the details to my secretary and let me see what I can do. I hang up promptly.
Moments later, my voluptuous secretary Phyllis calls me. Phyllis and I share some very precious and intimate moments in life, though this is no time for fun. I stop her abruptly and ask her to find US sources for the required chip.
Aiyee ya you must be a mind reader... How did you know what I wanted to ask? she asks in genuine surprise.
Just find out the sources and mark down the numbers. We shall call them tonight... they are 13 hours behind us. I would rather you get the name of their President from their web site and don't bother with lower-downs as I hardly talk with those without decision power.
We? she asks. Imagining that I would be down there in Central with she sitting on my lap and making the calls.
Yes we. And let us also have dinner before we call... I add after musing for a while.
Dan Ryan's has never changed its menu in 10 years that I have frequented them. So without looking at the menu, I shoot off the order while Phyllis plays with her hair in seductive gestures, playing with a balloon in the booth.
My former boyfriend broke up with me she says matter of factly. "I am looking for one more wife" I tease her mildly.
We finish off the dinner with horse-pee-tasting Miller Lite. She loves it, so who am I to complain?
Back in the office, later on, we put forward our call to a bloke somewhere in Austin, Texas.
It is our company strategy that we don't trade our chips. We only give it to end users and that too after validating the final layout design. We also would like to know the amount of support you need. So if you are an outsourcer, we are sorry.
Phyllis hangs up and narrates the exact word by word interchange, the way I have trained her.
I grab the phone, hit redial and bark at the girl on the other hand... "Pass on to the dude who was talking to my secretary just a minute ago" I say.
Hesitantly, I am transferred to a deep drawl.
I told your secretary... I know what you told my secretary. I cut him short.
I need the chip for Israel, I politely request, not recalling any other favorable place of destination. They have run out of stock and need it desperately.
Ummm... a long pause.
"Are you the President?" I ask. No no, I am the Vice President for Sales.
Good, so get this sale done. We need 9,000 pieces. Here is our fax number and here is the email address. Let me know as soon as you can. We shall arrange payment via local transfer so please send us your routing number alongside the invoice.
Oh Ok says the drawl and I hang up saying Have-a-nice-day without giving the bum any opportunity to ask who I was and why was I commanding in such a rude way.
Having some time on our hands, I inconspicuously turn off the Digital Surveillance security systems as well as all cameras and most of the lights and suggest to Phyllis that we play hide and seek.
In fact, Phyllis and I have played this funny office game [invented by me] many times. The rules are simple...
One of us hides and the other one goes seeking. Once caught, a clothing must be removed. The game continues until both are naked, upon which the reward for both parties is a passionate kiss and whatever that may follow.
We continue the game while in the meantime checking each and every junk fax that arrives... until finally we are exhausted. Phyllis always has a salty tongue. Something I like about women.
Finally we go back to my desk and check the email. Seems the email had already arrived while Phyllis and I were busy pulling each other's dress off.
We will receive 9,000 pieces, FOB Philippines, and the remaining arrangements to be handled by our corporation. Lead time three days as it is weekend. Contact and details of Philippine supplier provided.
I get back on the phone and this time politely talk to the bum. I ask him to hold on while on the other line, I ask my Chicago office to immediately wire them the funds.
Business done the mafia way. Fast and pronto!
With the If-you-can-wake-me-up-from-sleep, I-can-wake-you-too theory, place a call to Mr. Wong in Dongguan and let my secretary tell the sod at 4:00 AM that their chips are secured. Xie xie ne, Xie xie ne [meaning thanks a lot, thanks a lot] is all he can manage.
Phyllis and I drive off to Repulse Bay, our favorite early-morning-love-spot to waddle in soothing waters. The weekend has just started...