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  • The Technology Guy 17:15 on May 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Peter Pan, Shanghai   

    Peter Pan cannot fly… Shanghai Blog.. 

    It makes me smile just to type this short blog, but one I have to report.

    In China if you work in the service industry, (that’s anyone from the three staff in every public bathroom to the 4 people at the door of the restaurant who bow and say “huanying” as you enter and “xièxiè” pronounced ShiShi as you leave) you have to have a name that can be pronounced by foreigners. 

    Foreigners? Not very PC, well when you arrive in China the two lines say  Citizen of China and Foreigners.

    So these English sounding names, how do they get them? For some when they are 100 days old they are given an English name at a very posh ceremony, for some individuals they take an English name or phrase because it sounds good. Some of these are names of pop stars, of a favourite band or even the name on the favourite packet of biscuits. Others get their name from HR, they are given the name when they start work with an explanation of it’s meaning.

    Two such names were sported by the waitresses working the bar in our hotel. The first was ‘Sherry’, as she explained from the Spanish drink.  The second was ‘Echo’, she spent some time expraining to us that it was a famous name from Engrand. Maybe I should visit Engrand some time and look up Echo!

    The one however that had us all smiling and created the most discussion was the poor Training Manager who gave me his name card and in astonishment I saw his name was Peter Pan. He was about 6 foot tall (very tall for Chinese), he had no green outfit or pointy hat and even though I looked I could not see the fairy ‘Tinkerbell’ anywhere.

    So just to let you folks know, Peter Pan is alive and well, hiding in normal clothes in Shanghai. And he cannot fly!

  • The Technology Guy 06:04 on November 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , sexy massage, Shanghai   

    Rolex, Shirt and Sexy Massage – Shanghai Shopping 

    Our trip to Shanghai to attend and keynote at Learning Enterprise China, contained many funny moments, to recall them all I could probably blog for the next month and we were only there for five days…

    I was surprised at the lack of begging on the street, my memories from working in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Guangdong many years ago is one of many children always pulling at your coat, begging for money. Never let one carry your bag as they always asked ‘hey mister, carry your bag, one dollar’, the stories you hear are that if you do, they will take off very fast and you will never catch them, or see your bag again.

    What I did see in Shanghai were many people on street corners that as you approached them would pull a horrible old worn out mobile phone from their pocket and try to sell it to you. Why on earth they would think a ‘Rich Westerner’ (I think that is how they see western people) would want a second hand phone that looked like a group of Chinese had played football with it, I have no idea. They were polite though and when you said ‘no thanks’ they put it back in their pocket and often gave you a toothless grin.

    I mentioned in an earlier blog some of the others who were at ‘Enterprise Learning China’, the reason for my trip, they included a very funny Roger Olsen from the USA and Tim Neill from TNA in the UK.

    Tim went shopping on our second day, all by himself down to the metro and off to the ‘old’ part of the city to taste the ‘delights’ of China.

    The story he told on his return he will dine out with for many years to come..

    Walking the streets considering his presentation to the learning community Tim was approached by a very enterprising lady. (he did omit to tell us any more about this lady, so you have to make your picture in your mind) She had grabbed him by the right arm and asked him ‘you want to buy Rolex?’

    Tim thanked her very much and politely said no, she persisted and Tim persisted in his polite manner. After the third of fourth attempt she gave up. Two minutes later she was back on his right arm. ‘ you want to buy shirt?’ Now she had a handful of shirts in many colours. No thank you declined Tim, still not losing patience. ‘Many colours and sizes?’ Tim now mildly agitated thanked her and politely said no and she went away.

    Just a moment later she was back on his right arm, ‘ you want to buy tie’. Tim now at the end of his patience said a single ‘NO’ and she went away.

    Relieved, Tim continued down the street a few paces until all of a sudden she was now on his left arm, no bags, no product, sidled up very close and asked Tim, ‘you want sexy massage?’

    For those of you who know Tim Neill from TNA, you can only imagine his face. I for one would like to have had a camera and been a fly on the wall.

    This was China, very enterprising with many products in stock!

  • The Technology Guy 04:57 on November 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Shanghai   

    Laughing all the way from China 

    I have spent the last week in the company of Roger Olsen, Tim Neill (TNA) , Sally-Anne Moore and other well known faces from around the world of learning at ‘Learning Enterprise China’ in Shanghai.

    I have had a week of non stop fun, belly laughing most of the time and meeting some very interesting people in the learning world in China.

    Roger and myself were ‘International Keynote’ speakers.  Very grandiose. With Tim the ‘big’ speaker on day two. (Although we were worried from his shopping trip, see Rolex, Shirt and Sexy Massage, that he may not make day two)

    A number of other well know UK and European ‘players’ in the e-learning market were on the bill to attend but sadly never appeared, cancelling at the last minute, blaming the economy, which made the expo part of the conference slightly light on International Experts.

    For those of us who were there I can certainly tell you it was a trip worth making, even of the flight lasts forever.  One of those trips that you get on the plane, have a drink, have a meal (if you can call it a meal), watch a film, have a nap…  Then wake up and find you are only just half way there.

    The conference was of very high quality, the delegates from the top Chinese International companies and many with huge staff numbers. It is going to take a lot of following up but the Chinese are serious about learning and making change. If you had considered making the trip and never did so, don’t miss this one next year.

    The fun started from the moment Tim and I  landed at a new, super huge airport at Pudong. The limo driver was nowhere to be found but thousands of others milling around hoping to earn a quick buck. After our first interesting phone call in very broken Chinese with the driver, whose total English could be written on the side of a postage stamp, with our collated Chinese written on the other side, we found he was at the wrong terminal. I am not sure if it was downhill or actually uphill from there….

    Great hotel, great service, magnificent food and a wonderful time in Shanghai with full marks to GL Events for putting on the first Shanghai Learning event. 

    See my two other blogs on Shanghai, ‘Rolex, Shirt and Sexy Massage’ and ‘ A night in Shanghai’.

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