Gas in China

Tuesday –

Was the first day of the conference. The Westin is an older hotel where we are at but they have been doing a lot of renovation and I feel the ballroom space is really beautiful. Very classic looking – something you would see at a Ritz-Carlton in the northern part of the US.

When working banquets in China you must have a bit of patience. They don’t set up enough stations for the number of people attending. And of course you need more tea than coffee. The Chinese will plow through the tea. The other thing is for the morning food have savory snacks along with baked goods. They don’t want very sweet in the morning they want more like muffins and lots of fresh fruit. The Chinese are also big eaters. I was astounded at how much they ate. Plates will be piled high. Also here at this hotel they wait staff will bus a table but won’t remove the tray jack until I ask them too.

Lunch and dinner buffets are so much more plentiful than what we see in the US. Also you really have to explain to them double sided stations with the plates being at the front of each buffet. They were also putting smaller plates out on the hot food side instead of entree plates. This was a bit of a challenge as they were telling me they didn’t have entree size plates for banquets. Don’t get me wrong though this group of people will bend over backwards to get it right – but only once they understand what it is you want and this might take a couple of times to get correct.

Last night we did Beijing Duck – and they served the duck whole at the carving station….with the heat on – eyes out. I laughed as I struggle with what to do with this in the US. They said in China it is very important to always show the duck with the head on same with chicken and pig – because it shows the quality of the meat. Actually makes total sense to me.

My last blog I wrote something about gas and how I haven’t seen any gas stations. I asked some of the locals about this and they started laughing. It isn’t called gas here – it is called Petrol gas. No stations are opened are opened 24 hours. Here is how it works.

China purchased gas from the international market – and when the international market is too high the Chinese government won’t buy as much gas and then the gas stations are only opened 5 – 6 hours a day. When the gas markets are lower then the government can buy more gas and the stations are opened longer. The Chinese petrol gas customer doesn’t really notice any of this other than the availability to get gas or the length of hours of the stations. The government subsidizes the cost of gas so pricing wise it doesn’t make much of a differences. It isn’t unusual for the line or qu as they say in Asia to be over 100 cars /scooters/ long on a short gas day.

The last point that cracks me up beyond belief is we don’t have chimes here to chime people into the meeting – we have a gong!

That is my story for now and I am sticking to it.

Claire

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