Changsha Mineral Show Report 6 - Scenes of Changsha - Updated!
24 May 2013
31 May 2013 - Update to the report below!
Latest news from Changsha....
O.K.....this has stopped being a source of amusement for us - it is now an all out tug of war.
Our shipment is STILL at the airport being studied by customs for who knows what and is set to go on a plane on June 3 perhaps....but here's the rub, and this one really ticks me off - it cost us less than $2,000 to get that shipment to Changsha (five boxes from Laguna were $600, the rest from England).
The total now to send that same shipment back???? To UTI $9,000 - to BalTrans an original $3,500 to clear it and deliver and a yet unknown amount for the return.
Total expenses to do this show now: a bit shy of $50,000!!! (Hell, I could have bought that new car I need)
Now I ask you....would you go back for all this grief and expense????
24 May 2013
Three days after the show and what occupies us? - sorting out the customs and shipping people. It just is not getting any easier.
We feel horrible that so much effort was put into this show by the organizers, the dealers, the volunteers (of which there were hundreds) and all of us are leaving with hopes that the kinks can be worked out for the next show.
It is hard to believe that this is a communist country since commerce seems to rule BUT only until it’s time for a government official to show up - then the rules and regulations come at you from all sides.
Tuesday was ‘tour the shopping area’ day and we ended up at WalMart just to take a look – not the WalMart we are used to but interesting as hell – the fish and meat department was so interesting. A big selection of wine, but only ONE bottle of white wine – someone has told them that red wine is “trendy” and shows class.
On Wednesday after the show, we visited Jinggang, a community well outside of town that sets the scene of China perhaps more than 100 years ago. I must admit that it was peaceful, serene and relaxing to settle into a small tea room and enjoy the green tea.
In town, the building never ceases – 24/7 the cranes are working and high rise units fill every available space. In Changsha they are building what will be the tallest building in the world known as Sky City (838 meters high, 220 floors), which means that Dubai and Shanghai will have to play catch up.
High rises in Changsha
Despite the fact that much of social media is censored here, believe me…..they are well aware of price structures around the world and there are few bargains anymore in China. Lois and I tried to bargain for a few little trinkets but walked away from the deal with the guy chasing behind us with a counter-offer which we refused.
The pollution all over China’s cities is critical and it is not any better in Changsha. It was days before we could actually see the mountains and the Xiang River (the largest river in Hunan Province) is so polluted you don’t want to take the river cruise. If China wants to remain a formidable force in the world they have to get a grip on this problem. Currently it takes a back seat to money and world dominance in production of just about anything you can think of. The steel industry here serves most of the world, including the United States.
Changsha is known for several things: spicey, spicey food, “stinky” tofu, embroidery, the home of Mao Zedong, a major interior port, the button manufacturing center of China and it is the capital city of the Hunan Province. Population is around 8 million and counting. It is intensely hot and humid during the months of May, June, July and August – the last few days have been around 93-96 degrees.
In spite of so many things that go wrong in a trip such as ours, there is still a fascination about China – to watch it go from practically a third world country to what it has become in less than 25 years demands your attention and respect. I only wish I had a small share in the company who supplies the building cranes – venture to say he makes Bill Gates look like a piker…..
We are on to Beijing for a week before heading to Tokyo for our show there. We are trying to convince the show committee that moving the show to the week before the Tokyo show would be a great idea.
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