time is money picEfficiency is Life?

When you first arrive in Shenzhen China you will notice a very big sign that states their motto. It says “Time is money, efficiency is life”. I am not sure if the sign is intended for the foreigners like me to let them know what they can expect from the population (that the Chinese are all about business) or to let the locals who are leaving on a rare one day vacation to not devote too much time enjoying themselves, after all time is money! There is another equally big sign that says: “Empty talk endangers the nation, practical work brings prosperity”.

empty talk

Take those statements in for a moment. Those huge signs are placed directly in front of you at the border crossings and throughout the city. They are there as a government reminder that, under no uncertain terms, you should kick back and relax, or you will be letting your country down. The 1.35 billion Chinese people are all about business. It’s all work and no play indeed. This is a glaring contrast how we in America, and especially the west coast and particularly in Southern California, view how we should be leading our lives. It is an entirely different world over here folks.

In the same way work is done, so is the driving; all business. Not that many know how to drive, they don’t. So to make up for the lack of driving skills they all just go around honking. It is literally honking anarchy. They drive without any regard for rules and use the car horn as a constant expression of their inability to coexist on the road with one another. There are also no cops to be seen to keep any of the lawlessness in order.

Our Chinese driver however is an expert who understands the many unwritten rules of the absolutely insane driving experience. At every tangled intersection he negotiates the mere inches between the ancient motorized carts piled high with everything imaginable and the hapless motorcycle riders with no helmets and of course the wandering honking cars. Compared to the average inexperienced Chinese driver, ours is clearly the exception. His job is to bring us safely and deftly to the next factory for the Paint Spy. He is also our trusted restaurant guide who -without exception- does all the food ordering for us.

We finally arrive at the end of a highway that is under construction, beneath a freeway bridge that is under construction, next to a massive high rise that is under construction, to a dirt road that looks like it really needs some construction. We pass through a security checkpoint and voila, we are at the right building, the aluminum extruding supplier. As always we are greeted by a very nice young Chinese woman who speaks a bit of English. We are instantly put in front of the air conditioner and served a cold beverage. The Chinese are mostly polite and willing to extend themselves. They are also very proud of their factories no matter how small or large.

The Paint Spy, a high quality tool that will enable people to detect hidden body damage, which is being developed by the Your Car Angel team, is coming along nicely. We have so far met the aluminum supplier who is responsible for the barrel and gauge, the Spring supplier (who I swear has a million pounds of different size springs as small as a pin head and big as a car) and the tool maker who manufactures the high quality plastic extruded components which are the internal pieces that keep everything calibrated correctly inside the Paint Spy barrel. All the tooling is in place to make the first production run of the Paint Spy. They will be running off the assembly line in a matter of days.

Next up: How to eat at a Chinese restaurant – like a local.

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Click here for PART 1 – How to Get a Product Produced in China

Click here for PART 2 – No Rice, No Problem