What we consider the ubiquitous food of China (rice) seems unavailable. I never see it on the menu and it is never offered. The Chinese it seems, at least in the Guangdong province, do not eat a lot of rice. They make things with rice, no doubt, but they don’t seem to eat it as a staple.

They do however eat a lot of noodles.

See the beautiful noodle making process in this video:

Being a communist country everything, it seems, is done communally. Even the meals are eaten together. But not like we do in the western society. In fact not once was there ever a plate put in front of me. The food came to the table but not to anyone in particular. Everyone just sticks their chopsticks into the shared plates throughout the meal. You get this shared feeling wherever you go. The fact that factories are a collective work force that must work towards a common goal makes the Chinese the ideal workforce. People seem to be wired for this sort of monotonous work. And work they do!

For the production of the Paint Spy, we have been working closely with a product development team by the name of Blue Ox Industrials. Regardless of where we had this product built it was perfectly clear that Blue Ox had every detail of bringing a product to market from beginning to end down to a science.

So it is day one and I am putting on my best duds and having our first meeting at a restaurant. The first thing I recognize is that the main guy from the factory has a very long fingernail on his pinky finger. This is a true sign from someone who has a history of manual labor but has managed to rise above it. His fingernail is a traditional sign that he is now successful.

Most of our business meetings will be conducted at the factories but this particular meeting is conducted in a nowhere land restaurant, in a private room over tea in a very serious manner. Fortunately one of the Blue Ox partners is native Chinese.

Things are diagramed on pieces of paper rather informally and eventually it is agreed on how it is to be done. Consensus is finally reached and Bam! More tea and food and beer for everyone (except our driver). Food is incredible and Tsingtao beer is cheap. Afterwards we jumped in the car for some seriously non-apologetic, crazy driving where the risk taking is staggering and then safely back to the hotel.


Stay tuned for Part 3