Thursday, March 31

Annual FBCS Meeting

This morning started with a speech from the SEB banks Chief Economist at the Radisson SAS hotel here in Shanghai. It was really interesting to see how the emerging markets are growing fast and doing better and better while many western countries debts increase. Countries with big debt problems at the moment are Greece, Spain and US! In the last few years the US debt has increased from 57 trillion dollars to 107 trillion! dollars. That's a looooot of money...
Later in the evening there was a meeting at the General Consuls home for the Finnish Business Council in Shanghai. Since my company in a member in the Council I went there to represent. There was the normal annual thing stuff like choosing a new board, electing auditor etc plus a summary of the activities last year. There are now 80 Finnish companies that has joined the council and it growing all the time but the Chinese authorities don't let foreigners establish an official Chambers very easily. The FBCS has been trying to get the council official in China since January 2008 but the bill has been rejected 3 times. A lot of work has been done after that to get it to pass and hopefully in April it will be accepted....For some reason the Chinese authorities have not accepted a single foreign chamber in 7 years now! Let's see if we can break that 7 year gap.
Have you ever cursed the heavy shopping bags in supermarket? Say you have a lot of people coming over and you have to buy a lot of drinks (50 cans +) and you don't have a car. Well the perfect solution for that is buying it online and getting it delivered home! I found a store here in Shanghai doing that called When ordering for more than 200 RMB the delivery is free. I stocked up the whole kitchen and fridge with a 1100 RMB order, should not be thirsty for a while now :) The best part is that all of this is imported, there are Australian cheese, Italian pepperoni, New Zealand butter, Austrian chocolate etc etc in those bags!

Wednesday, March 30

Caught a cold

This week has by far been the busiest I ever had. Monday a morning meetings followed by a networking event which lasted until 3am because I was tasting a lot of the White Wine they were promoting there. For obvious reasons Tuesday was a bit slow but also met some people concerning transportation from Canada to China. Today I stared the morning by having a vanilla coffee and some sandwich before visiting a company with an amazing view from the Shanghai Kerry Center!
Views from Puxi - Nanjing Road
Had to go home a little earlier today, feel like I'm going to get sick. A whole days rest and some fruits should do the trick.

Sunday, March 27

Loving Sunday's

Today has been awesome from the beginning to the end! Wake up late, have a ruisleipä with Salomon bought from Finland with a cup of Vietnamese coffee that I bought freshly from the coffee bean fields in Vietnam last month. After that a good 2h workout at the gym followed by a 1h oil massage, pedicure, manicure. After that went to make some tailor made suits and enjoying a huge Mexican Fajita dinner with Coronas and Margaritas. Can a Sunday get much better than this? Life here is just so damn comfortable...

The tailor market where suits go for around 600 Yuan and shirts 100
Dragonfly which is a very exclusive massage-nail SPA place in China.
My nails have never been as smooth and shiny before :D
A Mexican place partly owned by another Finnish guy on Hongmei Road

Friday, March 25

Swenska Export Rådet & A Goodbye party

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce had another Seminar about companies moving "to the west" but inside of China. Manufacturing in coastal cities is becoming increasingly expensive because the labor costs and rent is much higher in Shanghai than Wuhan or Xi'an. Big companies like Foxxcom also moved their production to Chengdu recently because the Shenzhen factory got a bit of a bad reputation after 15 people suicided there.
Peter is going back to Finland next week so there was a goodbye party organized in O'Malleys bar. I never seen so many Finnish people in 1 bar here in China at the same time. The whole second floor was reserved for Finns and Peter and Jussi were playing songs for a few hours, was a great night!

Wednesday, March 23

New Working Visa for a Year

Had to go and renew my visa which was MUCH easier this time, only took 2 weeks in total when last time was 3 months, although this time I knew what I had to prepare for it.
Had to wait for a long time for the line, I was number 293 and when I came there they were going on 203. It was also lunch time so there was only 2 receptions accepting papers. But now it's done and next time in a year again!
DQ at the Raffels shopping mall had some promotional sales :P

Sunday, March 20

Aalto Design Factory Shanghai

Another weekend again, time goes amazingly fast here and it's already been over 2 months since I came to Shanghai. Went to a event by the Finnish Business Counsel called Young Professional which is organized twice a month. I didn't know that the Aalto University actually have a whole building floor here designed the "Finnish Way" There is Marimekko, a classroom that looks like a Sauna and many other "Finnish" things. There was a short presentation about companies in China and then casual chit-chat networking. Place is pretty cool and the elevator is made into a meeting room in case all other rooms are busy :)

Aalto-Tongji Design Factory
Sauna class
Elevator with sofas
Main room

Wednesday, March 16

Japan Japan...Events Events

I think you all read about the Japanese disaster the last few days in the papers when the earthquake hit followed by a Tsunami that wrecked the Nuclear plant in Fukushima. So far there is no sign that it would spread to Shanghai or China but who knows...A friend of mine had his HQ calling him as saying that he should probably start checking some plane tickets home to Finland soon...Hope it does not come to that because if that happens when is it safe to come back?

The last few days I've been going to different seminars organized by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce and some other networking events for people working in Shanghai. In this one below they were talking about the risks and corruption there is when doing business in China. The speaker had a background the Swedish secret police and has been in China since 2004.
Yesterday there was a very big "Spring Mix" where about 500 people showed up and when coming home my pockets were full of business cards. I met one British guy who came to Shanghai December 1980 and has been here since then. He had a lot of interesting stories to tell, wish I could see pictures taken at that time when Pudong was only grasslands. The view from the hotel (Fairmont Peace Hotel) where the Spring Mix was kept is amazing!
Next to the bus stop they have a store which makes car keys. Never has stealing cars been this easy before! You can make any sort of key you want here...
Also found a store that was so nice that it was actually called NICE.

Monday, March 14

Some night scenes of Shanghai

Love to walk around or sit in a cab by night here, everything looks awesome!

The World Finance Tower, 570m
From the World Expo Chinas Pavillion
View from a friends flat on the 43rd floor

Saturday, March 12

Animal Market

Like I've said many times and will say again "If you can't find it in Shanghai it does not exist" There was a market where you could buy pets, random stuff and the most strangest animals I ever seen...These bunnies are pretty cute for about 3 Euros...
In China they have a lot of Grasshopper fights around the city where 2 parts bring their own "Killer Grasshopper" to fight. The Grasshopper that is alive after the fight naturally wins. They are BIG! And there are a lot of them for sale here, prices a few Euros.
Also saw the strangest looking thing, don't even know what it is but it looks rare and I'm not sure if it's even allowed to sell them like this...And a LOT of different kinds of turtles...
Husky! Poor dog has a really small cage...And probably fakes one (but who knows) Terracotta warriors!

Friday, March 11

And Seba's 1 year closer to 30!

Already 27 years! Time goes by so fast, it's my 3rd birthday in China already. My coworkers had got me a cake in the morning with 生日快乐 (happy birthday) text and candles, sweet.

For lunch we went to get Korean BBQ and I ordered the dish called "A Whole Cow" and there was probably a few kilos of meat for us to share.

After work we headed to HOOTERS for some beer and food. Was a great idea to tell the waitresses there that it's by birthday, they came to sing for me while I was suppose to write my name in the air with my ass. Too bad no video was taken...

At 19.30 Kari had got us tickets the a basketball match, first time in my life I went to see one. Before the match started they played the chinese national song and everybody turned towards the flag.
It was Shanghai vs. Shanxi and Shanghai lost because they played like crap and kept missing the time after time. Was hard to believe these guys were professionals. Fun game though :)

Wednesday, March 9

Morning bus broke down

Found a bus that goes from my door to the office so no need to hunt cabs in the morning anymore. And save about 100 Euros a month as well...This morning the bus suddenly hit the breaks REAL hard and everybody flew into the front, sounded like some alarm went off and the driver told everyone to get out. When everyone was out the driver climbed up on the roof trying to fix the problem, it had got stuck in a tree! The road was blocked for quite some time because it's so narrow and when the next 23 bus came everybody rushed in. I didn't wanna stuff myself into it so I waited 30 seconds and got into the next one which was empty and I got a seat, I'm smart, I know!
Also happened to see a loooot of migrant workers sitting and waiting for someone to hire them. Everybody has a sign of what they can do. It's everything from cleaning, fixing things in your home, painting etc etc. There are also actors like this in different areas who just wait the whole day that someone would hire them for around 5-15 Euros a day (depending on the job)
To avoid unemployment it's good to hire a LOT of people so that 6 guys can watch 1 guy working...hahaha (he's cutting some metal)
Yesterday we had another floor-ball game with the other Finns that work here, I scored my lifetimes first goal! They told me I should keep the ball as a memory...
And like everyone knows, fake stuff can be found all over China like this server screen, wait, Pandasons what?

Monday, March 7

Strolling around in Pudong

Went to Pudong this morning for an appointment, it's change a lot! Before they were building up this area for the Expo and there was construction work everywhere! Around the Super Brand Mall they only had construction sites and the traffic was pretty chaotic. Now there is a huge buss station, some 50 story buildings and a passage above ground for the pedestrians.

One of worlds tallest hotels - Jin Mao, suites on 90th floor
Looks a lot different than 2007

Foreigners are still pretty privileged here, for example the hospitals. There is a huge Chinese hospital in the center of Pudong but I just walked passed it and happened to notice that on the side of the building there is an own entrance for foreigners to the "International" department which looked a lot nicer...Price in Beijing was more than 10x more than local hospitals but then again all the doctors were foreign (US, Sweden, German, Japanese etc)

While on lunch I met a lot of....ducks dangling from this place. Looks DEEE-LIII!!