Business meetings in dark alleyways and in two languages aint easy

Business meetings in dark alleyways and in two languages aint easy

Last night was the second business meeting I'm here for. When I say meeting I mean dinner. We went to a fantastic vegetarian restaurant which was right down the back of some alleyway. We meet one of the men from the company on the street and were lead down a side ally which was dark and a little foreboding to start with. Spread out all the way down this ally were staff/waiters/assistants/something who welcomed us and guided us to the restaurant. It was a good idea because it was a long way down  the back and round a few corners.

The restaurant was fantastic. It looked like a giant circus tent when we first saw it. There was material hanging over the front of the building. One of the staff/waiters/assistants/something people pulled back the curtain and let us in. Inside was a spectacular arrangement of private booths and dining tables. Some large for 50+ people, others small for a romantic dinner. We had a room around the corner and down the bend and up the little ramp.

I was introduced to two other men from the same company. John worked as the translator all night and pasted as much as he could back and forth between Sinclair and I to the three Chinese men. I would tell you there names but I can't pronounce them let alone spell them. They were all great and interesting people to meet.


Much of the conversation during dinner was about the food and if the Kiwis could handle the spice and variety presented. Everything was vegetarian but had names like Peking Duck because it tasted just like it.

When it came time to talk business it got interesting because I'm very used to reading body language. Who knows if I'm any good at that but I do all the same. Having to get an interpreter is hard because I don't know how people are reacting to the way I phrase things and I don't know how it's being phrased to them. There were several times when John would say "I don't think I'm saying this right". that is a freaky thought when trying to build business relationships because I want to know that ideas have been communicated correctly. It's hard to know if I'm understanding their ideas and if they are understanding mine.

The meeting went very well and I believe we have a strong relationship to work with from here. Time will tell but we have started in the right direction.


6 comments (Add your own)

1. mum wrote:
I see a hint of smiles, that must be a good sign?!!!

Tue, March 24, 2009 @ 8:38 AM

2. Hayden Sanders wrote:
Yeah it did go well. The Chinese don't really smile much in photos so this is about as excited as it gets hahaha.

Tue, March 24, 2009 @ 12:45 PM

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