The taxi system in Shanghai is active all around the clock, so I’m in no rush. My eyes scan the luggage conveyor belt and, soon enough, I have my suitcase and make my way onto the taxi platform. I hail a blue cab, tell the driver my destination, and ask for the price.
“300,” I say, without even thinking.
The driver hesitates.
For the next two hours, I gaze out the window at a dark canvas scattered with twinkling lights. The port city I’m headed toward, Ningbo , is south of Shanghai and renowned for commerce. In my work for my mom’s health electronics company, I’ll visit several factories to meet with managers and ensure quality production. My body is exhausted, but, as I am acutely aware of my surroundings, my mind won’t let me sleep. Once I’ve paid the cab and arrived at my hotel room, I’m out.
Three hours later, I’m on my way to the factory of Mr. Lin. After touring the facilities and observing the assembly line, I sit down with him and his associates. I lay out what needs to be improved – packaging, certain labels, an interior mechanism on one unit – and introduce a new product that I want to begin manufacturing in the first quarter of next year. The following seven days are spent in a similar manner:…
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