2014.01.19 - China
Short trip to China
Winter started early in Korea but has now eased up a little. January has been cold but not prohibitively cold. Still it was a little surprising that we would have to travel to China to get really cold. I was going to Ningbo for a two-day meeting (audit of the heli-deck Maker) and Paula decided to join me as far as Shanghai, to spend three days with her old schoolmate Cecilia. While I was hard at work she was eating Chilean food, drinking Pisco sours and chatting chatting chatting ! I don't think that her jaw has seen so much exercise in a very long time!
Ningbo is a small town (only 6 million inhabitants) 3 hours from Shanghai. We (my colleague Irving, me and there guys from the Yard) were picked up by the driver and had to sit through three hours of Robbie Williams before reaching the hotel late Sunday evening. Next day we miraculously made it through the morning traffic without incidents (or at least without any physical damage - there were plenty of near misses) to the factory. All day meeting and then back to the hotel where the lounge beckoned us with a few gin&tonics before we went out in search of food. Being of the indecisive kind, we never found an eatery that we liked but managed to get rid of the thirst! I know that Ningbo is a small town by Chinese standards, but had expected a little more from a town this size (i.e. 6 times larger than the Danish capital). It's pleasant enough - what we saw in terms of centre and entertainment was just a little small.
Ningbo by night
Irving in Ningbo. Funny to see construction sites in the centre of the city with portal cranes ....
Next day more mad traffic and more meetings. In the evening I met up with an old school mate of mine, Brian, who has been living in Ningbo the last 6 years. We found a great italian restaurant and spent the evening eating good pizza and talking about everything which had happened in the last 5 years since we last met (in Ulsan). It was good to catch up and time flew by. Soon it was back to the hotel, sleep and then transfer back to Shanghai.
In the airport in Shanghai Paula and Cecilia were waiting with Chilean food and Pisco Sour - God bless them !
Thursday we were invited over to Agnieszka's birthday. Michal gave her a make-your-own-pasta machine for christmas and by now the tests were over and she felt confident enough to have people over for home made pasta. And what pasta ! Followed by blueberry muffins (which Michal ate the majority of!).
The famous muffins before they mysteriously disappeared.
Saturday we went to Sea Sketch for big John's birthday together with half of our site team. Good night out and we even got home in decent time. Also got to ay goodbye to Ian Harris who was on his last night ashore before taking Bolette (the drillship we are about to receive from HHI) out to anchorage and then hopefully take delivery of in a week or two. It's been long enough ... 5 months delay.
John the Mexican (for an evening)
John - apparently not an experienced cake-partitioner!
Saturday we met up with a Chilean/Brazilian girl, Miriam, that Paula knows and her Italian husband Fabrizio for a coffee in the clubhouse. There are always plenty of opportunities to meet new people here.
Other than that ... some biking and some fine dining with Phoebe and Mike.
Web leading Håvard and Ken on Yeompo
This is where I first worked when we arrived in 2007. INP/SeKwang shipyard is now bankrupt and being converted to ... something .... after having been abandoned for a few years now.