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It's funny how soothing having "an old friend" on your wrist can be...

May 8 2012 at 1:50 AM

ThomasM  (Premier Login thepurist178)
AP Discussion Group

 
A dear friend and long time Purist, driving in the Ferrari Challenge Asia, invited me to join him in Shanghai for the race there. As I had other business to take care of in the region, I accepted his kind invitation and headed to the "Fragrant Harbour" to connect with some old friends.

The problem is, I was in UK -


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and had to be back in LA for some urgent matters before heading to Asia. I had 24 hours to make the transition...

Funny, even with as much flying as I do (last couple of years I averaged 200k+ true air miles P.A...) the pre-flight jitters never get any easier. Always nice to have personal mementos with you on the wrist and in the pocket to help "ground you." A flute of Krug doesn't hurt either...

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To get me in the right mood for the trip, I checked the magazine selection; nice to find more comforting "old standbys" -

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The pilot announced weather patterns which would hinder our smooth and timely arrival to HKG, but looking at this, I wonder if he was just trying to cover one too many shots or highballs...

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I had unrealistically (some might say stupidly) committed to a black tie reception within 90 minutes of scheduled landing, and a private, hopefully relaxed dinner with a long time friend whom I hadn't seen in 4 years (she not only changed jobs, but industries.) Well, look at the preceding picture again...I didn't make the reception, and was 90 minutes late to dinner.

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Interestingly enough, we bumped into the Chairman of Heng De Li in the lobby...hmmm...and Mr. Hayek Jr. in the dining room...yep, later, I saw both entourages ensconsed in heavy duty meetings in the conference room upstairs. Mental note: HK is a VERY small place, if you want to have secret meetings, hold them in closed offices with no glass walls and don't hang out in public places...I understand even better now why there are so many tabloids, so successful at what they do, in HK.

We greeted Mr. Zhang in the lobby, and Mr. Hayek in the dining room, but upstairs, I awkwardly tried to avoid eye contact. I felt sorta like being seated across the table from a stunning woman with a beautiful face and a knock out body - where the hell do you look?!?
Luckily I had this to take my gaze away...

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I had a very good breakfast meeting with a top brand CEO, with great insights into the current environment in the Mainland. There are clearly two very strongly held positions on the state of the Mainland economy, both macro and micro. Both make great sense, even as they paint totally different pictures - one of doom and gloom, the other of "business as usual, with a planned cooling to ease the transitions coming up later this year and next." I went over fearing the first, and left convinced of the second.

Being good friends as well, the breakfast lasted a bit longer than planned and so I rushed to my next appointment, this one with a long ago love whom I hadn't seen in nearly a decade. The reunion was joyous, almost tearful, as I beheld her sweet voice once again...

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The reunion was magical, and even as I compose this, I am comforted by her sweet reminders of the passage of time...
After the reunion, I had one more professional / personal matter to attend to, and after a conference call with Taipei, a quick de brief with US, and off I rush to Hong Kong Station to ...

Preview:

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"The secret to success in life
is to keep believing in the possible,
but to focus your energies on the probable."

 
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