Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mr Smith Goes to China?

As the horribly slow process of registering a company and getting a visa here continues, I'm scheduled to fly out to Guangzhou China on Monday to pick up the majority of the kitchen equipment, furnishings and dishware for the restaurant. For those that don't know Guangzhou is a large provincial capital that sits just on the mainland side of Hong Kong. If it means anything to you it was known (and still often is) as Canton in the west.

I've never been to mainland China with the exception of Tibet, but then Tibet is Tibet and China proper is something else entirely really. I really don't know what to expect. From the pictures that I've seen it looks very much like a well to do modern city. In fact quite a bit should look familiar there as much of what I've purchased over the years back in the US was shipped out of this area. With everything in Nepal also imported from China, it just seemed to make more sense to go to the source to get everything. That and the selection here in KTM is really abysmal. Often types of glasses or dishware you are looking for can't be found, and if they can be found there is only one or two options available to select from. Asian dishware is often made to fit Asian eating styles, so finding bowls that are better fit to salads and not rice, curries or soups is often tough. Plates are also either too small, and those made for Indian audiences often have these horribly gaudy patterns. I'm hoping to find stuff that is ready to be shipped across the ocean to western clientele as those products will obviously better accommodate the food I'm planning on serving.

Other items I hope to find are kitchen appliances. Some items that we need,like fryers, griddles on a gas range, char broilers, and cheese melters would have to be custom made in KTM or possibly imported from India if even available there. We're hoping that we can also hunt down cooking equipment that is made for western forms of cooking. We will also be looking for refrigerators and freezers, though these are items I know we can get in KTM, it's simply a matter if it will be cheaper to get it in China.

All of this though hinges on whether or not the Chinese decide to grant me a visa  to go or not. Hopefully I'll find out tomorrow. If you are from most countries the cost for a single entry visa costs 29$, but for Americans we have to pay 150$. While I'm use to paying more for a visa as an American, the scale of the difference is kind of crazy. Anyway crossing my fingers that I walk out of the Chinese consulate with a visa tomorrow and get to fly out on Monday.

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