Up early and our number one priority was to find a working Internet tand some breakfast. After that – we headed off to the factory where our Birdies rash vests are made.
After much confusion, we found the driver waiting to pick us up. Arrived to discover the factory was a mini sweatshop – the first one we have seen. We were greeted by Quirky Sis’ contact Shannia, who was just lovely. She showed us inside and we discussed new products and took a tour of the factory which had different sections for every part of the manufacturing process: cutting design, gluing, printing and sewing. It was very interesting and we sourced plenty of new products for our customers.
Next, it was time for some shopping (and to find that elusive Internet cafe). Shopping is very tricky, and at first Quirky Guy thought we were paying too much for copies – but they looked the real deal. We finally worked out the bartering process and just loved it. Basically, you start at less than half of what they are offering and then walk away, but if you are in an acceptable price range they will chase you. Lots of fun!
We shopped for hours and then decided to find Internet to book our flights to Guangzhou for the Canton Fair . We found a coffee shop that had free wifi and great hot chocolates and checked out flights. When that was all sorted we decided to walk back to hotel as Quirky Guy had a map on his iPad. But about a kilometre into the walk he lost the map and we lost our way!
However, we then managed to find the most amazing bakery ever. The cakes were a piece of art and they had free wifi – so we were saved again. For a country that is meant to be the leading edge in technology it is not wired for Internet at all.
So after an hour or two we made it back to the hotel in time for Quirky Gal to jump on the Internet and answer around 30 customer questions and send Quirky Leigh (our part time assistant in Melbourne) the list to be posted and couriered so everyone would get their items. Phew!
Then Abby, the lady who provides us with cots, arrived from her long drive. She brought her production assistant along. We sat and discussed the last delivery and told her the issues. However, what we didn’t know was that Abby was already aware of the problems and wanted to show us the solutions she had come up with.
She had a sample of the cot in her car, and put it together to show us the improvements they had made. We were totally amazed they had taken on all of our feedback, and the cot was so great – no more problems. So that was absolutely worth the meeting. She also had our spare screws and nuts so everything was sorted for the next order. There would be a two week delay to get the items we wanted, but it was not a problem.
After the meeting we decided to go out walking and explore more and see what Shanghai had to offer. We discovered our hotel had the best view of the city from the 25th floor – amazing. We then went for a walk around and saw some nightlife and found some milk (we thought we had bought milk the night before but it was yogurt and didn’t taste too good in a cup of tea!).
Once back at the hotel it was time for bed and a good rest for the next day full of adventures and great bargains to be had.