Last Friday was a busy day…I was given 2 minutes notice and was rushed off to a seminar at an American association here in HK. My Directors were part of a panel and they kindly thought I would benefit from listening to what they had to say. So generous.
To be honest, it was a great networking opportunity for me, but others seemed to have a different approach in mind. I was (as usual) the only fair headed Westerner in the room. Once the Q&A section was over and the netwroking commenced, I was approached by at least half the room at different stages. I assume the main reason was because they all had bets on where I came from and were hoping to get confirmation and later collect their winnings.
But there was one woman that stood out, she was from mainland China and had waited patiently until I was alone to appraoch me. She worked for a large international insurance company and had arrived in Hong Kong 8 years ago. As she handed me her business card in true Hong Kong style (2 hands holding the card, details facing you, bending over whilst placing the card in your 2 hands) she told me that she had just been to the hairdresser. Perplexed at the information offered, I told her how lovely her (very asian style) haircut was, when she began to stroke my hair…longingly.
“What do you call this colour?” she says, making me feel some what like E.T.
“Ahh yes, perhaps pratinum? I think this is my next pran. I will achieve this colour. Is it true…you have more fun??” … Ok – now ‘Mainland’ is giving me a wink and creeping the crapola out of me. Somehow I manage to wind up the conversation and we go our separate ways…not before she tells me that she is looking for a new shopping partner…a Western one “because everyone here is so boring!” …that I could be just the one she is looking for.
I smile, nod, politely thank her and give her some hope that our shopping escapades may one day eventuate…as I walk away, I look down at her business card and notice her company details scribbled out and replacced with her facebook name and a winky/smiley face!