Notes from Puzzle Palace
Monday, July 29, 2013
Well the GZ puzzle party is over. Sunday came and went without puzzling-ok, with very little puzzling anyway. We decided to meet at the hotel again at 10 and do some sightseeing. Because of the night before, we managed to arrive at 10:30. Not bad all things considered.
First stop was a museum dedicated to SunYat Sen. It was 5 levels of photos, pottery, and other curiosities. The best part was the view from the top floor.
Second stop was a temple of sorts. AJ paid the 10RMB for us to enter and we took a walk around the building. And really, that was all it was. We saw a tree in a tree and then headed off.
As we were walking through the park we stopped for a while and watched a few people playing some sort of feathered hackysack game. They let us have a go but of course rox was a total incompetent! As we were leaving the skies opened up and we waited it out under a small gazebo. It must have lasted an hour!
From there we headed to lunch with Mr. Fok yet again before heading back to the hotel to dry out a bit. I was very glad I left my luggage there. Dry socks!
Next stop was Mr. Fok's warehouse where Oskar showed yet another puzzle or two and George explained his. I asked mr. Fok for a copy of his newest puzzle and he gave one to each of us. Even signed them! And yet..More rain. We once again waited it out before going over to see the Canton (GZ) tower. I love the look of the building and it never fails to amaze! This time we went up!!! 108 floors is a tough call for a girl afraid of heights. But I made it to the top and even managed to walk out on the glass with a bit of help from my friends. I was shaking let me tell you!
As always, we looked for puzzles and weren't disappointed. Found a 2x2 keychain and a slide tile 15. We took a few more photos with the lights on the building and made our way to the subway system.
Because I was flying out to IPP in the early morning we parted company and I headed home. I heard they all had dinner together and I know lucky George and Oskar were getting a Hanayama factory tour in Monday.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Last night was the dinner. The long awaited dinner.
Ming I've later found out was in charge of the whole party. We had around 30+ people there. It was a roaring success! I wish I could tell you what the food was but truth be told, I didn't really eat. I drink better! When we walked in I made a beeline for Da Yan for a big hug! I missed my teddy bear. George later told me that he never saw me without my arm around someone.
I brought along a bottle of whiskey for the dinner and toasted all who would drink it with me. Sadly it was only 9 guys. Leslie took home the remainder of the bottle and I've discovered he likes the hard stuff as much as I do.
Oskar was the star of the show. One and all wanted a photo with him. I think they got more than one. The photo ops never stopped.
The atmosphere was one of major celebration this time. The company was great and all had a great time.
The lads left me in Mings capable hands and headed off for karaoke. Sadly, I wasn't allowed this time. I think they were doing business late into the night. Doesn't matter, there will be more opportunities for me to sing off key.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
This morning we start out by meeting George and Oskar at their hotel for a bit of sightseeing. AJ is joining us and taking us for a walk in a park and sun yat sen memorial hall. From there it's off to lunch and the Mf8 warehouse before meeting with another company. And of course tonight is the big dinner. I've been told there will be around 30 people there. This should be fun.
Aj finally took me/us to see the 5 goats statue in GZ. It's only taken me 5 years to get him to do it.
We lunched with Mr. Fok and Otis joined us. Oskar passed around a few toys and we mucked about a bit.
When done we headed off to mr. Foks warehouse for a look around. The two visitors were suitably impressed and enjoyed their look around.
We're now sitting in Starbucks enjoying a chat with yet another manufacturer. It's a whirlwind trip to say the least.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Today saw us at another factory. Only 1 this time but it was a BIG one. I can't give the name of course, but this time both George and Oskar were thrilled!
As for me? Well, I was with great company. I got to see two machines in action that I haven't seen before. An ultrasonic sealer and a blower injection molder. They were just so cool! Yet again I am amazed by what goes into making a puzzle.
We were dropped off at the train station and after a hiccup or 2 I was finally able to get us tickets to GZ. As promised Ming was there to pick us up. We headed off to meet with witeden and had the pleasure of his company for dinner. A bit of cube signing later and we sent the big boys off to the hotel. Again it is late and I'm dead. Too much fresh air I think because there is no way I'm getting old!
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Ulrich kept me up until good God 4 o'clock in the morning. Back up again at 7:30 to meet George and Oscar at their hotel. We were supposed to meet the car at nine but it didn't show up until almost 11. First trip was to a factory to see the moldmaking process it is such a cool thing. The factory owner was so sweet. He opened the treasure chest mold so we could see it. You should have seen the look on oskar's face! He was thrilled. The next step was to see the injection machine. Now I've seen this many times before but it always amazes me.
From there we headed out to the assembly line and packing plant. I loved the detailed instruction cards. And really enjoyed watching Oskar pack a puzzle! Uwe left us to head to Vegas and the rest if us carried on to another factory to see more big machines.
Dinner saw us at a Japanese noodle shop (in China!) with Ulrich along for the ride, dinner conversation was way past my man tool level!
Off to the hotel for a long and well deserved kip.
Today we head to another factory and a train ride to Guangzhou.