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Car Shows, Doraemon  

2013-05-21 00:45:13|  蛍窃 潮範蛍窃 |  炎禰 |訟烏 |忖催 匡堋

  和墮LOFTER 厘議孚頭慕  |


Car Shows, Doraemon - maryhalloran - 拍敢頚朝

Motor Show... at work?
Work was really slow for about two weeks.  I literally had nine hours of nothing but free time.  You may think: "Wow Mary, that's awesome!  You can surf the net, buy stuff on Amazon, maybe even watch some Game of Thrones at work!"  And oh, how I wish I could, but god blessed me with a seat in the vicinity of the CEO of greater China and the general manager, with my immediate location being right next to the vice supervisor.  It's not a good seat, let's just say that.

I study Japanese.  Get bored.  Read advertising articles.  Fall asleep sitting up.  Read Yahoo! Japan until my eyes bleed.  Nikkei.  Damn, I need a subscription to read more of that.  Try to read Baidu news... lord, that's painful.  Too much fake news. 

I get so bored I start translating the Economist into Japanese.  Good god.

"Mary-san," Takada-san (vice supervisor) turns me, a stern look on her face.  "Are you busy?"

I gulp.

"N-n-not too busy... just... reviewing... some... things..." I was looking at Japanese blogs online, but I immediately put the screen back to Outlook and gained my composure.  "Is there something I can assist you with?

"Good.  Because tomorrow we have to go on-site and do some research."

"Research?"  I blink.  This was a first.  How does an ad agency do research?

"Yes.  We're going to the Shanghai Motor Show tomorrow.  It's an A-class motor show and all of the automakers and their CEO's should be there."

My emotions take hold of me and I yelp, "we're going to the motor show!?!?!"

"To study," she looks at me sternly.  "Tomorrow.  Let's leave right at 10 AM, no later."

I hold back my excitement and nod as firmly as I can, "Yes.  I won't be late."

So Takada-san and I (just the two of us) take our ad agency passes (as exhibitors) and head to the 2013 Shanghai motor show.

I wasn't sure if we were going there to do actual work or not, but I figured taking some pictures would do little harm.  I stuff a small camera into my purse and head on my way, wearing my best outfit just in case we have to talk to some of our clients.

Imagine my surprise when Takada-san and I walk in, ogle at the cars, and almost simultaneously pull out our cameras.  We exchange smiles.  Oh yeah--now this is how you do "research."


Car Shows, Doraemon, and Interpreting Advice - maryhalloran - 拍敢頚朝


Nothing like an ugly ass Rolls Royce and a booth babe. 

"Takada-san, how much do the models make in a day here at the motor show?"

"At least 700 USD.  Or more."

"What!?!"

"Yeah.  Working with the models is terrible.  I know it's hard work, but they complain a lot and always give us a hard time."

"Man.  I want to make 700 USD to stand there and look pretty."

"そうですよね。 ̄

Car Shows, Doraemon, and Interpreting Advice - maryhalloran - 拍敢頚朝

The coolest car by far was this piece made by Toyota.  The outer surface of the car can project any image you like.  Some people were drawing images on an ipad that automatically reflected the drawing onto the black panels.  Right now there's some ugly green pattern, but it was crazy.  Now there's a car from the future.
 
Car Shows, Doraemon, and Interpreting Advice - maryhalloran - 拍敢頚朝
 
Although it was a weekday, the motor show was PACKED with people. 

It's no secret that China has the 2nd most millionaires in the world, and let's just say it was extremely apparent at the auto show.  People like that guy pictured above would walk in, pay for a Maserati with cash and just drive it out of the expo center.  No joke.  A good portion of people at the motor show were looking for cars to purchase.  For luxury cars (as pictured above), normal folks were not allowed to step over the rope and actually touch/look at the car up close--you were only allowed in if you had made a reservation before hand, with intent to purchase.

Car Shows, Doraemon - maryhalloran - 拍敢頚朝

As you can see, on day three a good portion of the mini coopers are already sold out (red meaning it's sold-out)
 
Car Shows, Doraemon, and Interpreting Advice - maryhalloran - 拍敢頚朝
 
Most booths had some crazy show or gig to go along with their exhibition, and my hat goes off to Cadillac for doing something extremely weird.  These dudes in suits were doing a dance that.. I don't even know how to explain.  It was like the macarena, ballet, and Gangnam Style all in one package.  Most other booths had hot chicks pole dancing with a car, but Cadillac had these dudes instead.

In all honesty, the motor show was mainly a way for Takada-san and I to kill time while we had absolutely nothing to do at the office.  Still, she gave me detailed explanations of how these booths are set up, and the exorbitant amount of money these automakers pay for a little quarter of space.  She said in China, your relationship with the government can determine everything about your location at the expo site.  Where your company gets the largest spot at the main vendor, or whether it's near the exit or not, etc..  Makers can't pick their location, but I'm sure if they slipped a few extra Mao bills to Mr. Motor Show chairman, they'd somehow get 'lucky' in with their location.

Takada-san and I had pizza for lunch, toured the entire Motor Show site and then took a cab back to the office.  We spent the entire day doing nothing but taking pictures of awesome cars and watching dudes in suits dance.  Very good day.

About two weeks pass with some busy days here and there, but another slump settles in.  I start translating some advertising garbage that doesn't even need to be done, but I'm so bored.  My brain starts to melt. 

Doraemon and our duty to him/her

"Mary-san," Takada-san swivels toward me.  "Did you know that our company has the international rights to Doraemon?"

"Why, I did not" I honestly didn't, but to be honest, the topic was a bit sudden.  "That's a good license to have.  Doraemon is very popular in China."

"Yes, it is" she smiles.  "They're having a Doraemon exhibit in Xintiandi."

"Oh really?" Takada-san shows me pictures on her laptop for the event called "100 tools of Doraemon."  Looked cute.

"How about we go this afternoon, at 2?" she smiles.  "To study."

"....... はい。わかりました。 ̄

I wasn't sure what to say.  I could have said, "HELL YEA!" but I don't think that burst of emotion would go down so well in a Japanese company.  Or maybe Takada-san wouldn't care.  I don't know.  Anyway, I played the safe card and put on my majime face.  Maybe we really were going to study?

Takada-san bought my 50 RMB pass to the 100 tools of Doraemon, where 100 statues of Doraemon and his tools had taken over the most luxurious street in Shanghai--Xintiandi.  Takada-san and I wandered around the exhibition taking photos of all the Doraemon poses while looking at the free goods we got with our ticket. 

I knew then that we definitely weren't there to study.

After looking at all the Doraemon, Takada-san looks at me.

"Well, it's still early.  The weather is too nice to go back to the office.  How about we get some coffee?"

We hit a Starbucks and sit out on the patio, enjoying the perfect spring weather.  We talk about everything but work.  What Utah is like.  How she managed to live in China so darned long without losing sanity.  Pilgrimages across Shikoku (don't ask).

When the check comes I offer to pay (since she treated me to the motor show lunch and Doraemon tickets), but she swats my hand away and says.  "No Mary, this is still work related so it's my job to pay," she points to the Doraemon sign hanging on the wall above, "because s/he's here."

Car Shows, Doraemon, and Interpreting Advice - maryhalloran - 拍敢頚朝
 


Takada-san.  Why you so cool. 
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