A typical laowai in China..

16 11 2011

..I am not…

But on the other hand I cannot say I was a typical Italian in Norway!

Foreigners are usually "surrounded" by foreigners. Or they enjoy visiting mainly bars and places with several other foreigners around, or Chinese places when in group. As mentioned earlier, I have mainly Chinese friends here. And I enjoy that, because I manage to experience this place and life in a different way. Less.. from the outside (laowai, 老外, means literally "old outsider", common word for foreigner).

I was thinking about this yesterday night while enjoying a good dinner at Perfetto. A dinner offered by a friend of a good friend, Jingjing. No special occasion except using my own 关系, Guānxì, connections: Jingjing’s friend is in goose farming and he is now starting the business to provide high quality animals to restaurants. And what better place to start than having a chat with Perfetto owner, my good friend Francesco (Italian name.. I never remember his Chinese name!), that has a huge experience in business, together with knowledge of several other restaurants in Hefei.

The main idea was just helping JJ’s friend to get some info and suggestions from an experience restaurant owner. In fact Perfetto has no goose on the menu, so it was interesting for me just that the two guys could have a talk. And for organizing the meeting I got "paid" in the best way: a great dinner!

Then during the evening JJ’s friend had the chance to meet also the main chef in Perfetto and talk more about the product until reaching a trial arrangement: he will supply some gooses for free and Perfetto will try to make some new dish and test if the customers appreciate, and also the quality of the animals! One thing Perfetto invest time and resources on is the quality: you do not risk stomach ache or worse after having a meal there!

At the end, hopefully, my friend’s friend will have a good chance to start some business in Hefei with his goose farming, and it makes me smile that a laowai had to help a local!

Definitively not a typical laowai.. and for the people that know me might come even more surprising since I have never been a business oriented person! But I admit that from this opportunity I gave to the guy I have some hopes in the close future to get some profit.. I mean, probably a few more dinners will come in my direction.. at least for testing/tasting the goose dish in Perfetto!! 😉



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