I staggered into Hangzhou yesterday, thoroughly exhausted. After four hard days of drinking, eating (the photo is only the appetizer course), and negotiating, we signed the final agreement to go forward with our tea factory in Ning Qiang County of Shaanxi Province. The last little thing that needs to happen is called money. Once you pay the deposit the contract becomes binding and, obviously, you lose your money if you don't come up with the rest.
As I've said so often before, China moves at amazing speed! What was a big dirt lot just a few months ago is quickly taking shape. Four brand-new factories have been built and two companies have already moved in. Ning Qiang County is starting a 150,000-square-meter industrial park for processing "green food," situated a kilometer away from the future station for a high-speed train that will be activated in about two years. Roads are going in right before our eyes.
I also signed a letter of intent to take over about 35 acres of beautiful tea farmland, pending soil studies and, again, that little thing called money, which always gets in the way!
The possibilities are enormous and exciting, but given the way I feel now, I'm not sure I could start a boxing match with an ant, much less a big undertaking like the opportunity in Shaanxi. The reality dawned on me as I was signing papers and drinking with the mayor (no, we weren't drinking tea). I'll have to get home and take a few days off before finalizing all the commitments. I still have a California tea farm to get started! if anyone wants to volunteer to pick almonds and plant tea in October, raise you hand now...