Posted on 2009/11/17 00:17:36 (November 2009).
[Tuesday 17th November 2009]
Well I guess that the title says it all... Yesterday I have had a meeting with a potential new Korean distributor, the meeting was scheduled early in the morning and I was already scared about the prospect that it could last ALL DAY, as normally these talks do.
Quite surprisingly we managed to cover all the amenities and serious talks in a couple of hours, and that meant that after a quick lunch and a tour of two department stores and GMS, I was at the hotel quite early.
Here the first part of the mistake... My client invited me for dinner, of course I had to pack as I had to leave the day after, and I wouldn't have minded a quiet night in, he told me that he was off to Shanghai the morning after so he could not be "late" as normally the evenings in Korea happen to be (especially if you are there for work).
My mistake was to accept of course, so after an afternoon spent working on emails I met the client around 8:00PM, and I was back in my room around 10:30 PM.
Those two and half hours are still taking an heavy toll as I write...
3 bottles of JINRO (the typical Korean spirit that you drink while eating, around 29 degrees if I am not mistaken) and one pint of Asahi Super Dry, got me TOTALLY WASTED... I had to pack my suitcase completely drunk, I slept 3 hours (quite bad sleep anyway), and run out of water supply in the hotel room too early.
Of course the typical signs of hangover set in, headache, stomach pains, weakness...
Now it's a bit better, after a double espresso and some medicines but I am flying to Tokyo and I have one of those supermegaboring meetings with a client where there are going to be 18 people speaking Japanese to me (it's a very "traditional" and "old-style" company)... The bad news is that these used to be good clients, and I am actually going to nicely put an end to our business relationship, so it's a fairly important meeting and I am in no conditions whatsoever to actually survive it!!
And I ask myself: what is to business meetings that you always have to end up drunk or with a lady (prostitute or simple "hostess" as it's called the kind that just pretend to drink with you and be interested in the things that you say), or both?!? Can't it just end at the meeting itself and then everyone does what he/she wants?
I guess it's a sort of hospitality thing, they are trying to show you a good time, and alcohol and female company is usually widely accepted all around the world, but there is a limit to everything I guess... In that sense my other clients, that know me better, just let me be by myself and of course to my eyes are a million times better!
Don't get me wrong is not that I do not like it, it's just that I would have much more fun if my real friends were with me...
Let's hope that I can sleep on the plane, maybe that can help...
If I burp I am going to kill someone! :D
Now that's my boy ! A good solid booze-up to blow up a few more brain cells.
What's left in your skull, I wonder.
Just reading your article makes me feel the hangover. The last one I had (a few years ago) was so terrible that I had to remain in bed for 3 days. No food, not even water and the windows wide open (in full winter).
Posted by Sheri at 2009/11/17 15:11:30.
Brilliantly written Lox! I feel your pain!! :-D
Posted by Nigel at 2009/11/17 20:49:28.
Sheri: Well actually if I could avoid it I would most certainly do it, but the fact is that you are "sort of" compelled to drink or else the clients will think that you have something wrong with them and might not remember you in a good way... I really do not like drinking that much, I do it for work but in Italy I hardly ever get drunk like that. Having to say that, I do not TOTALLY mind it, it's just that if I am at home I can deal with it easily, surely much better than a in foreign country where I have to take a plane in 6 hours to go to another foreign country! :(
Posted by Lox at 2009/11/18 14:55:49.
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