A big part of running Marble of the World involves traveling the world searching for those exotic and one of a kind stones my company is known for. Very easily we can become jaded to the beauty and wonders such traveling offers us. Too often we are so focused on the business at hand that we miss something extraordinary.
I have recently returned from a buying trip to China. We first arrived into Xiamen, one of the four Special Economic Zones, which were opened to foreign trade in the 1980s. Immediately, I was inundated with the sights, smells, and flavors of this exotic country. Bustling with the energy of a growing city, new construction abounded and factory workers cycled home after a day’s work. The sea air and subtropical climate hinted of home but too much was unusual and different to be truly familiar.
Throughout my many days there, we traveled extensively and visited many regions. I was thankful for our host’s hospitality and impressed with the sense of optimism that seemed to permeate the air. Family style dining encouraged the conversation to continue outside of the office, rickshaws dotted the roadside and all the while I was reminded how unique this county is.
We spent our last days in Hong Kong. Here I got to play tourist, if only for a short while. At times overwhelming, this intense city showcases China's innovations and unique people.
Now that I am home, I have reflected on my recent travels. China is such a unique contradiction of modern cities and rural communities, where the latest technologies are found and yet in some places such things as modern plumbing and electricity are luxuries. I am happy to be home and I am looking forward to seeing parts of the exotic China I remember once again. As a result of this buying trip, new slabs and tile will be arriving in our showroom and I think you will be just as impressed with China as I was.