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to inspect the next batch of 2 dozen boilers that are heading to USA.
Ranging in size from 120L to 1000L, some with agitators, some with extra element ports and one 500L that is setup to be operated only with gas so it has no element ports but sports a gas skirt instead.
I'll be offline for a couple of days (Tuesday and Wednesday) but I'll try to bring you all back a souvenir. A panda toy or something.
Bus and train tickets booked, bags packed and camera battery fully charged... check, check and check.
Custom dictates that after the boiler inspection that we get fully wined and dined. The last few times were extraordinary but this last time was just over the top. We were taken to a seafood restaurant that specializes in hotpot and dammit it was good.
Boiled shrimp and crabs were the first course and the remains of which were added to the hotpot soup. That's when you get raw meats and veggies that you add to the boiling cauldron in the center of the table. You pull out what you want with your chopsticks and onto your plate whatever you want AND if that's not enough there was an open bar... anything you wanted to drink and as much as you wanted was included in the price (I have no idea what it costs because we were the guests and were shielded from the cash register). Tan and I still talk about that meal with a far-away-look in our eyes.
We travel first class (because its very close to the same price as steerage class) when we travel. I just like a bigger seat for my bigger seat and long legs if you know what I mean. And first class has 2 seats where second class has 3 and steerage is basically standing room.
And yes they do sell train tickets here for standing room only for a journey that can last for 20 hours or more, even much more.
So for all the bleeding hearts out there that are crying the big tears in sympathy for the tribulations that we must endure to bring you SD boilers (the taxis, busses, trains and hotels AND the actual ordering of the boilers AND the incessant paperwork involved) I can only say that I DO IT ALL FOR YOU.
(And for the hotpot.)
There is something magical about 6 to 8 people enjoying hotpot and cold beer after a long journey to inspect a bunch of boilers.
I really wish I could fully describe hotpot to y'all.