One cannot go long as a member of the lighting industry
without a trip to China. My first opportunity arose this past June, when I attended the Guangzhou Intl. Lighting Exhibition (The Wire, page 26).
I like to fancy myself a culturally open traveler. But the pampered Westerner in me joined forces with my girly side to add a bit of melodrama to the otherwise excellent adventure. I had been forewarned about the suffocating pollution, pungent “fragrances,” overwhelming population size—and even the brazen attitude toward phlegm. But I was taken aback by the limitation of certain “amenities” and most especially by the cuisine. I felt like Kate Capshaw in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” I have difficulties finding a comfort zone when my food can stare menacingly (or was it mockingly?) back at me. I went vegetarian for the trip.
But it was great to arrive at the June Dallas Market with my various tales in tow and then be rewarded with the some-times hilarious, sometimes shocking, always fascinating stories others have amassed. It’s a great bonding exercise for all of us in the industry—like a kind of survivors’ syndrome. So, keep the stories coming. As long as we’re all on the Road to China, we might as well keep each other company along the way.