Sunday, March 08, 2009

Don's Visit to Korea: Day by Day Updates

I'm back in Korea this week. My hope is to step away from my usual commentary blogging and share my experiences and perceptions of Korea and its people over the next few days.

1. What was very interesting were the people I met on my flights. First, while I was in San Diego waiting for the commuter flight to LAX, I helped two Korean women heading back to Korea. One had just enrolled a daughter in a top SD ESL school. They were confused and I made sure they got on the right flight. They of course were shocked, I could speak Korean. While chatting with the women, I found out that one of their husbands is a tire supplier to Hyundai and Kia, and hurting because of the downturn in the Market.

My helping the Korean travelers did not go unnoticed. A man sitting next to us, asked what I knew about Korea... His firm had just been contacted by the Group building the new Incheon Songdo Bridge... of course that lead to my role in the Songdo project, etc. I hope to meet with them upon my return to the states and see how i can assist.

2. While traveling I also met a CEO from Santiago Chile. He was staying at Lotte, too. We shared the taxi drive from the airport to the hotel. He's a shipbuilder and headed to Ulsan, home of Korea's shipbuilding ( and lots of Hyundai car manufacturing). The CEO got a mini-lesson in Korean business and history---he was very grateful. I am always happy to share. I have an open invitation in Santiago. BTW Korea's first FTA was with Chile. The CEO felt it has been a good relationship.

3. Back in the hotel, I spend an hour or so, answering email and phone calls. Hey, my iPhone 3G works perfect. This is the first time in years, I didn't need a rental phone. Not only does my phone work well, but so does my email. :)

4. Finally, I finished the evening chatting with the American team building the Jack Nicklaus Golf center in Sondgo IBD. We see each other frequently in Korea and at the Lotte Hotel. They shared that Jack has always and still takes a huge personal interest in the Songdo project. I was glad to hear that.

More to come.... look for my postings over the next few days.

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