Old folk at lunch

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Joe is back from the middle kingdom


The middle kingdom?  Has one of Joe's computer games come to life?  Not quite.  There really is such a place.  We refer to it as the land of the Chin, though the Chin dynasty is long gone -- China, in other words.  The Chinese name for their country cannot adequately be translated into English, though it can be translated well into German.  In German it would be Das Mittelreich.  So the "Middle Kingdom" is the best we can do.  The idea is that the Chinese see China as the centre of the world.  They always have and they still do.  And by the end of this century they will be right.

Joe went there with the CIO of the company he works for.  The firm is buying some hardware from China -- as you do -- and Joe had the job of working out how to program it.  The fact that his boss took Joe with him suggests to me that they see Joe as their hotshot programmer.  He probably is:  Not only because he is a versatile coder but mainly because of his problem-solving ability, I would think.  An old word for problem-solving ability is IQ.

Anyway Joe can himself see that he has hit the ground running in his new job so is looking forward to a bigger pay packet in due course. Pay packets tend to be healthy in his line of work.

They went to Shanghai on a Qantas airbus and arrived back yesterday at around midday.  Joe brought me back a big bottle of "Bombay Sapphire" London dry gin distilled for the Asian market.  To my limited palate, it tastes much the same as any other middle-range gin. All gin has lots of botanicals in it and the ones added to this one were Thai lemongrass and Vietnamese black peppercorns.  How do I know that?  It says so on the bottle.  International trade is an amazing thing:  A gin distilled in England, named after a place in India and designed for China.

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