I had a day or two off from school and Sam had invited me to come to visit anytime, so I took the opportunity the following Tuesday to go and scope out the land where he was working in China. I was a bit unprepared for the opulent luxury he lived in.
I was met at the train station on the China side by Sam's personal driver. I got in the van and we drove for an hour, finally arriving outside the big city of Shen Zhen in a smaller town where the factory was. Sam was working for Graco as a liason with their manufacturer in China - mostly strollers and playyards and such.
We entered the compound which had beautiful grounds - like entering a golf-course. For you in the west this is hard to imagine - but just picture riding in a Mercedes Van - sometimes going the opposite direction of traffic (the driver artfully weaves around oncoming vehicles), sometimes driving up and around alleys when there are blockages of traffic, people biking everywhere, sometimes stray dogs meandering and kids playing in the side puddles of the road - poverty and industry all around. Then you drive into the palace compound, complete with green, lush lawns, flowers, security guard posts, tennis courts and polished chrome details everywhere... the difference is striking.
Sam met me and started to show me around. Let me describe his apartment.
I think it was about 2000 square feet - larger than our current 3-bedroom house. It had 3 bedrooms, huge walk-in closets, 2 bathrooms and a kitchen the size of four of our current kitchens! There were polished marble floors throughout and a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. They had fixed everything up so that there were American outlets so transformers weren't necessary and specially filtered, drinkable water.
It seemed like an awful lot of space for one lonesome guy.