Les Experts en Rejet Liquide Nul.

… A mischievous grin on his face and a snappy saying on his lips: that's Leon Grigoleit. He used to cheer up our corona-ridden spirits in Steinen with his dry humour - now our sales engineer has moved to Kunshan to work for our Chinese subsidiary for the next 3 years to our Chinese subsidiary in Kunshan. Why and what it's like there in times of Corona, he tells in the interview.


China is known for its - from a European perspective - extraordinary palate. What crazy things have you tried?

Despite the stereotype of Asians and particularly Chinese eating weird things being a beloved trope in the west (if something’s back is facing the sky, it is for people to eat/ 背脊向天人所食), I would argue, as so many others, that anyone who had even a bit of exposure to different cultures and cuisines will notice that these kinds of perceptions go both ways. Grützwurst or Labskaus for example can hardly be defended as the pinnacle of German food culture. As such I wouldn’t necessarily describe my daily diet here as extraordinary but simply different.


Why China?

I wouldn’t necessarily say that it was China per se that lured me away from the old familiar but rather a general thirst for adventure. As such it was of course a pleasant welcome that my employer H2O was able to provide the opportunity for such a stay abroad in a completely different environment.


What is the situation in your country? How do you deal with Corona professionally and personally?

Regardless of my or other’s personal opinion regarding the strategy that the Chinese government employed to combat the spread and impact of Corona, we all of course are affected by its consequences. Concretely that means that even the slightest, inevitable flare ups of isolated cases are perceived as a major threat. As such as appropriately perceived measures of mass testing, travel restrictions or complete lockdowns find widespread use on a frequent basis. While this effectively squashes surges as otherwise had been experienced in countries around the world, giving people a sense of security, the impact both on personal liberties as well as efficiencies at work are being felt severely.


What do you like best about China?

On a very general basis, I think one of the advantages that being thrown into an environment with sometimes vastly different sets of rules, procedures and values gives you, is that you tend to rethink and find new appreciation for a lot of stuff that maybe was previously perceived as granted – orderly traffic, food hygiene or punctuality for example. A concretely positive feature of a life in China is however the convenience that is being offered in everyday life through the integration of technology, starting with ride hailing apps and around the clock delivery services to an abundance of any imaginable service at the press of a button.


If you had three wishes: What would they be?

  1. For cherries to not cost an arm and a leg in China
  2. For politics to be based on empathy and reason in the long-term rather than shortsighted gains regardless of consequences
  3. To live long enough to take note of humankind becoming a multi-planet species


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