As soon as I came back with the merchandise I gave it all for sale on consignment. I don?t think it took longer than one month to sell ? It just flew out of stores! The market was available. Anything bearing the sign ?Made in China? would sell immediately because there was no competition for it. This situation went on for quite a while until 1995 or the end of ?96. That was when the system changed and more Chinese came to Romania for trade. We brought back packs of goods while they started using containers for their merchandise and that?s how things changed. On top of everything, the purchasing power had begun to decrease.
I traveled to all sorts of places: Turkey, China, Dubai, India, Thailand ? I would make 6 to 8 trips in one year. I brought different things from different places. The peak of my activity was during 1993 and 1994. Yes, that was the period when I circulated the most money ? That was when my father decided to join me ? around 1996. I even remember what happened during his first trip. My father had been advised to buy little tin boxes containing that Chinese ointment. I think he got them from Iabalu, oh no, it was from Honciao1, the wholesale store next to a wall there, which, by the time we got there ourselves, had been transferred to one of those huge buildings ? Yes, from Iabalu, where we ate snake ? So, he bought several packs and he carried them back to our hotel room in a bag. They were pretty expensive ? The smell of the ointment was so strong that we could barely breathe. Then Vili, the boy he shared the room with, grabbed the bag and hung it out of the window. The hotel security noticed and confiscated his bag. When my dad came back, he couldn?t find the precious bag! In the end, he found it at the front desk. The Chinese had panicked thinking that it must have been a bomb or something! We had more such incidents in an airport in Vienna. They saw bullets hidden in our bag on the screen of that TV set of theirs, when in fact the incriminated items where toys which threw a red light when switched on ? Oh, there were so many things we used to carry in our bags! Silver and gold ? 20 kilos at every trip till our shoulders felt sore ? When they cancelled the Tarom flight, we took a flight that would stop in Vienna before arriving in Bucharest ?
1 Names of specialized bazaars in Beijing. 2 Wholesale store on the outskirts of Bucharest.