We'd only seen each other's passport photos so we did a good job of picking each other out in the lobby, and after a quick car ride and train journey it was time to cross the border.
Like a bad spy movie you go through Hong Kong passport and customs and then walk through no-man's land towards the Chinese officials.
Oddly, the Chinese immigration officials have a "How did I do" electronic voting box on each counter with a grade of 1 to 5. As if you'd give them a one.
And then you hit the chaos of Shenzhen. The air smells different and the humidity seems worse.
Stood in line for a taxi I encountered possibly the worst ever beggar. He walked towards us, and then knelt before me and starting doing an amateur dramatics boo-boo style of crying as he jangled his cup in front of me. When I didn't comply to his wishes, he stood up, walked to the next line and began his routine again.
The taxi was only going a few miles, because we have ourselves 'a man' to drive us to Dongguan.
Shamefully, but only out of practicality, the first thing I ate in China was a wrap from Starbucks, washed down with a latte. Don't worry I'll be eating crazy shit later.
The hotel is awesome, and then it's off to work. We bought ourselves a photo studio a few months back, and it was time to meet my new colleagues, Terence, Carol, Enson and Bobo.
Their English is sooooo much better than my Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese).
To finish off my day Dave takes me to an English themed bar. To be authentic, and remind myself of when I worked in London, I order a pint of London Pride.
Luckily it's off, so I grab a Guinness.
Back at the hotel, it's time to check-out the good stuff. Next to a yoga mat in the closet is a gas mask. And in the mini-bar, M&Ms and a questionable jerky.