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Guest Blogger Michelle Blood

On Sunday, May 19, we got up early to ride a high speed train from Nanjing to Jinan.  The train ran up to 305 km/h.  Once in Jinan we were bussed 1.5 hours from the train station to Tralin Paper Company where we saw a wheat straw mill.  It is the largest wheat straw mill in the world.  It produces 800,000 tons a year of straw pulp.  As a byproduct (although it’s their biggest money maker) the mill produces fertilizer from condensed black liquor.  Their main paper products include tissue, board like paper similar to a Chinet plates and copy paper.  Most of their tissue and paper are domestic to China, but 95% of the paper plates and containers are exported to America for use in fast food restaurants.  The mill has 11 paper machines and 20 tissue machines.  Lunch and dinner were hosted by the mill.  Interesting foods included mule (yes, Mule!) and dragonfruit.  Somehow, french fries made their way onto the table and we’ve never seen some people smile so much!.  It was a nice surprise. 

More to come later, and hopefully more pictures . . . once we get over our “no wireless” withdrawals!  We have been taking pictures with our phones and emailing them to be posted on the blog.  With no wireless, we can’t get them off our phone!  Ha ha!  And they say our age and too technology dependent!