Had a crazy weekend. Another team building session and this time we were climbing up things, getting water-ballooned, and consuming a lot of food. There were hot springs involved, because that’s just what you do in winter in China.
On the personal achievement side, I was able to ring the bell on the top of the climbing wall.
TWO MORE YEARS!
My assignment in China is now officially extended.
I am at the stage where I am thinking I need some specific goals for the rest of my time here, because the last 24 months just flew by and I am not sure where it all went.
So, perhaps, I need some kind of checklist for the next two years:
- specific places to go; I have hardly traveled anywhere in China
- specific things to see; Terracotta warriors, for example
- experiences to have; bungy jump off Canton Tower?
- people to meet; finally hold that Tumblr meetup with sirnathandouglashunt and coquitove.
There reaches a point in this clip where it becomes a fair approximation of what it’s like to catch the subway in Guangzhou.
Walking back from lunch with someone from the office who I only really spoke to today
- Jim: Do you go to the gym?
- Me: Yes...
- Jim: Everyday?
- Me: No. Maybe twice or three times a week. Why?
- Jim: Because you walk like you have too many muscles in your sholders.
- Me: ... What?
Drifting at Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China. This was for a team building event at work.
And testing out my GoPro Hero2 for the first time.
Trying to do anything in China is like trying to fuck a porcupine. One prick against a billion.
[With apologies to Wilson Mizner]
So my work’s department meeting just ended with a beer drinking contest. Seriously.
Only in China.
And today I’m a waiter.
Just back from a work dinner with the director of Asia-Pac for my company. It was a small group of about six people and was surely was one of the most interesting work dinners I’ve been to. Among discussions about politics, media, technology, economics and business, we got to talking about music and literature.
He mentioned that he’s mostly into reading the classics and War And Peace was the best thing he’d read.
While I’ve worked for him for more than 8 years now, growing up professionally under his shadow, so to speak, I had my first one-on-one session with him earlier in the day. He dispensed some rather sage advice on career and development; all delivered with a great level of honesty and sensitivity.
At the dinner I was surprised by how easy he was to get along with, and was rather surprised by how much he’d remembered about the people at the table - their families, hobbies and backgrounds - and how human and unfrightening he was.
It may have been a function of the fact that he is leaving the company at the end of the year. But I think it’s more just the kind of guys he is.
I think that the whole time I worked in the same office as him, sitting just meters away (literally), I never bothered to get to know him because of some perceived distance between his position relative to mine. But the biggest learning of the night was that if it it was not for that, then we could have probably been mates.
One of the most intersting parts of living in China is witnessing first hand how a culture is taught how to spend money.
Less than a month ago this same column at my local supermarket was full of Halloween stuff, now it’s all Xmas’d out. You may wonder what the Chinese care about Halloween (a pagan originated harvest festival) or Christmas (a traditionally Christian festival)… well the sad answer is that this is all about commercialism. And the fun part is that people are buying into it - no pun intended.
Soon, the massive Chinese middle class will be indoctrinated just like the rest of us. Then the engine driving the world’s commercial economy will be based here.
I shouldn’t complain. I am riding this wave after all.
A new book store opened up in the mall across the road from my apartment. This made me awesomely happy since there were no bookstores near me before this, and the chances of finding one that sells English books is incredibly rare in GZ.
This one ticks both those boxes and there’s a cafe inside!