Wednesday, August 30, 2006

AMD: not the place to stay?

As the merger is coming to a close due to legal paperwork getting pushed through, we are seeing some changes along the way already. Yesterday I also got the chance to visit the AMD building here in SH that was only opened recently, was visiting it since some groups (including ours) will be relocated to their building really soon. It was a surprise to me too as we originally thought that we will move next year; of course, there's not much impact for me other than a change in a colourful environment to a boring place. I feel that the locals were somewhat unfortunate as they need to find new places to rent, arrange for the move in such a short time; and also to note that the building is quite far away too. This gave me a sense of feeling fairly unorganized. I'm going to be back in Toronto next month and maybe finding a new company to move to if opportunity knocks wouldn't be such a bad idea afterall. The only things that are holding me back is my manager who has been good to me, my commitment towards the local team here (once I leave, they won't have anyone to rpt to as we still do not have a local mgr or director), and my feeling that I haven't finished what I am here to accomplish yet. Oh well, will see what happens further down the road and enjoy SH for now I guess...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Weekend in SH with the family

During the weekend, went around SH with the family - taking them to places that I know of or my sis has dug up in her SH tour booklet. The ladies were totally hyped up when I showed them the big mall district at XuHui; despite being tired, their feminine instinct kicked in and propelled them to continue shopping... We then went to old an old Shanghai street (no cars were allowed there) - and the street has many specialty stores that boasts a very long and interesting history, we went to a fairly famous place for dinner before heading back. Sunday, we went to XinTinDi to stroll around with my sis picking up more goodies. My flu was also getting better as my mom cooked some clean food and got me some medicine... They look pretty tired now after these several days after tho ;)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Parents in for a visit

After setting up the place yesterday and taking an afternoon nap (as I took the day off), my parents arrived to SH. They were pretty excited and claimed were not tired from the long flight; however, I know that once their curiousity and excitement dies down - they will feel the aftermath of being super exhausted. I remember when I first arrived here; I was also pretty hyped up at the new environment, the attractions, and feel that I could walk everywhere and see lots of things. But once time moves on, then the triring feeling comes in :S LOL... anyways, my recursive flu is pretty annoying; hope i can feel better... the extreme hotness outdoors combined with the freezing cold AC indoors is a bad combination...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A housecleaning Sunday

Hey man, what's happening to me? Is it becoz 岁月不留情, or something strange happening to me? How come I find myself becoming a family man more and more now? Woke up late today, went out to eat at a HK restaurant then headed to the local super to pick up some goods to setup my visitor's room as my family will be visiting me soon. Then did like loads of laundry, cleaned the place once more and felt nice about the sparkling environment now. Geez, normally I would just hang out and play around, but now i'm like doing housechores eveyweek...? I guess that's the difference when living out alone my yourself for a long time I guess. BTW, still living and spending like a local cuz my HSBC account stuff still hasn't been fixed yet. My acc mgr back in Toronto homebranch was very helpful when I called her last night though, hopefully she'll get someting working out for me... so, i'm somewhat cash-strapped for now... other than spending on stores that has visa... gosh, I love visa; don't leave home without it ;)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

HSBC is the worst x100 bank in the world

First thing I'm going to do when I'm back in Toronto next month? Cancel HSBC's account. Arr. What are the essential functions of a bank? Deposit, save and withdraw... very good, even a 5 year old knows that - but the $#&%# HSBC banks doesn't even allow me to withdraw money when I need it the most. I opened an account just for my SH trip, applied for debit and stuff - and even had to endure a lousy 3$ transaction fee for taking out cash. OK, as long as it works. But today I just found out that my debit card expired (just only 6 months) and they didn't provide me with a replacement (I asked me family to keep an eye in the mail for me). OK fine. Then I headed to the SH HSBC branch and asked for help, I had to take a subway to a pretty far away district cuz my district doesn't have one - they were opened today but still told me I had to wait till Monday (but for WHAT? what are those dumbasses at work today doing other than picking their nose?). Then I logged online only to find out China can't access the HSBC site; oh wait, i remember, I had to use a proxied site that they provided me with last time I complained and sent emails to their HQ some 2 months ago (other banks didn't have this problem). After trying to log on 3 times - they locked me out, boasting their 'top of their line security service'. Agh. Guess I'll have to call them tonight, I'll type my part II if I run into more problems here. Although I'm not a rich man, but I did plan to use HSBC as a major cash injection bank - not any more; not after so much troubles. I'm going to Bank of China instead. Hopefully their service is better. This is just a waste of time, I could'ved twiddled my fingers and picked my nose like their employees at home today. Bah.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Since some of you have asked...

Here are some pics of what I saw at the local supermarket last weekend (click to enlarge). I wonder what kind of local families will actually buy them and make dishes with them. I know that there are some dishes of them that can be bought on the market (i haven't tried any tho), it doesn't look as bad - but if one were to really buy, wash, skin, and make a dish out of these ingredients; it would be pretty 'interesting'. I used the term 'interesting' as who knows? Maybe I'll try some of these dishes sometime in the future... Never say never eh? ;) BTW, thunderstorm coming, better snuggle up and rest up so that I can recover soon... cough cough :(

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Another week, ho.

Sunday was my playday, after enduring such a task on Sat... ha ha... Anyways, headed to one of my colleagues' place for a gathering that featured good food, PS2, Tekken, and lots of alcohal. I think I drank too much Whisky too and was very dizzy as I went home. One of the guys got pretty drunk and we had to escort him to the subway station (gd thing he arrived back to his own home soon after)... ha ha. Other than that, I think I kinda got sick... a mixture of too much sun, going out, flucutating weather between humid outdoors/ac, and much work last week (ho, i'll just put it in); so these two days I'm resting real early around 11:00am each day. Anyways, some pics!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Tired Weekend

Woke up late and headed over to Lu-Chai-Tsui today (it's where the SH landmark Pearl tower is). My local friends say that Lu-Cha-Tsui is the most expensive district in SH, and Xu-Chai-Hui (where I live) is second. They make up the new downtown and the other the old downtown respectively. After spending some cash to lower my stress level again and admiring at pretty girls that I don't know (-_-), I headed back to the local mall in my district to get some alcohal for my friends' gathering tomorrow. And ok, don't laugh. Who would've known a lazy a$$ like myself would say that Mr.Clean is one of the best inventions in the world? After picking up a bunch of goods at the supermarket, I headed home to blade around first; but also underwent a daunting and challenging task after - washing the washroom... again. Apparently the water here somewhat smells. Despite always having a high tolerance level; I finally couldn't take it anymore, the bathtub stinks so I got to work with my Mr.Clean and made it nice and sparkly. My family and my ex-gfs would laugh their heads off if I told them I washed the bashroom two weekends in a row. I wouldn't believe it either, hahaha....

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Facts and Trend of China

Hello, just finished the previous TV series that I was hooked on over the weekend, and started on a new one lately, called 浪漫满屋 that my colleague lent me. It's a very funny yet romantic Korean series. I've been watching it till 2,3am lately and am almost done. Yey - another project complete. Anyways, wanted to update my bloggie as I haven't done so for a while. Here's some observations of China after getting in contact with more locals and their lifestyle:
1) Chinese army reserve: I really was surprised to hear that all university students are required to endure one month of army service and also be enlisted as army reserve automatically. I was told that both guys and girls across China need to attend this if they want to earn a diploma. Training is very harsh with recruits wearing long sleeved uniform and standing several hours under the hot weather tightly packed with people (I know how bad it feels, even in shorts). Girls and weaker feminine boys are prone to faint occasionally.
2) Old guys and young girls: Think Sean Connery + Zeta Jones is a strange match? Well, there's plenty of this example in China with the guys looking less than 30% of how cool Sean looks. I almost blurted out at a colleague around same age as myself if the guy next to her is her father (gosh) - it was her husband alright. The guy had several strands of lousy hair, yellow teeth and look like a typical 'uncle' to me. It's really typical that young girls hook up with ahem... mature man as they can take care of their family and such. People around our age (ok, around 27/8) are said to be young and cannot look after a family (mainly cuz of the low wages in China). This seems like it is changing though, as more foreign companies with better pay are flowing in providing opportunities for the younger generation, and with girls choosing a partner around the same age group.
3) Guys will overpopulate the girls: Right now it's around 1:1 ratio in the entire China, but in several years ahead, guys will overpopulate girls by around 3:1 ratio. Reason is the Chinese law only allowing 'normal' families to have 1 child. Chinese families typically choose boys since they can carry on their 'family name'. Good thing I'm not born in the next gerneration... but what happened to the good old times where there are more girls than guys? eeenie-meenie-miny-mo...
4) Lots of companies will shift to China: With an average salary of around 4000RMB (550CAD) per month for professionals, and a strong talented work force; it is an offer that cannot be ignored by foreign companies. It is inevitable that lots of industries (except service) will shift to Asia. I guess India and Malaysia is similar in this aspec as wellt? Oh well, we'll let the universe once again work its way out.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Busy busy

Busy this weekend... lots of work, functions, activities. Typed out a long blog but the blogger script here suxs as I lost everything that I typed earlier when i wanted to make the words a different colour. Geez, can't they improve the coding or something? Anyways, to make a long story short (as i'm really tired to type out all that stuff again): I went to Bloor street of SH, lots of activities around and picture opportunities, watched drama all nite long last nite. Went to the supermarket to get cleaning agents and nice-smelling stuff to clean up my apartment - it's spotless now, am relying heavily on subway than taxi.
Got called by the guys to play basketball today, then went to chill at one of the guys' place and headed out to dinner. I'm dead tired now but here's some pics.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Can't sleep tonight

Can't sleep, been thinking about the merger. Received so many emails from my friends back in Toronto still trying to cope with the fact, apparently it takes some time for the news to sink in and for everyone to notice what huge impact it will cause. My boss cancelled his flight to SH, and our trip to Japan later... I will be back to Toronto end of Sept to look at the reorg and realign the team's mandate here in SH. My colleages at the SH office were shocked to hear about the news, and I kinda feel sorry for them (they don't have much exposure to what will happen as we were told to be tight lipped), the locals and I really started to bond as I am getting closer in understanding what they are going through here. I should be happy to be back to Toronto, but I know it's going to be like tornato season in the office, and i'm somewhat worried about the local team and my assignment to China. Oh well, I'll still stick to my belief that 'the universe works in mysterious ways, it's never easy; but it's always right and there's always something that you can learn from it' (B5). Oh yeah, it was Chinese valentines' day yesterday but since I still haven't found my goddess yet, so it wasn't anything special for me at all... And even worst? Nature has somehow found a way of rubbing it in for me - they literally 'made' another Chinese valentines' day next month (apparently some strange constellation thing so we kinda have 2x Julys this year according to the Chinese calender; hence, two Valentines day). Bah.