Saturday, July 29, 2006

Exhausted Saturday - Cosplay / Game Expo

Today was a fun day; one of my coworkers in SH office suggested to head to the annual cosplay / game expo which is only opened for 3 days. We met up really early; took the subways and taxi to PuDong. The subways were vey crowded as usual, and i could feel the sweat dripping throughout my body, but to make things worst; there were lots of people at the expo today. There was no AC as we lined up in the scorching heat packed with people that were less than 1 feel apart. So after lining up for like 40mins, we were finally allows inside only to find ourselves being greeted by around the same number of people who were lining up - this brings me to the point again that there is a lack of planning and system here in China - tickets are being sold for $$$ but I doubt that the number of attendants was taken account into. If someone fell down, it would've turned into an ugly stampede - good thing that didn't happed. Anyways, the wait was worth it as there were lots of cool booths and pretty girls. I even got a chance to take a pic with ATI Ruby! ha ha ha...
Got to note that most (~85%) of the local guys here are pretty shy and are afraid to ask for pics and just sneakily take pictures from afar; it was funny seeing some of them drop their jaws as they saw me just run up and talked with the girls for a picture. I guess the culture between Canada and China is still different afterall despite being a very Chinese oriented guy myself - due to my family and friends. It was fun yet very tiring as we left around 3:00 and headed back to the subway station. We even had to cancel our plans of basketball tmr as well since all of us are exhausted and have sore feet... ha ha ha

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Big changes ahead.

There were big news this past week with my company merging up: AMD and ATI pairing up. We were required to attend endless meetings with the VPs and directors trying to calm everyone down. As expected, there wasn't much response in the Shanghai office as the people were quite new along with some inherited from an older company that we bought so they didn't really understand the impact yet. However, I've received lots and lots of emails from friends back in Toronto who are all very worried about what will happen with many of them discouraged. After all - pairing up with AMD, it only makes sense for Intel to cut our products. In the long run; there will be lots of growth *if* the strategy works, but personally; I think it will be challenging and will take lots of time for ATI to recover to where we are now. Oh well, in 3 months time (with all legal paperworks settled); I guess i'll change my namecard to AMD.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Rainy Sunday in SH

Today was raining, so the air was less polluted which I really enjoyed. I woke up real late, went to the office to check on some stuff and headed out to my fav Italian place (Coffeelax) for pasta. The waitresses recognize me as a normal customer now and gave me a free salad and a cute souvenier of a booklet of how Coffee originated - it was actually written pretty good with lots of soothing and cute pictures. Afterwards I decided to spoil myself [again] and headed to the mall. I picked up a korean baggy which was considered to be pretty expensive (even in Canadian terms), oh well... consider it a gift to myself :p Afterwards, I decided to take on the local subway to save some taxi money (well; basically an excuse to make myself feel better after spending so much on the bag)... ha ha. Since today was rainy, I wasn't sweating up until I went inside the subway tram - i could feel sweat suddenly forming all over my body. Gosh, it was like sardines in there as people tried to push inward at each station. My nose with another girl was like 1.5cm apart and I could see right into her pupils (ok, so I'm a normal guy and I was kinda enjoying the feel), the girl was somewhat blushing after a while so I decided to look elsewhere only to find her boyfriend next to her staring angrily at me. So, lemme mention that 75% of the guys here are pretty slim and 'bookworm feel' (@_@), probably due to the hot weather and their 'eat-little-to-save-up-and-buy-brand-name' philosophy (same with Japanese people). So there I was, breathing on his forehead; he was pretty tense and tried to look 'big' by spreading out his arms (thus touching some old ladies around him who in turn stared at him). I was now looking a bit awkward trying not to laugh at this petite guy. He did somewhat look like a slim roadrunner on edge... ha ha ha.. Oh well, at least the ride was only 5mins before I left the subway and glanced at the girl one more time (thus, ticking off this local roadrunner once again). Ha ha ha.
PS. a big thank you to Pig - our families' technician in Toronto who help my family fix up my home computer and thus can connect with me via MSN once more. Thanks bud, I'll get you some cheap souveniers - I promise! ha ha ha.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Enjoying life after work

Trying to enjoy life after work I guess... Another political week has gone by with much meetings / conference calls with mgrs and various teams from SiV, Toronto, and in SH. How come very weekend I feel so tired and am complaining of these political things at work all da time? I hope it'll turn better too so I don't have to write it here. However, some good came out of it, as I'm schedule to head to Japan with my Mgr at the end of Sept for a Biz trip to meet the customers there - I'm somewhat looking fwd to my return to Japan (I went there for vacation last year) although this time I know it'll be purely for Biz. Anyways, been hooked onto these series lately as I just crash at home feeling tired after work: 王子变青蛙, 神雕侠侣, 白蛇, 小鱼儿花无缺, 天下第一... ha ha.... turning into a TV slob soon. Anyways, back to TV now while waiting for my laundry... PS. Did I mention my good friend Colly headed for Peru some 4hrs ago? Hope she'll have a fun yet safe trip while experiencing many different things ;)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sunday in SH

I decided to spoil myself today. Afterall, my excuse is that I have been working hard and trying my best to adapt to here... I woke up late, had a huge lunch at my fav taiwanese place at the big mall district; then looked around for a hair salon. I normally spend 18CAD back in Toronto so I figured that this 68RMB place 10cad was reasonable , there were three girls that greeted me. One of the better looking ones (thank goodness!) took be to this waiting area and started to massage my back and my fingers! The guy/girl next chairs (also here for a hairdo) along with my hair attendant saw me smiling awkwardly causing them to look funny as well. I explained to them that we don't have this sort of massaging service back in Toronto. After 40mins trying to hold my composure, I was finally led to have my hair cut and hairwash, maybe for 10mins max. It was a funny experience. Afterwards, I bought a pair of rollerblades here (Yey!).... they look pretty good, and I'm happy to have found them - damn, I think I am spending too much $$$ in SH terms. Anyways, afterwards; I visited my colleague (he was the most senior ob my team), and the place he lived in was pretty small, comparable to the size of my university dorm but in pretty bad conditions. I felt lucky and bad at the same moment, but it's interesting as I am one step closer in knowing how the locals live. Another thing I want to bring up is the impoliteness of people here. The consumers are always yelling and showing disrespect to the normal locals which I think is very impolite and this also starts a chain reaction as well. Can't they show some respect to themselves by behaving like normal person? Geez. Again, I have to compare this to Japan - everyone is polite to each other regardless if they are super rich or poor which I think should be a the way a healthy community should operate.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Update in ranking of SH: 4/10

The past week was crazily busy at work, with lots of high level meetings and political emails flowing back and forth. It was a bit tight and I worked till 2:00am Friday nite but I'm glad that I was able to deliver what I promised. I tried my best and I'll let the results attend to itself ;) Anyways, today I met up with Miki's friend Eva in SH, we went to watch Superman at "Sun Tin Dee" where most of the foreigners are, the movie cost a bit more as it was in English version - afterall, it would be strange having Superman speaking mandarin and I would never tell what da heck he will be talking about if he translated Kyrptonite... ha ha. Afterwards, we met up with Eva's friends and went to a drink and for authentic SHnese food. It was really interesting, and I wouldn've never known of such a place if it wasn't referred by her friends. Anyways, I have decided to upgrade the ranking of SH so far mainly due to two observations the past week:
1) Family ties: The family ties here are pretty strong, and you would see many families walking out on the street, and adolescents attending to their elderly grandma or granddads. In Toronto, it would be difficult if you see that much families walking outside. And almost virtually impossible in Japan as youngsters only hung out with people their own age and am busy with work - sorta negliecting their families.
2) Feeling of Warmth: Last Friday, the company was selling old computer parts - mainly old things that was inherited from the company that our corporation bought. My colleages were running around quite happily and were trying to bargain for a deal in the cafeteria auction. These comg of w
puter parts were things that we rarely even look at back in Toronto and would just put it in the basement until it runs to EOL where we would drive it to the local recycling plant. Strange, I was also amongst one of them running back and forth cheering on my friends to win a bargain. Two of the members of the team got stuff - two old Pentium III machines, some SDRam, and a used monitor. I had a strange feelinarmth - with these old machine as the channel connecting the hearts between several of us as we tried to bring the old worn down system back to life while our hands were all covered in dust and rust. It was a strange feeling since I admit that I am not quite a sentimental person myself - usually these type of stuff happens only in movies in this new age. Mmmm.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Thing are settling down...

The beginning of this week was better; mainly because the living place has been taken care of. Had a short meeting with the Asia-VP yesterday and altho I was a bit intimidated with his presence in the beginning; I felt comfortable speaking to him towards the end as he's very reasonable. The manager from the other team (also from Toronto and whom I met in SH) was also very helpful and offered me help whenever needed. I guess I did look like a sour lemon along with the street locals you see here. ha ha ha... Hopefully that will change as I get more used to this place and visit around different places (ok, I'm a little inclined in trying out the subway this weekend after reading Ajeya's blog). Anyways, this relocation is a good experience to me I guess - one of my friends called me up and she suggested that i'm just going through a 'being a good husband for dummies' course; I hope I don't fail the course in the end. LOL. Oh, I also got a super huge tub of drinking water so I don't have to boil the strange-tasting water anymore. Looking at the big tub reminded crazy games we played back in University where the loser will have to do crazy things - like drinking 1/3 of the tub of water... ha ha ha

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Rating of SH living as a local: 2/10

Summary of my impression of SH so far: bad (rating 2/10)
1) Cheap and good food, and there's no tips or taxes required either.
2) Endless pretty girls, my neck really hurts from turning my head and looking at them. Now I just disregard them since there's just too much.
3) Cheap merchandise, but of course some of the material isn't as good as the things as compared to western countries.
4) Good TVs series, I can stay at home and watch TV all day long. Their martial arts series are done very well with correct documentary information and their production is massive. They also air a wide collection of Korean drama too. Those HK TVB series are just funny compared to them.
1) Overpopluated with rude people: everywhere you turn; people are rude, they bud in line (in supermarkets, or when striving for taxis - I've seen a foreign couple standing at the same place for >30mins waiting for a taxi but overtaken by scrambling rude locals), show no class, and no 'excuse-me, sorry' as people bump their way through the crowd. Japan is a very organized and polite country so it's no excuse saying there's too much population.
2) Bad environment: Smog, sudden rainstorms, air and noise pollution 7/24. It's like a virtual smog sauna when exposed to outside just for 5mins so I will have to wash my clothes all the time.
3) No system here: My gosh, I can't believe how unorganized this place is; the banks can't accept bankdrafts, UPS confistigating legal goods, and people changing how much they charge and their work rules in just 10... 8s of time.
4) Have to becareful of pickpocketers: 2 of my friends lost stuff last week.
5) Crazy traffic: green light = safe to go, and red light = halt? No! You'll get bodozed 100 times / day if you cross streets like that. Best way is to walk with a bunch of ppl surrounding when u cross the street (human shield tactic).
6) Inconvenience: Everywhere you go, you have to walk - even the taxi guy says I can walk from point A to B instead of taking them (WTH?). Geez, I miss my car.
7) Building planning sux: I can't believe that there's only 2 lousy entries (side by side) to a huge super market (trust me, it's huge... several stories deep and really big). One will have to circle a high stadium, and a bus station before they can hit the entry (can't they think of something called tunnels or shortcuts?) Kind of makes me think what happens when there's a fire drill.
Anyways, as you can see; the Cons highly outweight the Pros by far, hopefully there will be more Pros and my rating will improve as I continue to live longer in this city.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Finally a place to rest and call a temp home

Haven't updated in a while, but I'm glad last week is over, I finally upgraded my room to a larger place - all within company budget of course :p The place has got a kitchen, 2 rooms, dining and living room with a small washroom. It's dead hot in SH, even with opening AC; I find myself waking up sweating like a dried fish in one of the rooms yesterday, so today I've moved to the living room since there's a huge AC there - please please picture of my bulky friend (haha, she's gonna guard me from the crazy heat here). I also got connected in my apartment too, so expect for more updates and pictures! Thanks everyone for leaving messages :) Finally, it's very different living as a tourist (in a hotel) than living as a local... My rank of Shanghai so far? a mere 2/10 with explanations and pros /cons of this country coming up tomorrow.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Weekend encounters

Wooo, finally the weekends are here; i finally got a chance to sleep in after last weekends' flight to SH. I turned off my blackberry (finally) and was on a mission to escape work just for a day - it's been busy, and political now that there's more exposure for my new role. I chatted with my family on MSN and walked to the local mall district around here for food. It was freakin hot and humid; however, I got a picture of the local mall when I asked a girl to take a pic of me. She thought I was asking her out and said: 'haw ar, wo men yee chei she kai shin'... (let's go happy together), ha ha; it took me a whlie to persude her I only wanted a photo (on the left) :p Another thing I noticed is that why the ppl are so rude here; cuz the environment is like crap, it's sooo x100 hot and the envrionment is pretty bad with the air/noise pollution and packed ppl/traffic everywhere. There was also a huge storm today, I waited at the side of a building to avoid the rain, there's a nice girl and guy who were chatting with me so the 30min wait for the rain to stop wasn't too bad. I did see somthing funny tho; there was this very elegant girl with high heels walking, then slipped and fell into a pool of water (ouch!); I wanted to go help her, but after like 0.57s she picked herself up along with her soaked see-thru clothes and continued walking like nuthing happend at all. In another side corner; another hot girl got covered in mud (i'm serious!) after a bus splashed water onto her... ha ha, no wonder people are rude and look pissed everywhere. As the rain settled down, the air was finally breathable... for maybe 5mins max. I also went to the local supermarket to get a bunch of stuff for my new apartment as i'm going to move in next week, it was like another workout as i was carrying an iron, water boiler, mop, and lots of other stuff (i miss my car man) Anyways, I'm off to gym again to work off my stress and fat from this week. Thanks for everyone who's leaving comments ;) I'm sorry I can't leave any messages if your sites have word verification on~ An oh yeah; Germany definately bribed the ref when they played Argentina who outclased them tenfold.