Monday, September 25, 2017

Shanghai Days and Bollywood Nights

While my American coworkers are in town this week I'm going to have anything but a normal schedule. Though, I think that this whole trip is going to be unusual in its structure what with dealing with the U.S. office and the time here. Things will only get worse when the U.S. "falls back" with the end of Daylight Saving and the difference between me and home becomes 13 hours rather than 12. At least 12 makes it easy to remember.

Yesterday I made it into our Shanghai office for a couple hours while Jason and Laura met with a vendor partner. I said my hellos to a lot of my office mates and settled in a bit to my new desk. The space reminds me of the time I went to Blue Cross/Blue Shield for an interview a few years back. They're in the Renaissance Building and take up a floor, meaning that you get off the elevators and can go either left or right and get in the office. It's all one big circle. I know I'm going to get turned around a few times early on.

I've got my badge, my desk, and still have yet to get a working Chinese phone. I keep debating about getting a new SIM card either for my work phone (iPhone) or personal phone (Android).

Back in my office in Southfield, I discovered that there are no provisions for people like me who are on a temporary assignment. The policy is written for permanent transfers and short stays but nothing a month or more. That means that when I was told, "Put in a request for a work phone as we've got coverage in China" that no one thought that this coverage was a $10/day "day pass" from Verizon meaning a grand total of $840 at the end of the trip. The day I left I got a call from an IT guy saying that I'd have to get an unlocked phone and that the IT guys in Shanghai would get me a new SIM card. I never got the new phone as the guy I was supposed to get it from wasn't at his desk(!). Thus the confusion. I like my personal phone a lot more and would like that to be the fully operational one. The only thing is that no one could call me at my regular number... not that I get many calls. It's more texts and with Andrea I've asked her to switch over to WeChat so I can get used to it.

My co-worker, Jade, and I went over to another big mall-type complex to meet Jason, Laura, and another co-worker Jasmine (who seems to be in charge of the Digital Marketing department over here) for lunch and a meeting with another vendor partner. The place seemed like some kind of chain restaurant and the Western posters and the English chalk drawings on the wall didn't dissuade me of this opinion.

This picture was in the bathroom at the mall -- actually, every bathroom at the mall had the same art work. I think this is called, "Baby, I'm gonna bolt you so hard..."

During the meeting the storm clouds outside just got thicker and thicker until it almost looked like night out. It doesn't help that the sun sets around here at 6PM, meaning that it's going to only get worse before it gets better.

I went back to my apartment and chilled for a bit before meeting Jason for some Indian food. The place is called "Bollywood" and they weren't kidding. There are pictures of Bollywood movie stars everywhere and they were playing a great video mix of songs from a variety of movies. Between that and the food, I could eat there all the time... Oh, wait, I can! I can get Indian food almost ever night of the week if I want once I'm on my own.

I came back and got on some conference calls until 11PM and then started watching "Star Trek: Discovery". It seems a little pompous for my taste. I an imagine Michelle Yeoh ordering tea and it taking ten shots and swelling music to get it. Also, for whatever reason, probably because she mentioned that her "number one" should get a command of her own that Michelle Yeoh is going to die in this first episode. It will add some false gravitas. And, "Star Trek" doesn't like when "number one"s actually get their own command on their own. Right, Mr. Riker?

Also, it was pointed out that I didn't show my balcony view. Here you go:

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