Office and Appartment
Note: In that order! I was asked to come directly from the airport to the office…
Many warm welcomes, many introductions, many chinese names, which at first listing sound all the same. I didn’t remember one of them… But at least everybody’s speaking English. Also expected, but still kind of a relief after being a bit lost with the driver and the receptionists. I was also shown where I could get a coffee. (On the next day I also noticed the Starbucks at the other side of the building where I could get a good coffee in this land of tea. And some muffins, resembling my breakfast.)
The nicest thing about the Shanghai Accenture office is it’s location in down-town Shanghai, 30th floor. But that is of no use with the smog all around, kind of a pitty…
Fortunately, it soon was lunch time. My old and new colleagues took me to one of the hundreds of restaurants around where I got my first more or less ‘real’ chinese meal. The chicken also reminded me a bit of Tanzania: Containing a couple of bone splinters. All the vegetables on the plate were totally unknown to me. The chinese colleagues explained them, but sorry, I forgot…they tasted also without knowing their names.
The project arranged for a daily shuttle bus, which brings us to our appartment as it is far outside Shanghai–unfortunately, but also expected. Departure 19:30h.
Only that ride gave me a first impression on chinese traffic habits. One really well-meant, potentially life-saving tip: Don’t try to walk across the streets in down-town on your own in your first days! It does absolutely not matter how green the pedestrian’s traffic lights are, cars expect you to give way. Always, everywhere. As a result, both pedestrians and bikers curve around the cars and sometimes end up crossing an intersection diagonally. If that’s more save…
Another tip: Forget about cycling in down-town. Except you are keen on being killed within the next 10 minutes. And you have to practice in the suburbs first to survive that long.
It was 25 minutes to reach the appartment. I was told even the next underground station is too far away to walk. That’s kind of out of town…
But the appartment itself is extremely nice. Large, light, well equipped. And everything brand-new. Large, nice hard bed, large wardrobe. Table, four chairs, kitchen with two gas cookers, microwave, rice cooker(!). Living room with a large couch and tv set. A couple of chinese tv programs, but also BBC and DW-TV (Deutsche Welle with news from home daily at 23:00h). Also large bath with a shower. Balcony. The bedroom has a network plug and we are supposed to get DSL access via it. First attempt was unsuccessful, though.
The appartment is part of an appartment complex called Royal Garden. New and nice looking. Large garden in front. Tennis court. Gym. And not too many English speaking service personnel. But friendly: They brought me a small safe when finding out that my appartment does not yet have one and wanted to explain me how PIN and key work together and how to change the PIN. They tried it twice in vain but I got the idea and showed them how it works… 😉
I think I can perfectly live in this appartment for the next two years. The only drawback really is its location far outside Shanghai. We will have to find out how to direct taxis without speaking a word of Chinese.
By the way: The project location, where we are supposed to work starting in only a few days, is said to be even further outside of Shanghai.
Dear potential visitors: All of you are warmly welcome. And yes, you can sleep in my appartment, there is plenty of room. But you might want to choose one of the fairly cheap hotes in down-town Shanghai just in order not to have to deal with daily taxi rides into the city, which can be quite time consuming depending on the traffic situation.
The traffic situation normally is bad. Sometimes worse. It needs a lot of cars to create that much smog. Do you know when our shuttle to the office departs in the morning? 06:50h. Really, ten to seven in other words. That means: Get up at 06:00h. The reason is simple: At that time it is possible to do the distance in about 25 minutes. Starting later potentially means spending an hour in traffic jams. Welcome to a boom town.
Originally Created: 10/22/2004 07:01:00 PM
Last Edited: 10/23/2004