Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's funny to think that when I came here I had every intention of staying six months and then leaving. Now I have been here for three months, and really can't imagine leaving in another three. Granted, this is probably helped by the fact that I am getting to go home for Christmas, (yes it's official I'm coming home!! the 19th-2nd!) but still I feel that six months is way too short. The funny part is... I knew this! Argentina was too short, Spain was painfully short, so I'm coming to the realization that six months was set because I was almost certain that this wasn't going to work out. The good news... it's working out!

My job started out as relatively boring, and while it's not the most exciting thing in the world, it's improving!! I basically do market research and am working on marketing plans for the company. Our product is finally getting ready to launch, so things are picking up and we're planning focus groups and getting in touch with different media outlets. Awesome.

On the whole, I'm still pretty pleased with my life here. I stay really busy actually. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I don't really have time for anything other than work, Chinese class and tutoring, since that keeps me occupied from 9 am til 11:30 pm. Tuesday and Thursday Renee and I are still going to yoga. I'm really enjoying the yoga thing! I'm getting better at it, which is nice. It's always fun to feel things getting easier, and while it's not as strenuous as a lot of workouts, I feel like it's a good match for me. Basically, looking in, my life is totally lame, but I'm ok with that.

I spent my first Thanksgiving away from home at Tor's place. Tor is Renee's business partner, and he had me and 5 married couples over to his place. Tor is also married, meaning that I was the only person there without a significant other present... and I was also the youngest by at least 7 or 8 years. Unless you count the 3 three year old and the one year old... However, one thing that I have learned from my time here and hanging out with people often over twice my age, is that life does not end on your wedding day, no matter your age, nor does it end at 40, 50 or even 60. I have been to parties and been entertained by people that are the same age as my parents, and older! It's weird to be almost on peer level with these people now. Obviously, we're not quite there yet, as I am too young and inexperienced for any of them to take me seriously... but gone are the days of Hello, I'm Mr. So and So. Growing up is weird.

I don't have much else to say right now... something about not updating for a month makes it harder to update at all. I am sorry about the scarcity of these updates, they're just rather annoying to do! It took me a good 2 hours to write this because of the whole blogger being blocked here. Hopefully they will unblock it soon. I'll try and write about more entertaining things soon. Renee wants us to go away next weekend, and we have a relatively full weekend this weekend planned so I should have some stories soon!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Moving on

I got a job. I am officially a product launch intern at a startup company called LexDex. I am still unsure what I will be doing... but the company is cool. I like the two guys running it, and I like the vibe of the place, so hopefully it will be a good experience. Basically, the company is an online study guide. They are taking existing textbooks and creating flashcards, study guides and aides, in order to help students study. These things are all online, and also may be downloaded to your mobile phone, so that you can study on the go. The product is something that could work, so I am intrigued to see how it will be done. The fun part is that now I get to have an impact on that! Even if it is just a minor one. I start on Monday, and have a probation period of one month to see how I fit with their company. I hope it works out because I think that it could be a very good thing, and I would like to not have to look for a new job...

I'm still not sure how long I will be here. Depending on everything, I could be home in a month, or I could be here until the Olympics. If everything goes my way I wouldn't mind staying actually. Either way it looks like I will be coming home for Christmas, which is sort of nice. It's amazing that I have only been here for 6 weeks. It feels like I've been here for longer, but at the same time it's amazing that so much time has gone by. I still don't feel like I've done much of anything.

Shanghai is a funny city though. There is a lot to see and do, but it's not really the touristy sort of stuff that you would expect. There are a few museums and a few "historical" sites, but for the most part what they have to offer is current culture. Shanghai is not like Beijing in that it doesn't have old temples or emperor dwellings. All it has to offer are some recreations of things that were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. This is why when people ask me if I've seen all the sites, I don't quite know what to say. I have minimal interest in visiting these sites, and while I will probably visit them at some point, I don't really feel like I'm missing out on much yet. I do need to spend some more time exploring the city, but it's sort of hard to motivate myself to wander around aimlessly. The weather is getting better though so it won't be as hard now. Of course, now I will be constantly busy.

Renee and I have signed up at a yoga studio for unlimited classes for 3 months. We try to go at least twice a week, and it's actually pretty great. I've been sore for two weeks straight though because we've done various classes that have worked different parts of our bodies. I will say that pilates and yoga work places that you didn't know that you could ever be sore. It's kind of nice and sort of painful. Hopefully it will help to keep me in shape though. I also need to start eating more local Chinese food and less Western food. Hopefully I will actually do it at some point. Shanghai food is not nearly as appealing to me as Beijing food though. I will say that. There's a huge difference in food depending on where you are in China, and I have to say that Beijing food is a lot better in my opinion. Oh well! I'll survive. I'm weaning myself off of cereal right now because it's just too expensive.

All in all... I like it here. I still feel a little out of place, and am having a difficult time motivating myself to meet new people. I miss my family, and I miss my friends and I miss Andrew. Long distance relationships are really hard by the way... and it makes meeting new people sort of awkward. A lot of the people here that I meet are guys, and it's just somehow harder to befriend guys when you're taken. I like the people that I have met so far though, and should probably make more of an effort to let them know that. I'll have to make an effort to go to Griff's next time he asks me to play poker.

Shanghai is a very cool city though. It's the sort of place where everything moves at the speed of light, but the pace of life is still very casual and laid back. Skyscrapers are built in a month, but it's impossible to walk quickly on the sidewalk because everyone walks very slowly. No one's in a hurry, yet everything is taking off. It's weird how it works, but it does. I like it. It's a city of options. If you want to live on a shoestring, you can do that very easily, and if you want to live a life of luxury, you wouldn't really have to go too far out of your way. Here you get to choose how you live, and there's a certain comfort in that. I don't know what it is, but it's nice.

Here's hoping that I figure everything out, and that everything works out. I miss you guys.