The whole reason I’m in Shanghai, besides the obvious tourist aspects, is I’m working. Logic Solutions, a company started by a family friend, holds offices in a number of places in China as well as the U.S. (Ann Arbor, for one). I’m working during the week in order to earn my keep in this amazing country.
After the 45 minute commute, it’s another 10 minute walk through the office park. But this is no dinky office park. Buildings tower all around you. There are two cafeterias within walking distance, a convenient store and a lake all in around five minutes from the office. It’s a high tech park, so a number of advanced tech companies are based here.
The actual work is quite fun. Right now, I’m editing marketing and advertising material in English. It reminds me a lot of being at the newspaper. But instead of snooty students who don’t listen to you, it’s eager Chinese people who want to learn. I am also writing a good deal of material for the company on my own.
Like my hotel, it’s easy to forget that I am actually in Shanghai. I’m writing in English, editing English and speaking English. But when we go to lunch at the cafeteria, the English stops. Hundred of people from all over the office park descend upon the two cafeterias. The food, and the cafeterias for that matter, remind me of middle school and high school cafeterias. There is a small selection each day and if you don’t like it, too bad.
Today, I probably had the best lunch. It was noodles, beef, potatoes, cilantro and some other spices all thrown into a soup. It was hot, spicy and full of belly-filling delights. It reminded me very much of the boiled dinner Grandma Courchaine makes — except with noodles, of course.
After lunch, we take a short walk and then it’s back to work. Work starts a little later at Logic (about 10 or 10:30 in the morning) and runs later as well (we’re usually out by 6:30.) To me, that’s the more difficult part of the job. Throw in the hour or so commute back to my hotel and it’s about 8ish by the time dinner is done.
Still, I can’t complain. I love what I’m doing at the office. I can see why people become teachers: it’s very rewarding fixing something and helping people learn. And since my hotel has such a great location, I don’t want to compromise the location for a shorter commute.