Work, work, work

Beijing Travel Blog

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Spent most of today doing some consulting work in the "Silicon Valley" area of Beijing. The place I was working in seemed more like a mall than an office building. Upon entering, there is an indoor courtyard with a bright, shiny, and dangerously slippery floor. During a rather generous lunch break, officially from 11AM-1:30PM but based on personal experience quite longer, legions of workers filter down the central staircases and glass elevators. The courtyard becomes a playing field for some sort of game in which four participants array themselves in a square and kick what appears to be a badminton birdie back and forth. Towards the back of the courtyard, there is a small lounge area with a T.V. that seems to perpetually run Tom & Jerry cartoons.

The offices themselves are pretty standard cubicle constructions, but I was also quite surprised to note that there was no wireless internet access. Instead, most of the meeting rooms only had a single ethernet cord that we had to manually swap from laptop to laptop whenever one of us wanted access to the internet, a process that was less than efficient.

After the meetings, we rode a cab back to the hotel. The traffic in my hometown of Los Angeles is notoriously bad, but compared to Beijing it is a cakewalk. At least in LA you know that the roads are restricted to cars and that the drivers typically obey such trivialities as red lights, lane divisions, and road signs. In Beijing there are massive 8-lane, 4-way intersections where the only rule seems to be that whoever gets to a place first has the right of way. It is not uncommon to see people intermingled with bicycles and cars in the middle of the street, and often pedestrians will be stranded in the between lanes while honking cars weave around them carelessly. Most streets have bike lanes, but more often than not these lanes will be filled with cars rather than bikes.

In Rome, if you step out in front of a car to cross a street, the driver will grudgingly slow down but still stop to let you by. In Beijing, a similar approach will result in a sudden and spectacular death.
weilim says:
Hi there, I will be going there soon. Wondering how issit like to work there.
Posted on: Sep 09, 2007
euphemy says:
Wow and I thought driving in Boston is bad! lol
Posted on: Sep 27, 2006
cynthiagao says:
will: you are so funny, I can't help to laugh! driveing in china is better than any video game! hehe....
Posted on: Sep 26, 2006
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photo by: Eric