Hello fantastic you!
Kevin's made it safe and sound. He's pretty overwhelmed by the prospect of blogging, but he promises to work through it. It's actually fairly complex even getting a blog going here. Mostly, China doesn't want you posting something that other Chinese can read. Anyway, kev obviously figured out how to get around it. So, here it is. If you're looking for news on Kevin, you've come to the right place.
So where to begin? Probably just get the housekeeping crap out of the way. Arriving was uneventful and the flight was long. Jet lag was harsh but we pushed on through. The hotel is decent but the beds are hard. One thing you notice immediately is the abundance of waitstaff. Everywhere. There were a half dozen assisting with check-in, another few to accompany on the elevator, four more waiting at the top, and three in the room. And they wouldn't leave. Just kept demonstrating all the gadgets, of which there were precious few. TV on, TV off. Phone? Check. Lights? Check. Phone again? Got it. I'll give them one thing: China knows how to keep it's people employed.
So, work has been really, really, good. It can be pretty challenging, but holy crap it's interesting! I work with lot's of bright young people who are eager to contribute and are really hard workers. And, being in my first people management position, that certainly helps.
The food is absolutely incredible. Maybe i'm just getting lucky, but i've had some of the best meals for a mere pittance. Last night was 20 Kuai for all the food and beer, and at 7:1... that's about $3. Also, i'm delighted to report one can find the following kinds of food: pizza, thai, indian, mexican, sushi, american, and, um, a crapload of chinese. However, you still must order in chinese.
What else? The Ultimate Frisbee scene is sweet here. I played saturday and sunday, and met a good 20 people. More than half are ex-pats, and most of those are American, although there's lot's of chinese, etc. I arrived at a good time, as saturday was rung in with a trio of birthdays and a chartered bus to cruise the bars. Also, the China Nationals Tournament is two weeks away here in Beijing. I've secured a spot on the team... #50.
Anyway, my chinese is horrendous but improving. My orientation is pathetic but i'm learning. Hotel food is still tempting but i'm adventuring. At least I've figured out the bus, subway, and taxi situation. Oh yeah, and I went skydiving in California before i shipped off. I will DEFINITELY do that again.
Last- my visa situation is tenuous at best. We've got all the best and brightest mind in the country working on it, so i'm sure it will be fine. Yesterday was a 3-minute moment of silence for the victims of the earthquake. Here's a shot of the office.
I'll make sure to rap at ya soon. I have a lot more to talk about, but don't have the time at the moment.
p.s. thanks to my super witty sister for a moment of shining brilliance that gave birth to this blogs title. That's a good joan.