And off to work in China

Not to be too specific, but I'm in Shenzhen to work with a big Chinese telecom company.

Their campus is about 30-40 minutes away by taxi, at a cost of about US$10. And again it's a frightening drive,(usually) to what looks quite similar to a corporate campus in Silicon Valley, minus the large number of parking lots, since the company operates a bus service, etc.

Past security, which is somewhat ridiculous, we're working in a laboratory that's somewhat reminiscent of the engineering facilities at Tohoku University, in that it's wall-to-wall desks and cheap furniture, cobbled together PCs, and a permeating smell of tobacco smoke entering from (the surprisingly distant) smoking room. The smoking room, opposite the bathrooms at the middle of the floor is tinged a brownish yellow, and I wonder how many years it   might be before it becomes law to force smokers outdoors in China.

My lab mates for the trip, Geoff and Ramesh, are smart and nice people, and the people at the company are nice, though are persistent and a bit pushy. We're supposed to follow a certain test plan but there are features they'd like to see. Etc. Amorn, the head of TCS Asia, is here for contract negotiation and also to say No for us.

Given the limited number of computers, staff, and issues with software, I had most of Tuesday off. I did ride my bike again, and yes it was quite exciting, but better than last time. I had chosen a different sort of route, which
went to a number of theme parks. There's nothing really cultural or historical about the place, which really started about 30 or so years ago, so there were just theme parks to see: One had simply monuments from other parts of the world (e.g the Eiffel Tower, done 1/3 scale). Another represented world cultures, ala Disney Land.

More impressive to me, as an outsider, are the huge apartment buildings, which seemed inspired by those in Hong Kong. It's supposedly the fastest growing city in the world. It's amazing and overwhelming to see.

On the plus side, the food is pretty good and cheap. It's hard to spend more than $10 per person on dinner, even with lots of alcohol. My favorite restaurant (which turned out to be a chain) had BBQ meats with Sichuan pepper. Tastes great but curiously numbs your mouth. I had lunch a few times at the cafeteria, which never really tasted that great, or we'd walk off campus for some local food. The hotel breakfast buffet had a huge variety, but nothing Western that was really good, so I usually settled for Chinese "dim sum" food, a freshly made omlette, and some fruit.

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About eliasross

Blogging before the word "blog" was invented.
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