Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Shanghai… whew!


It’s hard to blog about things a month after they happen. Unfortunately that’s about how long it took me to go through the roughly 1,000 pictures I took while in China over the course of two weeks.


The short story was that I got the opportunity to go through work on a trip to help get partner teams ready to ship Windows 7. It was an awesome chance for me personally and professionally and I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time.  The work was hard, spending some very long days doing tedious work, but the nights more than made up for it! Admittedly, we could have gotten more sleep than we did, but it was well worth the caffeine-based survival tactics to be able to fit in all of the work and play that we did.  


The best way to tell the story is through the full web albums, but if you’re interested in just seeing the best photos I put a smaller set up here: http://picasaweb.google.com/kmwoley/200906BestOfChina#

The Highlights:

  • Singing karaoke “Summer of 69” with Paul on the streets of Hong Kong in the middle of the day.
  • Awesome new work friends.
  • In Shenzhen, the locals took naps at noon at work. Most brought in pillows. The industrious had cots under their desks. They even turned the lights off!
  • Eating regularly at restaurants which are over 100 years old.
  • Fresh noodles.
  • Eel for dinner.
  • Crazy fried fish with the head still look’n at you like you did something wrong.
  • Déjà Vu – several times I suddenly would remember being the same place 10 years prior.
  • Girls and guys walking around holding hands because they’re friends. Very cute. Very awesome.
  • Couples (and families) dressing identically. Apparently it’s the in thing to do.
  • Tailoring is awesome. Two suits, three shirts made on the cheap.
  • Celebrating Philippine independence with all you can drink for $10 with Aussies, Mexicans and (of course) folks from the Philippines
  • There’s nothing like a cab ride conversation successfully conducted completely in a language you don’t actually know to make you feel like you’ve arrived.


The Random:

  • The belligerent old guy on the plane to Japan who delayed our plain because another passenger “touched him”
  • In-flight entertainment systems suck; how can people build “integrated systems” with such bad performance?
  • The massive number of Pilipino women sitting around on cardboard boxes in Hong Kong.  Apparently there is a massive population of migrant workers which are mostly women, and this was their day off.
  • Being continually asked by hookers if I’d like a ‘free massage, very good, you like’. No thanks.
  • Being surrounded by friends who continually revert to a language you don’t understand is simultaneously comforting and disconcerting. It’s odd. That’s all I know how to describe it.
  • Sending your laundry out to get cleaned, and them fixing tears without asking. When I thanked the guy, he was like “hey, that’s just my job".
  • Finding pre-made clothes that fit me is impossible. The only shirt I found was a XXL, and it was skin tight. :)
  • The number of times I was asked if I wanted to buy a watch, iphone, DVD, CD, or pretty girl was absolutely astounding.
  • Most used Chinese phrase: “bo yao!” – “I don’t want!”