Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Alas I have no photos for this post, but so much has been happening that an update, however literary it might be, is necessay.

I am writing from my hotel room in Korea. I have been in Seoul for six days and I leave for Beijing tomorrow. I am currently working for Puma (yes, like the shoes) as an auditor. My friend Benny, who is also here in Korea, got me the job and we, a team of four, have been touring Asia since the 12th of July.

The job's for a month and what we do is go into retail stores that carry Puma products, take inventory of what they have, poke around a bit to get an idea of the store's atmosphere and environment and then we go to the next place on the list and do it all over again. It's actually a lot of work as we also have to write reports (and I am the only native English speaker), but my teammates are cool and we're having fun. We started in Hong Kong, then we went to Taiwan (where Benny and I audited Hsinchu and Taichung, while the other two did Taipei), and now we are wrapping up Seoul. We do Beijing and Shanghai next week and then we go back to Hong Kong to compile and present our reports for the folks at the home base.

So, I hear you say, what has happened to the slick television job in Beijing? The short answer to that is: Chinese business. The kind that rumors are made of. As it turns out, the company hired me knowing full well that they were in dire financial straits. The money from a huge project we completed was supposed to save the day, and would have according to all accounts, but a newly hired manager ran off with the cash and now the office has been shut down and no one has been paid. As far as I understand, there is no legal recourse to pursue and no one has tracked down the manager since. The big boss, Jack Pan the Man, is apparently not responding to anyone and I have been told that my co-workers are owed up to three months salary. I am owed wages for about a month and a half and I have already decided that spending much time chasing after it would be wasted effort. Life must go on and I have learned in a most direct and intimate way that China really is the Wild Wild East.

In other news, I have been accepted into a graduate program at the University of Sheffield! Studies commence in October and I'll have to go to England for an orientation program. It's a MSc course in Chinese Business and International Relations and I will be completing it through the university's distance learning program, which I think is really cool, as I'll be able to stay in Asia while I work on it. Hee hee! I'm going to grad school!

The last bit of update is a sad one. My beloved Macintosh iBook has shit the bed and is no more. This happened two days ago. I took the sick baby to the local Apple doctor and they diagnosis they gave me was that the repairs necessary for a healthy recovery would cost more than the price of a newer, sleeker and sexier baby. Truth be told, the computer is not so new. I've had it nearly two years and I got it used from my friend Baron who had it for at least year or two before that. But it's still sad. And so fucking typical for this burn and churn society in which we find ourselves. Anyhow, Granny Smith is getting the heave ho and I've already decided to change parties and get a some kind of PC when I get back to Hong Kong. As much as I like the slick Mac design and the idiot friendly OS, in Asia, PC is really the only way to go. It's cheaper, there's plenty of software and plenty of support.

So that's me in a nutshell. Back to work...

Monday, July 04, 2005


stockings, originally uploaded by dadapunk80.
By no means am I a fashionista of any variety, however I know enough to realize that this Chinese affinity for wearing ankle hose with skirts, shorts or really anything shorter that something dragging on the ground, is clearly a fashion faux pas of the highest offense.