Jesse’s Blog

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shanghai Redux

Shanghai Redux-7

Following our company grand opening celebration, the rest of the week was a blur of working by day and partying by night. Shanghai Redux-26Part of the reason for this was that my visit happened to coincide with ChinaJoy, a game industry trade show aimed at developers in China.  We met up with friends and colleagues for more than a few drinks, discovered some awesome new places to hang, and even tried the Chinese version of some American hangouts. Who would have thought that singing and dancing in a conga line at Hooters would ever happen, let alone be so much fun??

Achievements this trip:

  • Shanghai Redux-2Found awesome unlimited food and drink Japanese restaurant near our office:

大渔铁板烧(百联中环店)
上海市普陀区真光路1288号百联中环购物中心4楼

Da4 Yu2 Tie3 Ban3 Shao1
4F, No.1288, Zhen Guang Rd., Putuo District, Shanghai

  • I_Love_ShanghaiChecked out MUSE, a popular night club in Shanghai. It was huge, packed, and pulsating with some great mashups mixed by a badass DJ. They make a mean mojito.
  • Battled my addiction to bubble tea. I’m down to one serving per day.
  • Met cool new friends!
  • Got even better deals on cheap knock-off merchandise than I did last time – from the same merchant!

Check out the pics!

posted by Jesse at 11:16 pm  

Monday, July 14, 2008

Exigent Shanghai Celebration

Exigent Shanghai Celebration (41 of 96)

Exigent Shanghai is officially open for business! We just threw our grand opening celebration at the new studio (don’t miss all the pics; Facebook no worky through the Great Firewall of China). People came from far and wide to celebrate with us, including Garland’s entire family.  I miss them so much and it was great to see his wife and all the kids.

Exigent Shanghai Celebration (54 of 96)We started with a studio open house with snacks and drinks, and then had a ceremonial unveiling of our brushed-steel logo in the lobby after some speeches by Garland and our primary outside investor. The mood was very excited and upbeat as we laid out our plans for global domination.

Exigent Shanghai Celebration (76 of 96) After some more mingling we moved on to dinner at a nice hotel. Paul talked a little more about the company and the people while George and Sarah continued to translate everything into Chinese (they had been doing this all day). We ate and schmoozed until about 8 PM and then called it a night!

Well, except for Paul and I. This IS Shanghai, afterall.

posted by Jesse at 8:04 pm  

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Off To Shanghai

Finally. So it turns out my flight yesterday was cancelled without my knowledge. And I don’t mean simply cancelled at the last minute; I mean HELLA cancelled like 2 weeks ago. I found this out at the airport at 2AM, of course. TII.

So I rushed home and booked another ticket on Air India/Dragonair for the evening so I wouldn’t miss our Shanghai office grand opening party on Sunday afternoon. I promptly slept all day long, went to the gym, and then headed to the airport.

Everything was going smoothly until I got to security check and realized I had my nice black Swiss Army Knife with me. I’m not checking any bags so this was a problem; fortunately the security personnel worked with me to get the airline to check it for me, receipt slip and all. Score one for improved service at IGI Airport.

Every time I come to IGI things are getting nicer and running more smoothly. They’re even covering up a lot of the garish marble with nice faux wood flooring. Oddly, however, for the first time ever at IGI I had to ride a bus out to the tarmac to board the plane.

Speaking of which, I feel like I’m flying straight back in to the 1970′s, here. This Air India plane is VINTAGE, complete with gaudy color scheme and ash trays in the arm rests, presumably unused for decades. Will report back on the service later. Zai4 jian4!!

UPDATE: My Air India flight was late, so I missed my connecting flight. Fortunately the next flight is only 1.5 hours later. Any more set-backs and I’m going to miss our company celebration!

posted by admin at 11:05 pm  

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Shanghai – Day Six

Shanghai-145

I’m leaving for Delhi tomorrow and realized I hadn’t taken a group shot yet, so I got the team together for a photo in the studio (above). As you can see there are a few clowns in the class! I had some nice spicy beef udon noodle for lunch and a red bean milk tea before we went to check out the hotel directly across the street from our office park. It’s literally 1/4 the price of where I am staying now and, honestly, it’s not that bad. Simple but clean. Better than anything in India aside from 5-star. I could stay there for 30 days with all amenities for the same cost as rent alone in Noida (which doesn’t even include utilities, internet, TV, etc). I’m already making friends and plans.

Shanghai-147 Speaking of which, we went to Korean dinner with some friends of our General Manager. Sam plays guitar and his girlfriend Vivian… speaks really good English. Not only does she speak well, she does so with an American accent she learned from watching Friends. Really. I was so distracted by her artificially (but excellently) tuned accent that I couldn’t focus on what she was saying. We immediately offered her a job teaching English to the Chinese and Mandarin to the Americans at our company (she has taught before – we were calling her O sensei by the end of the night). If all goes well she’ll start in mid-July.

Well, time to pack up my stuff so I can zip right out of here in the morning before my weekly meetings.

posted by Jesse at 10:10 pm  

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Shanghai – Day Five

Change-Face in action!

Tonight we went to an authentic Szechuan restaurant in west Shanghai. The food was spicy and tasty, though not my favorite so far (as if that is really a bad thing). Shanghai-134However, the highlight of the evening was the change-face performance! I just couldn’t believe my eyes. This guy does a dance to some traditional music and quickly changes his mask right before your eyes. I’m talking LIGHTING quick to the point where it is impossible to even catch it on camera. He does this in the middle of a crowd, less than a few feet from everyone, even while people are TOUCHING HIS FACE. It’s completely insane and I can’t figure out how he does it. As if that wasn’t enough, he also blew fire. I’m sure he scored at least three chicks tonight.

Shanghai-138 For some reason we were so pumped that when we left the restaurant we went into martial arts stances for our photo… because it makes complete sense. I will qualify this by saying it was the Asian guys’ idea to do the pose, not the white dude’s. I’m just saying.

Instead of getting dessert at the restaurant we walked a good ten minutes to McDonald’s for ice cream. From authentic Chinese to authentic American! The cones here are pretty much exactly like they are in the States, so no surprises there.

Shanghai-142On our dessert walk we passed some people doing video karaoke. In a park. At night. Proof to the right. I just can’t get over how nice the weather is here. In the afternoon I realized it’s aShanghai-144 lot like Southern California right now. Everything is perfect. We could have continued walking for awhile but one of the guys wanted to get home. We said goodbye to him and decided that we would go for a massage. A real massage! Not one in “quotes”.

My friend seems to be a bit of a massage connoisseur. He told a very funny story at dinner about a Korean massage gone awry, where the masseuse (on her first day) immediately set about igniting him with alcohol and fire (much to the dismay of her co-workers). He asked me what style of massage I wanted, and I didn’t really know except that I didn’t want the Korean one, so he opted for shiatsu. We ended the night with a very good, very long (2 hours) and very cheap ($20 USD) massage!

posted by Jesse at 11:28 pm  
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