I am now finishing up my second week at the new job. It is quite a change from my last assignment, something that will take continued adjustment.
To get to work I walk about 15 minutes to a metro stop. Pretty nice walk, only one really major road to cross. Once at the station, I take Line 7 straight to the office. Each metro line in Shanghai has a different signature color. The color is used to help identify the various lines. It is even used inside the trains for the color of the seats and handrails.
The signature color of Line 7 is orange. I really like orange, so it makes me happy that I have to use line 7. I take it 12 stops to one end, at Huamu Road. The station is in the basement of my office building. From the train, I wander through a shopping area, up a few escalators to the elevator lobby, and ride up to the office on the 6th floor. Super convenient.
My department’s office is currently in a very fancy building called Kerry Parkside. It just opened, and has tons of shops and restaurants attached, along with a regular and extended-stay hotel. From my office, I look out over the roof of the big convention center next door and can see the maglev track. The office is about a 15 minute walk from the maglev station, so every once is a while I can look up and catch a train headed to or from the airport. From here they totally remind me of the Disney monorail.
The lobby of the office tower is scented, much like the Aria at Las Vegas. I don’t know exactly why that makes me smile each time I go through. In the attached shopping mall, we have a nice variety of places to eat, including many western-friendly options such as CPK, Blue Frog, Cold Stone, Subway, Baker and Spice, Starbucks, and Element Fresh. There is also a small supermarket called Ole, which specializes in import products. The sushi there is quite good. Not Hawaii good, but you can have everything.
Should you need to spend some money, there are a variety of retail shops to help you out. In addition to H&M, The Gap, and Mothercare, there is a Watson’s drugstore, a Muji for all of your travel and home needs, an electronics store, a health store, and on and on. There is even a bookstore with a large English-language section.
Our offices are really nice, taking up 2 floors. There were thoughtfully laid out, with low cubes and tons of windows. There is a kitchen/break area not far from my cube, which has an interesting variety of snack cracker things in addition to coffee, tea, chocolate milk, and soft drinks. We have Coke Light, but not Coke Zero. Not a complaint, mind you. An observation. Need to make nice with whoever does the ordering.
I have to be careful not to get too attached to the office. If I had to guess, my work might take me out to a facility closer to the construction site sometime next year. All this fanciness is quite nice, but there was a certain charm to the Menehune Cage. Yes, I realize not many people will get that reference, but just roll with it.
One bonus of being at a terminal station of the metro is when it is time to go home, you are basically guaranteed a seat. Oddly enough, my line never gets crowded on the way home. I usually watch something on my phone or listen to APM:Marketplace.