Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"the day destroys the night, night divides the day..."

i've read ALOT (like that ben?) of travel blogs, and the one thing i want to make sure i avoid here is that it becomes TOO narrative-y (ie, "i did this today, then i did this, then i did this. oh, and let's not forget about this!")

i think i'd prefer to keep my remarks RE. what i did to be terse, and focus on the observations, unabashed color commentary, etc, you've come to know and love from me. but that is easier said than done, so you, the readers (all 1 of them...hi mom!), leave a comment and let your thoughts on this CRUCIAL issue be known for all to see (and keep me in check). all that being said, let's talk about my...

FIRST DAY OF WORK (27.Aug.2007):
you saw the last entry. i landed, went to my apartment, and took pics of my sick, sick apartment. it wasn't all fun and games. from there i caught a cab to work (the first, and last time), esp given i live so ridiculously close to work. allow me to illustrate:

if you can see/read the above map (which you probably can't, given this crap-interface, just click to see the larger image), note the green arrow. that's where i live (the Newton MRT stop). the word "Novena" just above it, that's where i work (the Novena MRT stop). it's close. more on that later (see next entry).

the PG offices in Singa are located in Novena Square towers. basically one of many hi-rises in the city. we're on several floors, all of which have great views of, well more hi-rises, but also Malaysia and Indonesia. pretty neat.

the floor - definitely a corporate-cube seating arrangement, similar to Cincinnati, however the walls don't exist, and everyone "hotel-desks" - ie, NO one (including GMs + VPs, but maybe the exception of the admin/secretaries) has a desk. you come in, grab a desk around your coworkers, plug in, and are good to go. i'm a BIG fan so far. what about your stuff? well this keeps people from amassing junk (dad, my 2nd reader, would love this)...but you keep a locker and a pedestal (a small filing cabinet you can store or roll over where/whenever you want).

the people - the office is (surprise!) mostly asian. consists of about 49% indians (the indian kind, not the raman kind), 49% filippinos, and 2% everyone else (me, some random aussies, chinese, thai and vietnamese). quite different from the vanilla environment from whence i came. upon trying to find where one of my managers sits, i approached the nearest cute indian chick, and she directed me in hindi, to which i *pretended* i knew what she said, and sheepishly walked away

the plan - i was just going to just work/push thru the jetlag, staying awake until the sun set. i finally met the manager i was looking for (arvind), as well as the 2 contractors (felicia & tricia, "fish & trish") from one of our agencies that have kick-started this work and kept my seat warm for the past few months until i was hired & could physically arrive. no surprise at P&G, everyone is ridiculously nice and good at what they do.

the work - the better part my the day was spent logistic-sorting (security badge, phone request, etc), impromptu introductions, and informal meetings to get me up to speed. what's amazing that 1 day in the office was FAR more effective than 6 weeks of early morning + late night phone calls with asia. the overwhelming sense i had previously felt quickly washed away. there are definitely some unique challenges out here, but this is the stuff i do best. jump into a situation, wave my hands around, make a bunch of drawings, and out comes something cool. though we shall see (don't believe the hype :)

had lunch at the foodcourt in the mall below the office - sushi & teriyaki, proving my chopstick skills...while good by western standards...woefully amateur when compared to my coworkers. i blamed jetlag and picked up the damn role with my hands, proudly claiming my indian heritage. post lunch i needed a liquid charge, so went to the local "cold storage" convenience mart to pick up a redbull. but this isn't the wussy austrian stuff in the silver can you + i know and love with our vodka. this was the american banned thai bus-driver stuff in the squat golden can). just enough to get me through the afternoon, but that didn't keep that "aches" that come to the bones/joints on the nights i don't get enough sleep. i persevered.

post work - fish (felicia) + i caught a cab back to my place (as i was carrying 1/2 boxes i had shipped via work), then walked over to the local "hawker center" - outside foodstalls, a local staple, where we met her husband, Ali, for dinner. a family styled dinner on a park bench that consisted of spicy stingray, chicken satay, oyster omellette, and of course pepper crab (i will venture for the chile crab upon my next foray, but was letting my hosts do the ordering). all washed down with some watermelon juice. ridiculously cheap, and remarkably good. by this point it was dark, and i was ready to turn in, pass out, and have a weird jetlag-redbull-peppercrab induced dream.

i slept surprisingly well, it's the 5am waking up that is no fun. did some email. read. walked around my empty apartment (cold floor!). i decided to give the gym a try. came back, packed for my week's trip the philippines, prepped some work stuff, was off to the MRT station by 9am.

NEXT UP: manila (or AKA to raman, "the envelope city")


  1. Anonymous11:12 PM


    I think you need to take more pics man. Especially of the place you'll be spending so much time: work, and the cute indian girls' general proximity.

    Sounds like a great place so far! Gotta run right now, but keep it up!


  2. Enjoyed reading your weblog; especillay te office layout at your office

  3. Keep these weblogs coming as time permits. They are fun to read and keep us abreast with your far-east work and play.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...