Sunday, October 30, 2005

Things to be Prepared for in China

First of all I think I need to say that I am still greatly enjoying working with great people in China and enjoying great food here.

Originally I put the title as "Things that I don't like in China". But later I thought about all these stuff I realized that they probably won't change in a short period of time. So the only solution is to watch out and try not to get bothered. (Granted, the city we are staying is not as a big city like Beijing or Shanghai).

Private Space

I know it always happens in a place where there are lots of people and limited spaces. However, from time to time, I still get surprised.

For example, now I have learned that when the elevator reaches your floor, you need to step right in from of the door and get ready to block the door so that you can push your way out easily. Otherwise, there will be people pushing their way in so quickly that you might have a hard time getting out.

Another case is that when talking to the front desk don't get offended if someone else just budge in and start asking question to the person who you are talking to at the moment. And don't get surprised if that person will switch attention to him or her right away and let you stand there waiting for the answer.

Limited Services

Traveling in United States, I have gotten used to stepping in a hotel and have iron board, steaming iron ready in the room. When I travel for over a week, I know I can always find a place to wash my clothes, most of the time inside the hotel that I am staying at. However, that is not the case here. Both hotels I stayed at in Shijiazhuang don't have iron and board. And I had to buy an iron because the second hotel has only the old style ones that burn shirts easily. Laundry has been a problem because I cannot find any place to wash them myself.

The other guys found two apartments to stay in. I was hoping to be able to do laundry at their places. However, the apartment services here is hardly any good. The washing machine in one apartment does not work, and the other one is missing a water pipe. What's more, there has been some repairing or construction going on and they have been out of hot water for over a week. Calling the owner or the property management has been in vain. The guys have been pretty cool about it by taking the shower at the shower room of the swimming pool downstairs. Still, I don't find it satisfying.

Task Management

In our working environment, there seems to exist a tendency of setting the task without setting the date. At the beginning the reply we here very often was "ok, let me discuss with them about this". In a project that has only 3 months and still working on requirements at the third iteration, this kind of got me nervous. However, all we needed to do was to ask for a date, either for the answer or a follow-up date about the date.
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