It’s official. I am working again.
It did not take long to get used to this time (3 days to be precise). I’ve become a pro at starting new jobs having started a few in the last couple of years. This time it will hopefully be a little less short-lived as so far I am enjoying the journey (literally). Getting up early is a little easier in these parts of the world. As we are a good bit further south, there is not so much of that dreaded and depressing winter morning darkness going on, which makes getting up all that much more bearable, although some will disagree.
To get the earlier of the two trains, I leave the house at 7am. A driver (whom I pay…) collects me from the house. It’s a different person each time but always holding up an A4 sheet with my first name. It’s a little funny having some guy standing outside your door holding a piece of paper with your name on it but it beats looking for a taxi any day.
The train journey takes 25 minutes, which is about 60 minutes less than driving. This train can actually call itself a bullet train and be proud of it since its top speed reaches about 300 km/hour. It does not feel particularly fast when you are a passenger gazing out but it definitely does when you are waiting to be one and another train flies past that does not stop at your station.
Once I manage to scramble my way out of Shanghai railway station, I walk for about half an hour, passing skyscrapers, dilapidated buildings, food stalls, beautiful trees and all kinds of bikes. It is an interesting thirty minutes.
I pass the man that makes the noodles on the noodle machine.
Then I pass the man that sells the noodles from the noodle machine.
The first few days there was just a short queue and then today there was this:
Not sure if it was the temperature (-2C) or the fact that most other food stalls were already closed for Chinese NY, but they all wanted noodles from the noodle machine.
And then there’s the pancake man. Tasty and only 1RMB (€0.12).
In San Francisco my commute to work was very similar, except that people bought coffee and bagels for their breakfast instead of pancakes or noodles, and I am experiencing the same buzz when I walk through Shanghai. I think to myself how lucky I am to experience this.
Having worked a staggering 4 days over the last two weeks, it’s time for a much deserved break! Off we go to the world’s most expensive city! Good thing I got a job…
Happy Chinese New Year!1