The Laziest Post Ever Written

21 12 2010

2010 was a big year. It marked the end of collegiate life and the end of my stay in that charming helltrap that is New Haven. And as jolting as it was to have to say goodbye to family, dear friends, and the beautiful United States of America, I find myself extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to be here in Beijing and working in what boils down to the dream post-college job for me. The transition was far from easy, but being surrounded by a cast of fantastic new friends has made it more than enjoyable. There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the upcoming year: when will I find myself stateside again, or more importantly, back in Nashville? Will I get that pet pig that I’ve been dreaming of for the apartment? Is honeysuckle REALLY the color for 2011? Blehh…here’s some favorites that didn’t make the blog previously.

 

Like Thanksgiving, this will be my first Christmas away from home and family. As much as I’d love to be in Nashville, we’re gonna make the best out of what we’ve got here, so stay tuned for a smash up Christmas soiree.





If I die here…what exactly happens to me?

15 11 2010

And…we’re back from a whirlwind, week and half long trip to the states. It’d been four months since I had the chance to enjoy the awesomeness of Americana, and it was great ten days spent stateside. However, I learned that reverse culture shock is a very real thing, and is a feeling that doesn’t sit too comfortably with me at all. I don’t think I’ll be defecting to China anytime soon…but there are some really strange, wonky things happening in America right now. Just watching the news made me want to fly back to Beijing.

But it was great seeing all the old friends again. Bartz even came all the way up from DC to visit! Most of the time spent in New York was spent eating, however, as my body started developing serious withdrawals from glorious, fatty American food. We’re talking BBQ, texmex, bagels and lox, and awesome awesome awesome fast food. I wish I had pictures…but unfortunately I left my camera in the residence of a friend. Saying goodbye for the second time is no easier, but they’re never forever.

The whole reason for my trip to the states was to attend the NRDC staff retreat that happens once every two years. With 400 staff flying in from the DC, New York, LA, Santa Monica, Chicago, Montana, and Beijing offices, the retreat is usually held at some remote resort in New England. This year, the retreat happened to be in the Poconos Mountains in upstate New York. The four day retreat was fantastically fun. Days were packed with workshops and ridiculous activities (do not drive golf carts blindfolded, ever) and evenings were boozy inter-office soirees. Beyond meeting a really motivated, interesting group of younger staff members, being able to interact and learn from the old senior guys there was nothing short of inspiring. These are old stalwarts who started the organization 40 years ago, fighting everything from big businesses and  Soviet Union nuclear threats, and still have the drive to play a not so friendly game of inter-office basketball. To this day, the NRDC receives no funding from corporations of any sort. Why? Because they’ve built the organization around the principle that whenever necessary, you have to Sue the Bastards.

For a quick video about the NRDC, where you get a chance to meet one of my bosses, Alex Wang.

So I’m back in China now, and as luck will have it, am sick. Bedridden sick. Have no will to live sick. I think it has something to do with crossing 24 time zones in a week, back and forth, confusing my internal biorhythms to the point where they just…give up. Here’s to good health.





Dumplings don’t make good halloween treats.

1 11 2010

Yeah yeah, I know it’s been a few weeks since phillipinbeijing has seen an update, but when life is just kind of…consistently nice, there isn’t much to write home about. I’m reaching the 3 month mark here soon, and would say that things are fairly settled in at this point. The apartment looks great, we’re still having little adventures here and there, and every day brings its own little challenges. For one, the weather is getting significantly colder, and word on the street is that fall comes and goes. So before long, we’ll be getting freezing temperatures and biting Mongolian winds…without the benefit of central heating.

But hey, holiday season is here yeah? And to kick it off proper, Phillip’s first halloween in China! You get the feeling that the ex-pat community, because they’re in China, takes the holiday a little more seriously than they would if they were state-side. The Chinese know of Halloween, but for the most part, don’t really participate. So to get everyone in the spirit here in the office, we threw a little Halloween party. We decided that everyone would draw names out of a hat and dress up as someone else in the office. What I wasn’t aware of, was that half the office thought it’d be funny to dress up as Phillip Yang for the day. The word surprise at this point is an understatement, but the coordination has to be commended. Oh, and I actually cut my finger, but look at that attention to detail.

 

 

So for Halloween, I went as a volunteer Chinese crossing guard, those power crazed megalomaniacs standing on the side of the road yelling at everything that moves. Christian was a monkey. Lucy was a japanese love pillow. And ben was a 酒鬼, which literally translated means liquor ghost, but is colloquially what people call alcoholics here. The restaurant owners thought we were drawing too much attention, so they moved us to the back room out of sight. Parties were attended, merrymaking was had, and all emerged from the evening relatively unscathed.

On another note, I’ll be on the road again at the end of this week, but this time, back to the states! I’ll be in NYC from Nov. 5-7th, and then off to a company retreat in the Poconos for a few days. It’d be nice to familiar faces in my time there, so drop me a line.