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In which I have conversations with corporatey people and sweat a lot - Tactical Ninja

Aug. 24th, 2011

02:59 pm - In which I have conversations with corporatey people and sweat a lot

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Someone asked for pictures of my new $5 bag. But I'm not really that kind of girl - it's a bag, it has pockets, it's kind of like my festival belt bag (yay polly!) but in bag form and therefore easier to wear in this heat. There's not much else to say about it. But here's a pic of the label:

And I can confirm that it does indeed have bporty accents!

Instead, it's a pic of the aerials on the roof of the building across the way. It seems that apartments here don't have shared aerials, so everyone bungs their own one on the roof and the resulting macrame of cables goes in through a convenient window and down to wherever folks live.

And from that pic it seems that some of them also go across to neighbouring buildings.

There's a rule here that you're not allowed to drop stuff out of windows - however people also hang their washing out of windows to dry (apartments come with handy dandy racks for this purpose) and so this morning when a sock fell past our window while we were having coffee it wasn't uparticularly surprising - although I do wonder where they all end up.

Last night we experienced how the other half lives. The pretext was dinner with Sybille but it was a work-related dinner that we somehow got invited to and it was held in a place called Club 28/The Sky Garden/Pavilion (we couldn't work out which was the right name) on the 27th floor of a posh hotel building. We were in an outdoor bar that was open on three sides, had fountains and ponds and interesting seating, and ubiquitous service staff who continuously brought food and drinks whether you asked for them or not.

Two of the guests were journos from the South China Morning Post which is the main English-language paper here. They had been living in Hong Kong since the 1990s and were full of informative perspective on how things work here. One thing they said is that everything is about money - and if you go to the SCMP site you'll find that the paper is behind a paywall so yeah, they walk their talk.

It was reassuring to discover that the perspective I've been triangulating based on a combination of mah lernins, things I've read, things I've heard from various people who live here and my own observations seems to be quite accurate re: the political situation here, what's behind it and where it might be going. It was also reassuring to discover that despite my pink hair, roman sandals, holiday clothing and sheep shearer background, I can hold my own in conversation in the corporate world. This is something I need reminding of occasionally because on the inside I think that everyone else knows the rules of this game and I don't, therefore I'm like the puppy that bounced in among the salukis at a dog show.

I've been teasing Dr Wheel about becoming a corporate whore with his career shift, because to me who has shared a tent in the karoo with him, played WoW with him, done *adventurous things* with him, danced till dawn with him, and *censored* with him, the idea of him in a suit talking in business wankspeak is kind of funny. Realistically this team doesn't seem particularly corporate-wanky and I doubt there'll be suits involved - however this is a shift from a research-focused environment to a money-driven one and thus the culture also changes. As his partner I've had some trepidation around being an embarrassment to him, because I'm aware there can be expectations that go along with the culture and *loop back to the puppy thing*..

So it was good for me to see last night that while sometimes folks initially take me too cheaply because of my hair, this doesn't last beyond the beginnings of conversation. I can carry that style of conversation and engage these people on their level, and I also am happy I had the discretion to keep my thoughts to myself when the topic skated close to the TPPA. There's having an opinion and then there's ranting, eh? Go me. *self backpats*

Of course, that thing about drinks appearing magically probably also helped with the lubrication. Drunk people are easily charmed.. lalala.

We were going to go up to The Peak (nobby kind of area with fantastic views of the harbour lights) last night, but it turned out happy hour was actually four hours and so instead we wandered our way home on the MTR. The Peak isn't going anywhere.

Today I will make a start on my essay. Dr Wheel is at work and I'm sitting here in my undies (not matching today, sorry) and thinking about the right wording for the inherent struggle between those in power trying to hide the knowledge from the individuals and how that works (or doesn't) in a democracy.

Write 6000 words. Cut out 2000. Voila, reasonably good essay. That formula works for me, anyway. So I'd better get writing.


[User Picture]
Date:August 24th, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
Wow I haven't been to your blog in ages and you seem to be doing something fascinating!! If I lived opposite I put some container food plants up amongst the TV ariels, no-one else seems to be using that space. I'd be heartbroken if my favourite shirt fell into the street and was lost :)
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[User Picture]
Date:August 25th, 2011 01:06 am (UTC)
It's not very windy here so I reckon if you lived somewhere long enough you could figure out where they went and go rescue them - unlike Wellington where there's someone in Kilbirnie who never has to buy socks!
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[User Picture]
Date:August 24th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
I can carry that style of conversation and engage these people on their level, and I also am happy I had the discretion to keep my thoughts to myself when the topic skated close to the TPPA.

You are very intelligent and have a good idea both of what to say and what not to say. That means you should be able to converse with just about anyone in social situations. Not to mention that knowing that it IS a game puts you way ahead of most of the other players. You have nothing to fear in regard to not fitting in or not getting it.

In short, you rock.
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