Monday, May 11, 2009

I stumbled out of the study heading for the washroom, my eyes fuzzy from a night of sleep. I see my aunt and cousin in the living room, so I greet them with an artificially crisp ‘good morning’ before turning into the loo.

Freshened up by the quick wash and my dragon breath banished, I join them in the living room. The night before, my aunt had just arrived back from the United States after some MBA-related classes.

She asked me how I found my work in Shanghai to be like.
“It’s ok, I suppose,” I reply vaguely.

She tells me that as I am starting out my career in China, I have to be particularly cautious as most standards of best-practice are not adhered-to. It’s important for me to develop a methodical, thorough approach and avoid picking up the bad habits.

She’s right. I have noticed a general approach that the Chinese workers seem to take: as long as it works, it’s ok. Never mind that the standards are not adhered to, as long as the equipment works (on the most basic level).


On my return from Hong Kong, I was faced with a shit-storm of sorts. It turns out that one of the projects I’m working on is a mess. The electrical engineer did not adhere to much of the basics of the electrical code, including using wrongly colour coded cables, lack of separation between cables of different voltage categories, insufficient documentation…

And he did try to wriggle out of the mess by saying we should try to talk to the end user to see if they will turn a blind eye to these violations. As long as the equipment works.



After talking for a bit, I slipped away to get ready while my aunt fed her daughter breakfast. I, on the other hand, was going with Jean for some much-needed dim sum.

On the recommendation of my granduncle, we visited Dou Hiong. It was supposed to be a good balance between reasonable price1 and excellent food2, and we were not disappointed.

Click here for large size image
Top: prawn dumplings
bottom: steamed lotus seed paste buns; chee cheong fun with char siew

Click here for large size image
Top: ham sui kok
bottom: siew mai; char siew pau

Total damage: 156 HKD for the above and servings of prawn dumplings and siew mai.

1. By Hong Kong standards. Doesn't help that cost of living in HK is a bit on the high side
2. Again, by Hong Kong standards. This is a good thing, as HK food standards are already high

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