Monday, July 7, 2008

it's the little things in Life....

It’s the little things in life that make us happy. Today has got to be the most beautiful day I have experienced in Shanghai. It’s so beautiful that words escape me. Maybe I just feel this way because it’s the first day in 10 months that I’ve seen crystal blue skies and fluffy white clouds, there's very little humidity and NO pollution! That’s right, no pollution. I can see for miles and miles from my office window with no end in sight. I love it! I’ve attached 2 views from my office window. One is a typical day in Shanghai and the other is today (you figure it out).

I’m having the typical day in architecture but for some reason I’m in a really good mood. I think it’s the weather. I think most problems disappear with little sunshine, blue skies and fluffy white clouds…

Friday, July 4, 2008

When in Rome….

The old adage goes something like this: “ when in Rome do as the Romans do”. Well what do you do if the Romans are rude and impolite? Should I become rude and impolite? This is an open call for your opinion.

I was taking the bus home the other day and I scored a good seat again (as I mentioned in a previous blog, good luck on catching a cab on a rainy day in Shanghai. Odds on accomplishing that are as good as finding an empty lane on the 405 freeway in LA at 4:00 Friday afternoon). As the bus filled up there where a few ladies that were standing that I should have given my seat up to. I normally do, but in the past it’s led to either other men taking my seat as I stood up to offer it to a lady or having some ungrateful bitch push me aside as I motion to her that I want to give my seat to her.

There in lies the dilemma. Do I stick to my own personal values and look like a weak dumb foreigner and get made fun of when I politely open doors and give up my seat to ungrateful unappreciative self-consumed people or do I shut the rest of the world out with my iPod and go on my merry way with only me as my only concern like the rest of the “Romans”?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

“Do you have it in you”…

Currently in Shanghai its hot…I mean really hot!...and really humid too. The air is still, thick and heavy and it’s disgustingly sticky. Needless to say it very uncomfortable to a guy that is used to the “dry heat” of California. The schizophrenic weather doesn’t help either. One minute the sun will be shining then another minute these dark ominous clouds roll in and the sunny day disappears into this dark dismal setting which looks like the world is coming to an end. Lighting strikes…thunder sounds…then on cue, rain drops the size of small animals come crashing down. Half hour later the sun comes back and the process repeats itself.

Having said all that, I had one of the coolest experiences last night. I met up with a bunch of guys that play basketball on the rooftop of the Ritz Carlton Hotel. There are these basketball courts that are on the rooftop surrounded by a chain link fence with a 360 view of Shanghai. The imagery is like something out of a scene from Law in Order when the cops go and talk to someone playing hoops in a playground in the middle of Brooklyn or Chicago (I’ve never played ball in Brooklyn or Chicago but this is what I imagine it would be like…well… except you are on the roof top of a 5 star hotel and your not being arrested). Regardless, it’s a way cool setting when you are in the heart of an urban setting and when you take a jump shot and your backdrop is the bright lights and big city of Shanghai.

There was about 15 of us up there about 8 pm Thursday evening playing 3 on 3 games under the harsh lights of the roof top lamps when a huge thunder storm came in. No one even flinched when the torrential rains came rushing down. The heated games went on. It was surreal to look up and watch the glistening raindrops twinkle as they magically appeared from within the darkness above and slid past the beams of light radiating from the roof top lamps. Everything seemed like it was in slow motion. As I looked around; the mix of the heavy hot rain, humidity, sweat and muffled sounds of shit talking seemed like I was in one of those cool Gatorade TV commercials.

For a moment there I had to stop and check to see if I was sweating orange…..”Do you have it in you”…