Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Guangzhou

Photo from my office window, today. It is hard to get a sunset like this in Shanghai (mostly because there are no forest hills there).

Moving to Guangzhou back in September last year, after more than 7 years in Shanghai and its surroundings, was a big step. With the logical vertigo of leaving the known behind and walking towards the unknown, our settling down was sweet: we found a nice garden house, with three floors and 4 bathrooms, inside a wonderful compound known as the biggest of its kind in Asia, Clifford Estates (祈福新村 if my keyboard doesn't fail me). No pollution, green lanes, palm and mango trees along the walkways, plenty of green places for the kids to play safely… With its own international school and hospital, seriously, I wouldn't have ever dreamt of finding a place like this in China.

Even more, my working place was inside the compound, i.e. less than one song's ride on my electric scooter (yes, the same bike that my Asturian friend Toñu gave me, before his leaving China – I have spent time and money in fixing it, so I decided to bring it along down south). We found a nice school for the kids, Jenny and her mum are also very happy here, and I even found a bar nearby where we play darts on Tuesdays. Hong Kong is less than 3 hours away, either by bus or by ferry, and in fact in 10 days I will be flying to Spain with the twins, via the HK airport (the tickets were way cheaper than from Guangzhou airport).

However, this was a hard bet. The company I joined was very small, casual and unstable. We relied on one big account to sustain the business, and little financial margin for risks. We had one big project in India, which was fuelling the growth that brought me here. But it all hung from these two things: the big key account, and the India project. Well, sh*t happens, as Murphy said. The India project seems to be at a dead end, and this pushed the key account to retreat. Both events unrelated to my performance, but the company needs now to restructure, and in such a small structure, I am the one to let go. I have no hard feelings towards the bosses, they are nice people and I knew the risks before joining. I will make a better assessment before joining my next company, because next time I really want it to be long term – I want some stability, if not for me (those of you who know me, y'all know I adapt easily) for the kids. And now this means I will have to put off my Filipino diving holidays until further notice…

Now in 10 days, we go to Spain for three weeks, and it's time to enjoy seeing the family, friends, good food, and watch some crap TV J



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