Last week, the entire Spilgames Asia team assembled on a Thursday morning 7 AM in front of our office. The Chinese, Polish, American, Korean and Dutch colleagues got up early for good reason; Spilgames organized a company outing to Qiandaohu – favorite holiday destination for many Shanghainese – by bus, so we had to leave early to avoid Shanghai traffic. Upon arrival, the tone of the weekend was set: we hiked up a mountain as a group. At first I wanted to race to the top but I realized that this was a great opportunity to get to know my fellow Chinese colleagues. The scenery was beautiful, almost magical with a thick fog floating over the typical Chinese mountaintops. The highlight was the end of the road, heavingly lake and then a beautiful waterfall, something our CEO, Marc van der Chijs found irresistible – when I met him after his climb, he was soaking wet from the water! After the climb, went downstream a river rafting, and then we had a very nice dinner.
That evening we decided to go to the most exquisite – and only – discotheque in town with 3 euro all-you-can-drink service. The spirit was good, and the music was so loud that we ended up looking at the crowd. I noticed that the (mostly male) crowd seemed to be very hot, as they all took off their shirts… then I noticed a little while later, thay they seemed to be irritated by the loud music as well, as they clearly had difficulty hearing each other; oh no… wait… are they making out? That was quite a surprise to see! Anyway, the night ended up eating chicken at the local KFC; naturally. The next day – after a Chinese breakfast and a coffee in the morning – it was finally time to see the artificial lake, the “land of 1000 islands” – a place I have visited before, ten years ago. This was the first time that I had a clear point of reference of China’s development. The landscape was the same, but the (real estate) development blew me away! Think: Mass tourist facilitation, muddy roads replaced by highways, shops bars … but a beer still costs only a euro. All and all, it was a great time out with the company!
Note to self:
- When going outside Shanghai, bring your own coffee (or donuts for that matter) for breakfast
- It pays off to sit in the front of the bus, as the back is hotter and more vibrant
- Snake shows with teethless snakes are boring, but (teeth less, duh) ostridges are always fun!
- Western people are barbarians as it comes to drinking beer in public, as opposed to Chinese