Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Zhangjiang Swimming Pool

Usually three or more pretty "PERIOD" women welcome you with a grim face at the reception counter of the Zhangjiang Club. Even though they have seen me from past one year, almost everyday, they waste two minutes of mine, by swiping my card and verifying the photograph. They dont have the word "OBLIGE" in their dictionary, "SMILE" on their face and "KINDNESS" in their heart.

Opening the lockers is another hilarious task, the key needs to be jacked inside for a minimum of five times and then, if you're lucky enough, you can unlock it. A quick shower and a 10 feet gait, will lead you to the pool. I've to confess that the maintenance of the pool is quite decent. You can have the pleasure of Sauna and Water jets for no extra cost.

Let me turn your attention to the people who swim there, rather than the pool itself.

- I feel the water medium is an aphrodisiac, there will be a minimum of one couple for sure, caressing mutually with an alibi of swimming. I guess their bathroom tubs are not big enough to accomodate them, I have no qualms about them, but sometimes they get disturbed by my high speed swimming.
- Next comes these people who prove Archimedes principle everytime they enter the pool. They, the brand ambassadors of KFC and Mc.Ds, are so obese (yeah there are obese people in China for your information) that a couple of them can displace quarter of the pool's water. I picture a hippopotamus, wading thorugh the waters, when I see those innocent, byouant swimmers.
- There are a dozen of men with midlife crisis, whose only task is to enter the pool and take rest. Maybe it gives them a feeling more of Jacuzzi than a swimming pool. They rest their hands on the platform, with body in the water, gossiping for hours.
- Now is the turn of most interesting people...chicks!!!
Yeah there are very few chicks in their sexy, tiny bikinis occasionally. They're pretty, they're cute, some are hot, none of them can float. They flaunt their buxom figures in the shallow side of the pool and disappear. God keep them pretty always.
- Now before you guys ponder over, to what class I belong...
I belong to different set - hit the pool, finish 40 laps, impress others with rapid butterfly strokes, drool at babes, if any, and wind up.

Kids are the best among all. They again there are two sorts:
There are some kids who are religiously taught swimming, by the lifeguards.
There are other kids, who, I think, wear a special kind of swim glasses that makes all the human beings in the pool invisible. They just blindly jump into the pool, if you're under them, you'll suffer extreme irritation of water running into your nose or you may taste a big gulp of that holy water.

With such diverse species in the pool, its surely one of the best places to chill out in summers and warm up in winters. I proudly say, Zhanjgiang pool rock!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

We work in Gas Chambers

Finally we shifted to our new office premises, a brown colored, very simple yet elegant structure in the extreme outskirts of Shanghai city. A few more steps, you would reach the outer ring road, further more steps would take you to neighbouring town, crossing of which would lead you to Pacific Ocean. Red-carpets, bouquet, christmas tree, the CEO and few pretty women welcomed our new beginning. Just for sake of blabbering, with a wide smile, I uttered "Nice buildings" to the CEO. An impressive German ThyssenKrupp, carried us to 6th floor. Another pretty watchwoman greeted us with her nice smile, the work area was just a door away. An array of beautiful green/blue colored cublicles welcomed us, with Chinese/English name plates affixed. We found all our Chinese team members cubicles, but ours was still not to be seen. Xueli signalled me from his cubicle, his index finger pointing towards the left and I was more excited by the direction it pointed to, for it was very close to window and was very well lit. But to my dismay, again none of our names were found. I finally headed towards Xueli's seat asking whereabouts of our cubicles. With a wry smile, he said "Go into that room".
"The room marked gas???" I asked surprisingly and followed the direction which his index finger pointed.

The entrance to the room has an a board written "GAS" with the Chinese translation too. Next to that is a red warning lamp!!! My enthusiasm shattered like a wine glass as I entered the room, which resemebled "about to demolish" old taluk government office, back in my hometown. The only two differences which I could spot were, the files were replaced by computers and air conditioners were in place of fans. There are locked drawers with no knowledge about their keys, there are drawers which if operated carelessly can fracture your bones, there are shelves for jacket with no provision for hanging them and finally there are two huge air cyclinders, the pressure guage of one is pointing to 2.5 and another to 0 on a scale of 5 which may consume us anytime!!! Cubicles...err...tables are pretty much like, as already mentioned, those in taluk offices. The wires run so profusely and in such a perplexed manner around the tables that a meticulous untangling of the leg is needed everytime you leave the seat to prevent yourself from a fatal fall.

I can accept such a partiality under two conditions, either there is a shortage of cubicles or we are the maltreated Clients working as labourers at Customer place. But this is a goddamn gigantic eleven floor concrete structure housing a sports center, swimming pool, cafeteria and other luxuries, its just short of five cubicles for we Indians here. And as said before, we are not the clients working till retirement on a maintenance project. We are here developing a combined IP, with equal rights on the product.

Now I trust the lines my friend had told a couple of years ago: Dont cry for what you dont have, be satisfied with what you have. I'm only hoping these gas cylinders wont ooze out any poison or worse still explode. Pray for our life people!!!