Final Countdown

I finally got a new VPN and can I just say that VPNs are a miracle of life when you're living in an internet prison.

Anyway, I am a working woman now, slaving my days away at my corporate cubicle facing the bathroom (at least I'm close to it!). The 36th floor of Plaza 66 stares out into the vast and hazy Shanghai skyline but unfortunately, I don't face the window to actually be able to see the sights. This first month at the new job has posed to be a challenge.  While I believed I was culturally aware of life in Shanghai, work life proves much more difficult. Everyone speaks Shanghainese and my Mandarin Chinese isn't even up to par.  My co-workers look at me as an outsider, even though I am ethnically Chinese. If not for the brand ambassador who was hired the same day I was, I would have no friends at work. Depressing! Even more sad, the brand ambassador is always traveling, so pretty much half the time I am alone! Such an opposite experience as New York where all my friends were at work. This has made me appreciate my friends who stayed from USA Pavilion.  Although, most of them are back home for the holidays now.

My contract is for 3 years at this company and I don't know if I can stay here for much longer.  I love the experience I'm gaining and my prospective career goals could be easily achieved with this experience, but China seems to want me to leave. I can't go into much detail about it now, but I sure hope I can stay (and my boss warms up to me.)

But that's enough about work, snore.
I recently moved into my new apartment off of Nanjing West road, which for those who don't know is like the 5th Avenue of New York City. I say this because all the lux brands line this street and if I can't clearly describe it... Prada is on the same floor as the 2nd floor of my office. The rest of Plaza 66 is filled with the designer brands and lux goods.

We just celebrated Christmas as well, which was my first Christmas away from family. I was so grateful that my roommate's Italian friend arrived just in time for the holidays. She taught me how to make Italian food and we cooked for 12 people on Christmas Eve. I met Chinese-Italians, an English couple, some more Italians, and another Californian.  It was definitely a nice first Christmas in Shanghai, but I hope to spend next Christmas with my family.

New Year's Eve should be crazier than last year as well.  The same friends from Christmas rented 2 party buses and the plan is to hop from club to club and ring in the new year.

I do have to say, 2010 has been the best year of my life. I got to live the dream in New York city staring at the Empire State building every night. Then, moved to Shanghai where I met 79 other Americans just as enthusiastic about Shanghai as I am. I had the opportunity to travel to Thailand with friends, one of my life-long dream travel destinations. Now settled in Shanghai, I'm working a corporate job in Plaza 66, living on Nanjing West road staring out to the JW Marriott and the Pearl Tower. I couldn't have asked for a more fun-filled, adventurous, constant-high year. I know I can't expect too much out of 2011 since 2010 rocked, but I am ready to continue the excitement.