Today is Halloween Day. Happy Halloween! So while other people were having a blast playing ghouls and souls, but I wasn’t at any pubs or clubs at all, I still had a ball of a time, possibly the best weekend I’ve had in a while.
On Saturday, about 40 design undergraduates visited our design center. I was in charge of showing them around, introducing the creative process that takes place here. Because there were so many, we had them divided into 3 groups so I basically had to repeat my speech thrice! Haha. I had thought I would have a hell of a time, you know sore throat and all, but as it turned, I actually had a ball of a time!
I loved being around those enthusiastic students. Energy level was super high throughout the 3 design center walkthroughs and finally ending with a closing presentation and interviews with the media. The best part was, later that night, a student texted me to tell me that he was very inspired by the afternoon’s event which made him think of many different things, and would love to participate in our research. Pixar’s Austin Madison wrote an open letter to animators – “Work through that 97% of murky abysmal mediocrity to get to that 3% everyone will remember you for” – I felt that on Saturday.
After that event, I had dinner with Lynnette, who is a Singaporean designer entrepreneur here in Shanghai. We dined at a Singapore restaurant in Jing’An, owned by a Singaporean who has lived in Shanghai for twelve years. At first I was skeptical about Singaporean food here as the laksa Dawn ordered last week was substandard, and I’ve also heard negative feedback from Khoon Chuan too. But to our delight, Orchard CRC, the restaurant we went to on Saturday, served close to authentic Singaporean food.
We had fried prawn noodles, carrot cake and rojak. We spent some time chatting with the owner, too, who talked about the difficulties he’s had with local officials and the less than professional ways of handling things. After the commercial notebook market research and this chat, I truly appreciate the importance of “guanxi” running a business in China.
On Sunday, I was super-productive, finishing my weekly article in less than 2 hours. So I basically had the entire afternoon free, so I did some cartoon sketches, before I dived into Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 and got hooked onto it ever since. It’s really a page turner, and with the iPod Touch, my thumb just wouldn’t stop flipping the pages.
I thought I’d send an email to someone I cared for, with whom I had not had a nice chat in quite a while. The strained relationship had been weighing me down, quite frankly. I wasn’t expecting much, just to tell him about my wonderful Saturday. To my surprise, around 22:30 he replied, and we talked over email for about an hour before bed. Just like old times. Private jokes and all. The best weekend I’ve had in a while.