​An Australian Creative Director and Strategist fumbles through life in America. Live from New York.

An Australian Creative Director and Strategist fumbles through life New York City.

Filtering by Tag: china


They just started selling this in my local cafe - Fresh Corn Liquid.

‘All the viscosity and coloring of mucus, with a refreshing smack of corn.’*

*Tagline by moi. But it would help it sell.

Man, Down

Wow. This week keeps heaping shit on me. I mean seriously - I can literally now add injury to insult.

I was entering my building with my bicycle when I got kind of stuck between two heavy steel and glass doors (they close really fast, and I was juggling groceries and a bike). This happens all the time…except as I moved my foot back to adjust the door, the glass panel shattered, raining (definitely NOT safety) glass down my right calf.

End result? 3 hours in a local hospital, needles and being patched back together. Oh, and the building management want me to pay for the door (bahahaha good luck, fuckbags).

I can walk just fine, and i’m not in any pain. But seriously, I don’t know what I did in a previous life to deserve this shabby shit.

The never ending hunt.

One of the many hilarious parts of the ex-pat lifestyle in China is the never ending hunt for Fa-piao, which are government sanctioned receipts.

As an expat, 30% of my salary is tax free, if I can obtain Fa-piao that add up to that percentage. Selective fa-piao only though - rent, eating and drinking out and laundry are the only acceptable ones. So at the end of each month, we all begin to strive to get as many of these golden tickets as possible.

This makes heading out for a big dinner/drinking session with other ex-pats a hilarious experience: you have this great night, and then when the bill arrives, you’ll suddenly witness everyone turning on each other like snarling dogs, desperately bribing the waitress and knocking each other out of the way for the all-important scrap of paper.

Even more hilariously, to encourage citizens to utilize receipts (and businesses to use them, and therefore pay tax), each fa-piao has a scratchy area in the top corner, where you can instantly win money: 20, 50, 100, even a 1000 RMB.

Yet another reason to love China: its insanity.

The Week In Recap.

Well, fuck me. What a week.

It is busier than I’ve ever experienced: at the beginning of the week, I honestly thought trouble would brew as a result of dropping some of the many balls in the air. But no, we got there, despite my Senior Art Director going on leave (how dare he!). So I have managed to do two jobs during the busiest period - very helpfully supported by the team here, who are awesome.

But now it’s Friday. Sure, it sucks massively because she left today, and won’t be back for five whole weeks (and I miss her already). But Italy is awesome, and I’d kill to be there with her - next time, babeh.

But the work is under control. And the team is happy. And I have a cold beer, and I’m listening to Lido Shuffle by Boz Scaggs. BOOM.

Life, at this moment, is all good.

Stay tuned.

Learning how to walk again.

So I’ve been in a funk this week. I think I know why.

Adjusting to working in brand experience in China is proving harder than I thought.

Basically, I’ve been taught to work one way (by extremely talented folk), and I’m now slowly learning to work another way. And this new way feels…well, wrong (to my western thinking).

I work with far less information. Less (or no) knowledge of the audience, the objectives, the messaging, the client and the overall aim. It’s hard to please when you don’t know what will please.

In fact, it’s bloody hard. I want to do good work, the way I was taught. Work that perfectly reflects the brand (which is often completely undefined). Work that pushes the boundaries of what has been done. Work that feels right, and that will reflect well on the client (and in turn, me and us).

I feel quite often like I’m shooting in the dark. Or as a close friend said tonight, ‘You keep looking to make a diamond, and you don’t even have the coal.’

And this trickles into making me feel like I’m not good at what I do. Which is difficult to admit, because I like to think I have a wild idea what I’m doing.

And this certainly isn’t a reflection on every job. It’s just a rutt I’m in because of (hopefully) a few rogue briefs.

Hmmmmmm. I guess I’ll have to adjust.

Welcome to the learning curve.

Status Update.

So, little to report.

I now have wireless internet, which is good. It means I can now Skype, which is good.

I am going to the gym more, which is good. My pool is open, which is good.

But it’s wicked hot, which is bad. And Em leaves next week, which is bad.

But she’ll be back, which is good.

Christ, I’m bored with this post, and I’m writing it. Apologies if you wasted time reading it.