Maybe things happened too quickly between Shanghai, my break and the next move. Packing, searching for an apartment, moving money around, booking a Christmas flight home, meeting dozens of new officemates, trying to place people within a tricky org chart. Getting into the swing of things, thinking - hey, there's work-life balance here! Nobody books meetings past six. And then boom. Three unforgettable weeks when an avalanche of projects and pitches started to fall and haven't quite stopped. No time to take stock.
One of our creatives asked me if this is the worst I've had it. PSHAW. I was trained in the Manila school of advertising, I started out under a telco and I finished with three years in Mr. Lim's sweatshop (I say with great fondness!). It's nowhere near the worst I've had it. In terms of workload.
It's been nine months now. The amount of time I promised myself I'd stay when I started at my first ad agency... where I, with a few internal moves here and there, ended up staying for eight years. When all the pieces just fit. And when they don't.
Singapore has been such a switch from Shanghai. I can't help but compare. Everything seems to be different between my PVG and SIN lives. I romanticize my year in the four seasons of the charming, tree-lined French Concession. I think I left with just enough time on the clock to be able to say that all the crap was part of its character. But as other friends who have made the same geo move have said - Singapore is the handsome, rich boyfriend who will impress all your kiasu friends. But Shanghai is the rugged, scruffy, massively imperfect guy on a motorcycle that you'll always be tempted to choose. Or as I told another friend, Shanghai is the mistress you can't help but love.
This might make it sound like I'm not happy to be here. But I've come to love, if not the city exactly, much of my life here. Nine months have passed and as we've said, I'm glad I came.
And now it's 11:30 pm... time to get back to work.