The company I work for in the U.S. has a Beijing office. I can't remember when it was established. I just know it has gotten a lot bigger lately. The department I am in has no presence in Beijing a year ago, now it has nearly 100 people, almost all with master degree. I met several of them when they came to the U.S. either for training or to attend meetings. A couple of them knew I was coming to Beijing, but not sure if I would have time to visit them. The rest had no idea whatsoever. A surprise visit is in the plan.
The office is located on Xue Qing Road, in Hai Dian District. It is on the north-west side of the city, just off the 4th Ring Road. A taxi took us there in ~40 minutes. The ride cost ~$10. The office looked very nice, very bright and clean. There is even a kitchen area, where you can have some coffee, tea, eat your lunch and enjoy the view outside. We had a wonderful time there, chatted with friends old and new, and went out for lunch with some of them. Hope I get to see them more often in the future, of course, in Beijing. :)
1. The office.
2. The kitchen.
3. The restaurant where we had lunch.
After lunch, we hurried home cause my dad told me that my brother would be home around 2:30 pm. My brother lives in Japan. He was flying to Beijing to see me for a day. That is right. There are four of us in my family, and we live in three different countries. Family reunion is hard to come by. I sure don't want to miss out anything. We waited and waited at home, still didn't see my brother show up. So I called my sister-in-law in Japan. It turned out my brother would not arrive until late night. I didn't know where my dad's 2:30 pm assumption came from.
Oh well, the time was not totally wasted. While we were waiting for my brother, we saw some fire fighting action across the street.
5. Smoke across the street from the fire.
6. The raging fire.
7. There was a payloader parked nearby, and a pile of dirt in the yard. Some plain cloth guy used the payloader, dumped three loads of dirt on the fire and knocked part of the wall out, stopped some of the fire from burning before the fire trucks came.
8. Before the fire trucks came.
9. Fire trucks finally arrived.
10. Fire fighters in action.
11. More fire fighters in action.
(To be continued)