Monday, May 30, 2011

I could tell you the venue, but I want to make you guess

This seems to be an astonishingly popular game amongst Chinese acquaintances of mine - particularly employers (particularly university or education-related employers, which is most of them).

Today - a recording gig.

My employer has decided to switch to a new studio (in pursuit of cost savings rather than quality increments, I have no doubt).

Where is it?  Wudaokou, they tell me.

Hm, I probably know the studio. I've done a lot of recording work over the last seven or eight years, and I've worked with most of the major recording studios in town. There are 3 or 4 near Wudaokou (well, not all that near; but it's such a major hub of the student world that everyone tends to use it as a reference point; and it probably is the nearest subway station to most of them).

We'll send you a map, they say. What a novelty! How nice!

The map appears to show that the studio is near Zhichunlu subway station. Not that far away from Wudaokou (one stop; a mile-and-a-half south), but NOT "Wudaokou".

I probably know that studio. There's a place I've worked a few times before that's right where the Google Maps teardrop appears to be hovering, or near enough.

But I'm not quite sure if it's the same place. And I haven't been to that place for a few months, so I might struggle a bit to find it again.

No problem. They'll send someone to meet me at the subway station.

And they do! Lovely!! It all works like a dream!!!

Except.... that the map they sent me is completely bogus. The place is not anywhere near Wudaokou or Zhichunlu. It's the other side of Xizhimen, about a 20-minute taxi ride away.  WTF?????

[Additional information to help casual by-passers appreciate the extreme bizarreness of this:  1) Xizhimen is a major bus and subway transport hub; 2) Xizhimen is much nearer to where I live than the Zhichunlu station to which I was directed; 3) the studio is only a 15-minute walk from Xizhimen (much less time than it took to get there in a taxi from Zhichunlu); 4) the studio is really easy to find; 5) the studio is in fact right next to a major university (one that I taught at a few years ago, so a doddle for me to locate).]

1 comment:

Froog said...

And then, of course, once I get to the studio, the two engineers sit around scratching their bums and smoking cigarettes and chatting to their friends on the phone for 30 or 40 minutes before actually getting down to starting the recording session.

And when we're done, it turns out they don't have the money for me, as they were supposed to. But someone is bringing it, they assure - can I hang on just a bit longer?

How much longer? I ask

Half an hour, maybe, they say.

And maybe more than half an hour?? Maybe an hour.

In fact, I gather, it was nearer to an hour-and-a-half before the guy with the money showed up.

Needless to say, I hadn't waited.