- A fifth of Jose Cuervo
- A 500 gram bag of instant yeast
- A block of cheddar
- A bag of kettle corn
- One red onion
- A dark chocolate bar
- And half a dozen eggs
The last time I was in the store, while standing at the checkout, the owner insisted on throwing in a block of butter for free, based on the fact that I’ve been coming there a little too often. Now, this was alarming for two reasons: The first being that butter is an extremely expensive commodity in Shanghai and if he was giving it to me for free, there must have been something wrong with it; the second, is that I am apparently a girl who looks like she can eat a whole block of butter (which, to be fair, I am).
This week has been difficult. I am still struggling to adjust to my new schedule and to work as a full-time developer in China, a country where downloading a 5.2 megabyte email attachment can take almost 15 minutes. Now, as a result, that means a few things:
- I alternate between moments of complete concentration and utter confusion. This Monday, I very decisively took the absolutely wrong subway to work (to be fair, that morning I woke up at 6:45am, my body still racked from a weekend of catching up on sleep). Mentally double-checking that I indeed needed to take Line 1 (because seriously, there is never any reason to take Line 11, since I can easily walk to Xintiandi), I marched straight into the station, albeit still slightly dazed (the morning caffeine still hadn’t kicked in) and boldly boarded the first (and wrong) train. Well, technically I ended up boarding the second train. The doors of the first slammed on me, briefly trapping me between them as I managed to wiggle out and escape onto the platform.
- I have been overthinking everything at work. This is very unnerving, because in life, I rarely overthink (in fact, I so rarely think before I do), but when I am programming, I need to re-evaluate every move, carefully consider the consequences, double-check everything, triple-check, do integration testing, look for missing commas, and then still be frustrated when things that work so well on development don’t work in production.
- I am trapped between large-scale grand ideas and minute bugs. This afternoon I spent two hours developing an entire framework and three hours trying to get a page to paginate properly. It’s frustrating, because, I feel like I have nothing to show for the effort that I’ve been putting into this project. I’ve been working sixteen-hour days trying to get a version ready for production for next Friday, but I’m not sure if what I have will be ready in time.
- At the same time, as I’m beating myself up over these little things, I’m finally becoming okay with programming again. This is a skill I picked up almost reluctantly, one that I refused to develop for years, and now, well, here I am. Doing this kind of work is evoking so many memories: 493 College st, and the dumbwaiter in the old io, East Rock and Inception-themed dinners during the summer, cheap beers in the basement of the Lightweight House. I’m definitely a different person when I do programming and I don’t know if I like the person I am becoming.