Not “Going For the Win”, damn it!
But going behind the Great Firewall of China was an equally damning experience for those who are used to the free and easy information superhighway of the Internet.
Things were moving along quite nicely in the Philippines for me that at one stage I was thinking of getting an apartment either in Makati or Serendra. Fortunately, before I took this major leap, my company deemed it necessary to move me to its office in Shenzhen, presumably to take advantage of my Mandarin-speaking capability.
Shenzhen was a mixed bag of blessings. Culturally and linguistically, it was relatively easy for me to adapt. But living here posed a different set of challenges, chief among them being quality of foodstuff (or rather, the lack thereof), the authenticity of everything, petty crimes (pickpocketing, swindling, snatch and run, etc).
Otherwise, life was good until the summer of 2009. The financial tsunami must have been a tough time for many expatriates and I was similarly affected. To cut a long story short, I ended up across the border in Hong Kong at the tail end of 2009.