We shook hands in front of the gigantic glass revolving door of the bank. I thought he would bring me to a nice café nearby, but the young fellow clearly planned a surprise for me.
“Now you’ve got the chance to see what a state-owned company is like from the inside,” he grinned widely, leading me through the glass doors. “There is a nice space on the sixth floor with tables and chairs. It’s a cosy place where we go hang out.”
He then walked me through a set of winding, narrow corridors. It was dark and dank, like a subterranean passage. After emerging from this system of caves, we walked into a large room filled with sunlight. It was evidently a secret hide-out of sorts for bank employees.
As I shifted my eyes to the far end of the room near the French windows, I saw two men, napping five metres apart from each other, both dressed in suits, on bamboo chairs pulled together into two makeshift beds.
“Now you’ve got a glimpse of what working in a Chinese state-owned bank is like,” he said with a hint of embarrassment in his voice.
He paused for a moment, looked at the two men, and added: “But a nap at 10am? That’s a bit early even for here.”